Monthly Archives: November 2013

Park Watch Comments about Crown Hydro’s New Website

Crown Hydro has created a new website.  Reproduced below is what is posted on the website as of November 18, 2013.

After reviewing the website, Park Watch had two observations:

1.  It is surprising that the website has no address other than a P.O. Box.

2.  Equally surprising is that there is no contact information.

So who is Crown Hydro and where are their offices?


Crown Mill Upper St. Anthony Falls Hydroelectric Project

This website was created to provide up-to-date information about the Crown Mill Upper Saint Anthony Falls Hydroelectric Project. Please refer to this website to obtain the latest information on the project.

Crown Hydro, LLC holds a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license to construct and operate the Crown Mill Upper Saint Anthony Falls Hydroelectric Project, Project No. 11175, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the west bank of the Mississippi River at Upper St. Anthony Falls. Crown Hydro is preparing an application to amend its existing license to, in part, shift the location of the project’s powerhouse and discharge tunnel. The proposed new powerhouse location would be approximately 150 feet north, in the headrace canal adjacent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s lock facility.

If you would like to submit comments regarding the proposed project and license amendment, please mail or email your name, affiliation, address, and comment to the following address or via contact form below by December 31st, 2013 for inclusion in the scoping process:

Crown Hydro Project
P.O. Box 249
Maple Plain, MN 55359

Proposed Crown Hydro Plan Brought Forward Again

The following article by Ben Johnson was published in the October 31, 2013 issue of the Downtown Journal:

Park Board Commissioners are concerned Crown Hydro’s proposal will cause St. Anthony Falls to dry up more frequently


Photo by Ben Johnson

With project under siege from federal government and local leaders, Crown Hydro will go public with latest proposal in mid-November

Mill District residents and local elected officials are anxiously awaiting details on Crown Hydro’s last-chance effort to build a hydropower facility on land adjacent to St. Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis.

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Heads-Up For The November 20, 2013 Park Board Meeting

5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. The meeting will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers can call 612-230-6400 before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting to sign up or they can sign up at the Board meeting prior to the start of “Open Time.”

5:45 P.M. PUBLIC HEARING ON REMOVAL OF DISEASED TREES. Individuals wishing to speak can sign up at the meeting.

Other agenda items of interest include the following:

–Resolution Approving a Rehabilitation and Improvement Plan for the Refectory (Pavilion) Building and Immediately-Surrounding Park Area at Minnehaha Falls, Which lies Within Minnehaha Falls Regional Park

–Resolution Accepting the Recommendations and Concept Plan Approved by the Appointed Community Advisory Committee for theWest River and James I Rice Parkways Trail Improvements Project.

–Minneapolis Parks Foundation Strategic Plan

–Public Comment on the Superintendent’s Recommended 2014 Budget.  Individuals who want to speak can sign up at the meeting.  The budget and related material can be found at

–Board Discussion on the Superintendent’s Recommended 2014 Budget

The complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday November 20, 2013 is at

Also of interest and now available to the commissioners and the public are the monthly reports that Superintendent Miller has initiated for construction permits and for Planning Department projects. The availability of these reports is one of the important changes instituted by Superintendent Miller. They are normally in the agenda packet for the first regular meeting of the month.

View Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast Cable. You may also view live meetings online on the Channel 79 webpage:

Regular meetings are typically re-telecast on Channel 79 on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5 p.m. Telecast schedules are subject to change.

Webcasts of MPRB regular board meetings are posted on the MPRB website two to five business days following each meeting and are available for viewing, along with webcasts for the recent two months, at

Board meeting agendas and related information are posted on two business days prior to meetings.

The Park Board’s website is The phone number is 612-230-6400.

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch

Erwin Won’t Seek Another Term as MPRB President

The following item by Bill McAuliffe appeared November 12, 2013 on the StarTribune blog:



The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will have a new president in the coming term. Incumbent John Erwin, who was elected to another four-year term in an at-large seat, said he believes the leadership should be rotated, but he would not say whom he might nominate. The board presidency is for one year; Erwin was president the past four years.

Erwin and board superintendent Jayne Miller appeared Tuesday before the city council’s Budget Committee — half of it anyway (chair Betsy Hodges was absent due to mayoral warm-up exercises) — to outline a 2014 budget that will grow only slightly over this year’s but produce increases in child care programs and tree-planting.

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Crown Hydro Writes FERC about Public Meeting

The following letter has been sent to FERC, informing FERC that Crown Hydro is scheduling a meeting for public input “regarding the development of an application for amendment of license for the Crown Mill Hydroelectric Project, FERC Project No. 11175 (‘Project’).”

The meeting is to be held on Tuesday, November 26, 2013, from 3:30 to 5:00 P.M. in the Pohlad Hall of Minneapolis Central Library.  The meeting agenda is listed at the conclusion of the letter.

