The possibility of a power plant in Lent Township was an issue that fell flat a few years ago, but North Branch Mayor Ron Lindquist wants to revive the matter.
In an impromptu discussion toward the end of Monday’s council meeting that was not on the agenda, Lindquist said a power plant in North Branch could be a potential boon for the city.
“Maybe we should look into this power plant,” he said. “Somewhere down the line it’s going to surface again. I think I’d like to take an active roll in this and see what we can do.”
He noted a power plant in the city could be an attractant for businesses.
“We want this; it would help our revenue bonds out immensely,” he said. “Along with the power plant, other businesses will come right in with it.”
Councilmember Kathy Blomquist noted research would have to be done to determine if North Branch could meet the water needs of a power plant.
“It all depends upon what our geology is,” she said. “Get an atlas of where the aquifers are. Then we’d have a better idea if it’s a possibility and where it could go so they would have enough water. The water is going to be really key.”
Councilmember Trent Jensen agreed the issue would have to be thoroughly studied before a decision could be made.
“It sounds like something that should go to the Planning Commission, and we should find out if we have zoning,” he said.
Councilmember Joyce Borchardt added, “That also falls into the EDA (Economic Development Authority) plan of looking at developing marketing potential for the city and what can we do. What kind of services can we provide?”
Lindquist noted he doesn’t have a timetable figured out for researching the feasibility of a power plant.
“It would help the industrial park; it would help us all taxwise,” he said. “It’s just an idea. We can think about it until next meeting; there’s no rush.”