The following article by Ben Johnson, dated November 26, 2013, was posted on the Downtown Journal’s website:
Crown Hydro faces tough crowd at public meeting
Crown Hydro representatives field questions at a Nov. 26 meeting
Promise of more details down the line fails to satisfy feisty audience
A frustrated crowd received few answers from Crown Hydro representatives at a public meeting held Nov. 26 to solicit feedback regarding the proposed hydroelectric facility.
After a short presentation, Richard Savelkoul, a St. Paul-based lawyer, and engineers from Wenck Engineering fielded questions on behalf of Crown Hydro for an hour and 15 minutes.
Before opening the floor to questions Savelkoul warned the audience that they “wouldn’t have all the answers, as this is an ongoing process,” but it was clear people were expecting more after nearly 15 years of planning, tweaking and studying where to put the hydropower plant.
“I just spent an hour or so wasting my time here…these people are not prepared, they shouldn’t be here, they shouldn’t have called the meeting and I suggest they have to have another one with some actual answers prior to any approval,” said one downtown resident.
After being repeatedly chastised for his vague answers and “I don’t know” responses, Savelkoul countered that the public meeting was set up to field public comment and questions, and that more answers would be coming further along the approval process.
The proposal and its concerns