Moore breaks deadlock; kills new hydro committee
3 months, 2 weeks ago by Bob Gough
The letter of intent with Coastal Hydropower is still on the table
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore broke a 7-7 tie and defeated a resolution by Alderman Dan Brink (R-6th Ward) and Alderman Mike Farha (R-4th Ward) to form a new committee of private citizens to examine the letter of intent and make a recommendation on moving forward with hydroelectric projects 60 and 90 miles down the Mississippi River.
Those opposing the resolution were Alderman Virgil Goehl (D-1st Ward), Alderman Lexze Mann (R-1st Ward), Alderman Jared Holbrook (R-3rd Ward), Alderman Paul Havermale (R-3rd Ward), Alderman Tony Sassen (R-4th Ward), Alderman Jim Musolino (R-6th Ward) and Alderman Terri Heinecke (R-7th Ward).
Those voted in the affirmative were Brink, Farha, Alderman Steve Duesterhaus (D-2nd Ward), Alderman Dave Bauer (D-2nd Ward), Alderman Mike Rein (R-5th Ward), Alderman Jennifer Lepper (R-5th Ward) and Alderman Jack Holtschlag (D-7th Ward).
After making the motion, Brink said several times he would not put the taxpayer at risk and the City was approaching a financial "tipping point" and needed to pursue options for revenues.
"I have done my own personal evaluations," Brink said before citing a litany of potential increases in fees and taxes the community is looking at including garbage and recycling and issues with the water and wastewater systems dealing with maintenance that has been put off for years.
Holbrook spoke the loudest in opposition of the committee.
"I want to make it absolutely clear to the citizens of the 3rd Ward and the rest of Quincy that I do not support pursuing hydroelectric power and I think signing the letter of intent is a waste of this council’s time and resources," he said. "My constituents and I do not have our heads in the sand: we realize that there is a chance that hydro power could one day lead to a revenue stream for the city government. My constituents and I think that’s beside the point----as a basic principle, the government should be creating an environment for private business to thrive---not competing with it. Our city government’s role should not include being in the business of selling and/or developing energy. We should let energy companies take those risks, realize those profits, and create those jobs."
"...I am voting against this commission because we were elected to make these decisions, not to pass the buck to non-elected leaders in our community," Holbrook continued. "Forming this commission will just be an attempt to insulate ourselves from the decision making process. It will give elected officials another non-elected group of people to blame should the project turn south. Any one of us can seek the thoughts of any citizen or any expert on hydro---we don't need a commission to do that."
The people being considered for appointment were former Gardner-Denver CEO Ross Centanni, DOT Foods CFO William Metzinger, retired educator and businessman Phil Conover, GREDF President Marcel Wagner and retired Judge Mark Schuering.
Moore said he had no input into the committee and knew nothing about it when it reached his desk Friday afternoon. He said he didn't not oppose some type of public-private committee being formed if the City Council goes ahead with the letter of intent.
The final vote letter of intent with Coastal Hydropower is scheduled for two weeks.
On August 12, aldermen voted to table a decision on entering negotiations with Coastal.
Supporters say if the plants at Lock and Dam 24 at Clarksville, Mo., and Lock and Dam 25 at Winfield, Mo. are built, the city and Coastal could possibly share revenue under a 40 year agreement, but the soonest any plants would possibly be online is years away.
Coastal representatives have told Quincy officials the city could recoup its earlier $5 million investment in hydro in a partnership and eventually share any generated revenues. Coastal representatives had initially said they were willing to take all development and construction costs and seek the projects financing, but Moore says the company has since backed off that stance.
In other action, aldermen approved:
*The low bid of Diamond Construction Co. in the amount of $344,344.60 for the 2013 Capital
*Purchasing ten X26 Advanced Tasers from Ray O’ Herron Co. for the amount of $11,295.50.
*The low bid of Wally Hutter Oil Co. in the amount of $21,837.50 for necessary fluids for maintenance of city owned vehicles.