I am writing in response to the article, “PUD’s studies support proposed mini-dam on Skykomish”: There are a number ways that PUD is underestimating the impacts of doing this project. One of them is the cost. Included in the figure quoted from Kim Moore for installing the dam is the overhaul and annual funding of the WDFW Trap &Haul facility located at Sunset Falls. Recently PSE completed a similar renovation of a trap and haul facility on the Baker River at a cost of $18 million.
Snohomish County PUD ratepayers would be obligated to pay for this facility as part of the mitigated cost of this project and continue to pay annual operating costs for at least 50 years. Wouldn’t it be a better use of these funds to help low-income families replace inefficient baseboard heaters, windows and insulation while investing more financial resources in modern alternative energy sources such as solar?
While I applaud PUD on many of its programs, this project seems to have tunnel vision. This particular site has been studied five times in the past and has been rejected. Currently PUD is spending several million dollars to once again study a site that has been proven to be not viable for a dam.
For further information please go to www.savetheskyriver.com.