More support for Quincy hydro project

UPDATED: February 23 at 4:55 p.m.

In a press release, KHQA learned that U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) sent a letter to the Chairman of the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC), Jon Wellinghoff, urging him to carefully review any appeal by the City of Quincy as to the facts surrounding the decision to dismiss the permit application.

"As you can imagine, FERC's sudden decision has left the City with the impression that the application was not given serious consideration on its merits. We urge your careful review of the application and the facts surrounding it," wrote the Senators.

"Neither the City nor the applicants were informed that the permit application was under reconsideration despite the fact that they have been in regular contact with the FERC regarding every new development in the project for more than four years. Throughout this period, FERC has never identified the partnership between the City and the corporations as a potential problem. In fact, the City followed FERC's guidance and encouragement in pursuing its application through the two companies."

Click here to read the letter to FERC.


There is still some hope for a hydropower project on Quincy's Lock and Dam 21.

Despite reports that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed the city's license application, Mayor John Spring says the project is still in the works.

Spring and other city officials made presentations to the Marion County Commission Tuesday, February 22nd in the hopes that they would support a tax restructuring formula for the project.

KHQA's Jarod Wells has the details.

Under the current tax structure in Missouri the tax impact on the hydropower project on Quincy's Lock and Dam 21 would be nearly $700,000.

Quincy Mayor John Spring said, "If we could change and have specific legislation for this project, based upon the turbines, we can make this project doable."

The Marion County Commission unanimously voted to support tax restructuring legislation. Essentially, the city will be paying the same amount of tax as it would in Illinois, a little more than $60,000 annually, if the legislation is passed. Getting support from the commissioners will help get legislation through congress to restructure the tax formula.

Marion County Presiding Commissioner Lyndon Bode said, "We feel it's very important for northeast Missouri and the central Illinois area, so we're glad to be a part of it. We know, looking at the tax structure, to keep this project going something needed to be done."

A restructured tax formula will help both sides of the river. It helps Quincy keep the project going financially and it means more tax revenue coming in for Marion County.

Bode said, "It's just a good project overall, funds that we can count on in the future, if everything goes correctly and keeps moving along, that we can just count on for a long time."

Spring said, "As was state by the commissioners, what's good for Palmyra and what's good for northeast Missouri, is also good for Quincy and west central Illinois."

The next step on the Missouri side of the river is to get this legislation passed.

On the Illinois side, Mayor Spring says the next step is to figure out what is happening with the Federal Energy Regulation Commission.

He says the city has not received anything official from the Federal Energy Regulation Commission dismissing Quincy's license application.

Spring added the city will appeal if need be.