More than three dozen hardy souls braved the elements on a clear but cold Minneapolis December afternoon to show support for preserving St. Anthony Falls and to demonstrate opposition to a proposal by Crown Hydro to divert water to generate a relatively small amount of electric power.
Over the course of the many years in which Crown Hydro has been working on this project, we have seen our Minneapolis Riverfront transformed, especially in the Central Riverfront area. We’ve taken a part of our city which was shunned once it no longer proved useful as an industrial center and turned it into a vibrant recreational and residential area, creating business and tax revenue which make this city stronger.
“This is the only falls on the river,” says Kathleen Boe, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership. “This is the birthplace of Minneapolis. It is the center of our riverfront revitalization and it would be an abomination if the falls ran dry.”
As a reminder, over the past 25 years:
• The Stone Arch Bridge has reopened
• Mill Ruins Park opened
• The Guthrie Theater relocated
• Gold Medal Park opened
• A Mill was reopened as housing
• The lock and dam was closed
Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Liz Wielinski referenced all this and more at the event on Friday afternoon. “While (Crown Hydro has) been attempting for over 25 years to build a site on the west side of the falls, Minneapolis itself has gotten busy,” Wielinski told the group. “Crown Hydro is a little project that can’t. And FERC, it’s time to pull the plug.”
What can a concerned member of the public do to help? Contact FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and make an official comment using the FERC website. The project number for Crown Hydro is P-11175-025.