I have followed the Enerdu discussion from the beginning and one aspect seems to be absent from the dialogue. The people of Almonte watched with interest, enthusiasm, some regret but mostly positive sentiment when the new generating plant was built below the bridge downstream. There was a recognition of the importance of renewable energy and the natural resource provided by the Mississippi River falls. Our community was not and is not against hydro power generation.
So why the uproar over Enerdu? Because it is in the wrong location and it contributes absolutely nothing to the local economy. In fact, there is a very real danger of it damaging the slowly emerging business sector that has struggled in the past but finally seems to have turned the corner and given the downtown a new vitality.
Our small historic town has the great fortune to have a scenic river running through it. It is in large measure why people visit Almonte. Power generation may have been a vital part of the industries that once occupied the historic mills. But there is a new industry in our town, and it’s called Tourism. And there is a new source of energy in town. It is the young entrepreneurs who are joining the established businesses to create an exciting place to live and a go-to destination for tourists from all over the world. They need to be supported in their efforts. Destroying the natural beauty of the river and it’s old mills cannot be the way to go.