UPDATE: Hydropower Corporation votes to hire law firm

Lock and Dam 21 at Quincy / KHQA file photo

UPDATED: 4:10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Quincy's hydropower corporation has voted to hire a Washington D.C. law firm to appeal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Van Ness Feldman would help the city appeal last week's denial of a license and permit to proceed with a hydropower project at Lock and Dam 21.Counsel Joe Duesterhaus told the corporation it will cost between $25,000 to $45,000 for the administrative proceeding alone.

He says that amount is reasonable for D.C. law firms.

One member of the corporation noted that one of the firm's attorneys used to work for FERC, and thus is quite familiar with the licensing process.

Mayor John Spring says he finally received official notice from FERC today, but it came with no formal letter.

The city council must agree to plans to hire the law firm and will discuss plans to move forward on Monday.

The City of Quincy has 30 days to appeal.


UPDATED: 5:01 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

The City of Quincy might get legal help to proceed with plans with a hydropower project at Lock and Dam 21.

KHQA's Rajah Maples spoke with City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer Thursday afternoon.

He said the city's hydropower corporation will meet Friday at 3 p.m. to discuss hiring Van Ness Feldman, a Washington, D.C. law firm.

The firm would help the city appeal the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision to dismiss Quincy's applications for a license and permit.

Bevelheimer said the city council would have to approve the plans before moving forward.


UPDATED: 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, 2011

Quincy Mayor John Spring told KHQA today he fully intends to be at the meeting in Palmyra on Tuesday morning to discuss the tax structure, and that he is ready to move forward with efforts to get necessary legislation approved by the Missouri General Assembly.


UPDATED: 10:55 a.m. Monday, Feb. 21, 2011

KHQA has confirmed with Mark Stover, Vice President for Corporate Affairs with Hydro Green Energy , that his company is "still quite interested" in developing a low-impact hydropower project at Lock and Dam 21.

Hydro Green Energy lists projects at the Quincy lock and dam, plus at Lock and Dam 20 at Canton and Lock and Dam 22 at Saverton, on its website .

Stover also told KHQA via email that the "decision by the comission was quite predictable and should come of (sic) no surprise, especially to the City's regulatory consultants."

Marion County Presiding Commission Lyndon Bode also called KHQA this morning to say that a meeting between himself, Quincy Mayor John Spring and other city officials to discuss the tax structure for the proposed hydropower development still is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 22 at the Marion County courthouse in Palmyra.

Read more about that taxing agreement in the works here.


UPDATED: February 18 at 9:23 p.m.

Executive News Director Carol Sowers spoke with Quincy Mayor John Spring on KHQA's News at 5. He said he had no knowledge of this latest development and learned about it at Click on video for the full interview.


UPDATED: February 18 at 4:45 p.m.

FERC spokeswoman, Celeste Miller, called KHQA to let us know that the commission has officially issued a notice cancelling the environmental site visit that was set for March 8.

You can see that notice here .


It appears the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is saying "no" to Quincy's hydropower project.

KHQA has obtained a document that dismisses applications for a license and permit from Great River Hydropower, LLC and Mississippi River Number 21 Hydropower Company, two groups working with the city on this project.

You can read the entire document here .

City planner Chuck Bevelheimer told KHQA Friday that he's been working with another arm of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the past month to plan an environmental site visit here on March 8.

But a FERC spokeswoman, Celeste Miller, told KHQA Friday those visits typically are cancelled after an order like this is issued.

She also said this potentially opens the door for other interested hydropower developers at Quincy's lock and dam.

We know that at least one other company filed a preliminary permit application for lock and dam 21 last year.

The order issued by FERC prohibits the city and the other groups it was working with from reapplying for one year.