It is important to note that the letter’s author fails to qualify the Crown Mill Project with the word PROPOSED.  This project is only a PROPOSED project and at the moment, it is a stalled PROPOSED project.

It is important for those who have concerns about this project to share those concerns at this meeting.

MPRB attorney Brian Rice has previously written to Crown’s attorney, saying that Crown is not providing adequate information about this meeting and about the proposed project (see previous post).


November 12, 2013

Ms. Kimberly Bose
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Mail Code: DHAC, PJ-12.6
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426

Re: Notice of Joint Meeting to Discuss Amendment for the Crown Mill Hydroelectric Project License, Project No. 11175

Dear Secretary Bose:

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Letter to Crown Hydro from MPRB Attorney on 10/22/13

On October 22, 2013 the MPRB’s attorney, Brian Rice, wrote a letter to Crown Hydro’s attorney regarding the public meeting Crown has stated in their Sept. 27 letter to FERC that they will hold in mid-November regarding the project.

In his letter, Rice states, “As you may know, the MPRB owns and operates park land adjacent to the proposed Crown Hydro Facility.  As such the MPRB has a vested interest in the planning, development, construction and operation of Crown Hydro’s proposed hydroelectric facility.”  He goes on to say that Crown has provided very little information about their project.

The complete letter is attached.

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch


Park Board Passes Resolution On Southwest L R T Tunnel


The Park Board is against co-location on the Kenilworth Trail as stated in its August 21st Resolution.  However, it would accept keeping the trains on Kenilworth IF the SWLRT were to be placed in a deep tunnel.
On August 21, 2013 the MPRB adopted the following resolution regarding the SWLRT:

This is the body of the resolution…

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Letter To Governor Dayton From The Southwest LRT Group

Park Watch is posting the following letter, with introduction, to Governor Dayton regarding the SWLRT.  The letter is written by Angela and Sandeep Erdrich/Patel from Kenwood representing the SW LRT Group.


The following November 8th consensus letter to Gov Dayton represents the common views of four organizations (Calhoun Isles Condominium Association Board of Directors, Cedar Lake Shores Townhome Association, Kenilworth Preservation Group [KPG], LRT Done Right) regarding the Shallow Tunnels option for SW LRT through Kenilworth Greenway. Thanks for your consideration.

Dear Governor Dayton,

We write this open letter as representatives of grassroots groups that represent residents who live near the proposed SWLRT line in Minneapolis and also many other concerned residents throughout the city and the Metro area. We are collectively asking you to rethink the SWLRT commuter train alignment through Minneapolis.

We commend you for placing the temporary hold on this LRT project to address broken agreements and incomplete studies, related to moving the freight train and ensuring that shallow tunnels do not impact the water in the Kenilworth Greenway. We believe that the problems with this alignment go beyond the potential negative impacts to the environment and our park system. We believe this project does not meet the transit needs of Minneapolis and the region. Our concerns include:

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Final At – Large Results

Here are the final results for the Park Board at-large candidates:

2013 Park Board At Large Election Results Tabulation – Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services:

John Erwin  14866.247200

Annie Young  13905.698000

Meg Forney  10973.337600

John Erwin – 25.00%

Annie Young – 23.39%

Meg Forney – 18.45%

Election Ends; Another ‘ New Name’ On Park Board

The following item by Bill McAuliffe was posted on the Star Tribune website on November 8, 2013:


Nearly 72 hours after the polls closed, Brad Bourn won the District Six Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board seat Friday, the final winner to be declared in the 2013 ranked-choice vote process.

The outcome was announced at about 7 p.m., culminating three long days of counting votes, eliminating candidates, redistributing their votes and doing it all over again. The park board count followed a two-day count in the mayor’s race, and the final sorting in the run for Board of Estimate and Taxation.

Incumbent board President John Erwin was reelected to his at-large seat on the park board. At-large commisisoner Annie Young, a board member since 1989, was also re-elected.

Meg Forney was declared winner of the third at-large seat at about 6:30 p.m. Friday, after former board President Tom Nordyke was eliminated. Nordyke was running for the seat he lost in 2009.

It was Forney’s fourth run for the board. She called the ranked-choice process “fascinating,” and said it helped that she was running for an open seat and not against a DFL-endorsed candidate. She filed to run when long-time incumbent Bob Fine decided to leave the board and run for mayor.

Forney joins Steffanie Musich as the newcomers on the nine-member board. Musich was unopposed for the seat being vacated by Carol Kummer.

Forney noted that the outcome contrasts sharply with that for city council, where seven of 13 members will be newcomers.

“The new council is like the kids, and the park board is like the parents,” said Forney, 64. “Hopefully we’re going to be a stable and productive board.”