Today I received an email from Beth Barrett, Grants Director at Congressman Joe Donnelly’s South Bend office as a follow-up to the hydro-electric generator project on the Dam at Century Center:

I am following up on some previous contacts.  Have you made any progress with the hydroelectric power project?  I believe last spring I told you I had spoken with several local officials about the idea and most were in favor of using the river’s power potential.  Of course, there are several entities that must be involved-the city, county and the power company-to make this a viable plan.  Any federal funding would need to be sought by the local government and a solid plan, with partnership among the involved parties, would need to be in place for funding to be considered.

It seems the recent energy crisis has made people (belatedly) aware of the need for clean power that doesn’t deplete natural resources.  Maybe the day has come for hydroelectric power?

Let me know if there is anything Joe’s office can do for you in the future.

Beth Barrett

Grants Director

Congressman Joe Donnelly”

Anyone who has watched this blog site knows I am already aware of the coordination of entities that must be involved to make this project a “viable plan”.  The city has a viable plan and is very much interested in seeking federal funding for assistance with this project.   It’s my understanding, however, that there is currently no federal funding available for a project such as this. Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Energy Security and Independence Act last December, which South Bend could apply for, however, Congress, of which Donnelly is a member, has yet to fund this legislation.  Why was it so easy to “find” money to bailout reckless Wall Street investors to the tune of over $700 billion but funding grants for clean energy projects that generate clean energy jobs seems less urgent?

see this post for my response to Ms. Barrett