The Barker Mill Dam uses the Little Androscoggin River to generate power. Hydropower has an impact on river flows, the environment and recreational opportunities, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process takes those impacts into consideration. The current license expires in 2019. We only get a chance to comment on a license renewal every 30 to 50 years so it is important that we advocate for compatibility and even contribution to accomplishing community goals in exchange for using the public’s river for private power generating revenues. This page is intended to help make sure documents related to the relicensing are available to the public.
Based on past Council direction, we asked for the owner to assess recreational access including fishing and viewing improvements and future potential demand, a white water potential study at varied flows and a review of public and private benefits of the facility. We have been engaged with other stakeholders including the Androscoggin Land Trust, American Whitewater, Maine DEP, National Park Service, Trout Unlimited, and Maine IF&W. We have encouraged/helped the applicant to host past meetings in LA and at the Barker Mill Housing building and promoted the goals of the New Auburn Master Plan and Comprehensive Plan through the licensing process. There is a strong interest in recreation within the project boundaries and the New Auburn Master Plan Identifies increased river access as Recreation Goal # 1.
Any comments or questions can be directed to your city councilor or Eric Cousens, Deputy Director of Economic and Community Development at 333-6601, Ext. 1154. City comments on the latest documents (dated 2016 below) were submitted to FERC by the deadline of mid-January 2017.