Mayor briefs Quincy City Council on FERC appeal

UPDATED: April 18 at 12:05 p.m.

Read the newest information on this story, FERC to Quincy: 'We need more time" here.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a new statement regarding Quincy's proposed hydropower project.

Click here to read the entire release.


Quincy Mayor John Spring is looking at two key dates regarding the future of the city's proposed hydropower project .

Jamie Busen with our news partner, WTAD , reports Mayor Spring told Council members during Monday night's meeting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has 30 days to respond to the city's Friday, March 18 filing for a rehearing.

The city and its attorneys are fighting FERC's February ruling which dismissed the city's applications for the hydropower project at Lock and Dam 21.

FERC has until Monday, April 18 to respond. However, it must publicly post on April 14 its agenda for the monthly meeting, which might include the city's appeal. The Commission next meets April 21.

"I think, from our standpoint, we have presented our case for a rehearing on the dismissal," Spring said during the Council meeting. He added the dismissal came from a Director at FERC, not the Commission - "although he does have authority to make that decision." He said the city is hopeful the Commission would allow Quincy to move forward with the project.

Spring noted it's possible FERC could respond only to say it needed more time to decide, "but we hope that they don't." The 53-page filing was thorough and "pretty straight-forward. It basically says, 'You have the wrong impression.' It's extremely well-documented."

In Friday's filing, the request was for an "expedited rehearing." That's because, Spring said, "we are in the middle of trying to secure a grant, which really started a lot of this."

He is referring to the Section 1603 grant program by the U.S. Congress, which could save an estimated 30 percent of the cost of the project. The city faces a deadline for eligibility.

The Mayor also said he and Mike Klingner of Klingner and Associates continue to make progress in Missouri, where they are requesting a tax break from the state to save an estimated $600,000 in taxes annually. The two have testified in both the House and the Senate and he said talks are "going quite well." He said it looks like they have the support they seek, and they are waiting for word as legislation moves forward.

In other action, Council members approved a resolution that would appropriate $1.1 million of Motor Fuel Tax funds for annual street maintenance.

City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp said he and his staff would get together with aldermen in the next month to go over grading of streets in their wards. Steinkamp said the funds, which aren't spent in their entirety each year, will go to maintain existing roads. That money will be for work done May 1 of this year to April 30, 2012.

Aldermen also:

*Unanimously approved the renewal of a contract with Robert C. Bouck, Inc. for the city's self-funded health insurance plan.

*Unanimously approved a recommendation from the traffic commission that a four-way-stop be placed at the intersection of Fifth and Vermont. That's the site of the Kroc Center , and the commission cited "increased pedestrian traffic" as the main reason.