Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 10, 2013

Water power plans put on back burner

GOSHEN — Plans by a South Bend company to use the city’s powerhouse along the millrace canal to produce electricity generated by water power have been postponed indefinitely following a meeting of the Goshen Redevelopment Commission Tuesday afternoon.

Central to the discussion is Falling Waters LLC, which went before the commission back in July seeking an agreement with the city to lease a portion of the powerhouse and the nearby canal bank for use in the establishment of a hydroelectric or hydrokinetic electric energy producing operation. Any electricity generated by the company would then be sold to NIPSCO.
According to the initial request, Falling Waters was seeking a 25-year lease agreement with the city for a portion of the powerhouse property located just west and north of the powerhouse building at a cost of $125 a month beginning Jan. 1.
As part of that agreement, Falling Waters would need to install several structures at the site. Structures proposed include a 12-by-12 foot building alongside the trailrace bank as well as several turbines with housings and electrical connections from the turbines to the new powerhouse and from the powerhouse to the extant NIPSCO power poles for delivery to the grid.
Due to concerns connected to the aesthetics of the proposal and the length of the requested 25-year lease, the request was tabled until the commission’s Sept. 10 meeting in order to allow Falling Waters time to develop some solid design proposals while also allowing the RDC time to establish an aesthetic standard for the project that was acceptable to everyone on the commission.
However, during the Sept. 10 meeting, additional questions were raised regarding the requested lease length and amount, leading to the tabling of the request for an additional 30 days.
According to Goshen Community Development Director Mark Brinson, the original lease proposed in the agreement included payment in lieu of taxes, which would be phased in over several years.

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