Higley Association/RRPOC Discussions With Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, LP.

On July 11th, 2013, The Higley Association and Brookfield Renewable Energy Company held a jointly sponsored meeting at the Colton-Pierrepont Central School cafeteria. Property owners along Higley Flow were invited to attend. The purpose of the meeting was to allow for their input into the development of a Land Use Management Plan. Concerned residents filled the room and overflowed into the hallway.

Brookfield's Matthew Johnson, Compliance Mgr. for NY East Operations led the meeting. He explained that previous discussions with the Higley Assoc. and Raquette River Property Owners Committee (RRPOC) had been a bit of a disaster and Brookfield has come to realize that “One Size does not Fit All”. Tonight’s meeting is a new beginning for a working relationship and agreement process between the residents of the impoundment known as Higley Flow and Brookfield Power Company. Other areas along the river will be addressed at a later time. Matt noted that he is leading a new Brookfield group specifically formed to deal with Higley and certain Brookfield people from past discussions are either no longer with Brookfield or not involved with these discussions.  In addition to discussions with the Higley Association, the Raquette River Property Owners Committee, with current Chairman Micki Nesbit have had input toward forming a better working relationship for the future. Other RRPOC members are Larry Patzwald, Chuck Goolden, Dave Seymour, Robin St. Andrews, John Bartholomew, Ernie Stretton, John Collins, Lin Snyder (Higley Assoc. President), John Snell and John Shumway, all of whom are Higley property owners and residents.

Beginning discussion centered on the uncertain and extreme water level fluctuations and how it impacts use of the water and damage to property.  Matt Johnson explained that there had been some recent human error and apologized but also pointed out that under the new FERC license, Brookfield is much more restricted in how it handles water flow and the levels upstream, especially Carry Reservoir.  Much of the new (as different from the license with the old Niagara Mohawk) federal restrictions are a result of input from environmental group and agencies having concerns for fish and fauna. Federal laws and guidelines have changed with the current license and no matter what company controls the water, “The Flow” can't return to exactly how things used to be under previous contracts and Federal guidelines but they are trying very hard to balance the highs and lows.

Other discussions included the conduct of recent surveys to determine if properties were in a flood zone, whether specific property liability insurance amounts would be required and whether any dock fees were planned.  Matt reported that the surveys have been completed and those parties found to be in a flood zone who were not previously designated as being in a flood zone have received written communication. Matt was upbeat about there being no fees or a set insurance amount, however, attorney and property owner John Collins (also a member of the RRPOC) said the reality of it all is that attorneys and the courts would eventually settle any such matters. Mr. Collins did stress that we should not be signing
anything at this stage.

At the end of the evening, the group whole-heartedly supported having the Higley Association and the Raquette River Property Owners Committee continue discussions with Brookfield on the property owners' behalf and to have the minutes of those meetings made available to the residents.

For those times when it's necessary to report navigational hazards or other issues to Brookfield, contact info is as follows:

Brookfield Renewable Energy
New York East Operations Center
Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P.
399 Big Bay Road
Queensbury, NY  12804
Tel:  518-743-2017
Fax: 518-745-4292
Matt Johnson, Compliance Manager