Q: What is the Kinni Corridor Project all about?
A: The City of River Falls is embarking on a comprehensive, two-year planning process focused on the Kinnickinnic River Corridor and the existing and future relationship of the community with the river and adjoining urban and undeveloped areas.
When complete, the Corridor Plan will establish a future vision for the area and strategies for implementation. The Plan will address land use, economic development, renewable energy, recreation, tourism, and conservation opportunities to best meet the needs of the community.
Q. Who is in charge of the Project?
A: The City Council approved an 11-member Kinni Corridor Project Committee to provide oversight and guide the project over the next two years. Staff and consultant teams will work together to support the Committee and keep project activities on track.
Q: What is a “River Corridor”?
A: A river corridor includes both a river and the areas surrounding it. The breadth or width of the Kinni Corridor is yet to be defined. Corridor planning will start with an inventory of land use, natural and physical environments, and social/economic conditions. The inventory, with input from the community, will be used to create an initial determination of the corridor limits.
Q: How many miles of the Kinni are in the “Corridor”?
A: The Kinnickinnic River is 22 miles long. The segment that runs through River Falls and the surrounding townships – and considered for the project’s purposes to be in the “Corridor” – is six miles long. The segment of the river that flows through the City proper is approximately three miles long.
Q. How will you engage the community in the planning process?
A: A variety of public engagement strategies will be used to establish and continue the conversation with the entire community, including the project website; e-newsletters and
e-mail blasts; social media; a series of community discussions regarding topics of interest; surveys; two, hours-long community planning workshops; talks at local service clubs, organizations, neighborhoods, and faith communities; booths at a variety of community events; and more.
Q: I’ve heard that the planning process will address trout habitat and the overall health of the river. Is that true?
A: Yes. These issues will be addressed during the planning process.
Q: Will the planning process address the future of Lake George and Lake Louise?
A: Yes, the future of Lake George and Lake Louise is important to our planning process.
Q: What’s coming up next?
A: Public engagement activities (now underway) will continue to seek out the aspirations of the community while the technical components of the planning process get underway. The planning team will start looking at a series of maps, overlays, subsurface conditions (geology, soils, groundwater, and utilities) flood plain, ecosystem, habitats, threatened and endangered species etc. All the layers will define the influences on the planning process.
Next, the team and committee will begin discussing the guiding planning principles that will be applied as the process continues. Later in 2017, the focus will shift to scenario planning and illustrations, leading up to the first of two community workshops.
At the workshops, the planning principles will be tested, community input gathered, and maps of different scenarios will be developed and refined. After scenario planning, the effort will further narrow towards a preferred corridor plan and alternatives. A vision of the preferred alternative will be developed, reviewed, and presented to the City Council for their approval in 2019.
Q: How can I get involved?
Q: How long will the planning process take? When will a decision be made about future of the corridor?
A: The corridor plan is expected to be adopted in June 2019. Decisions regarding the future of the corridor will be made and refined throughout the planning process.
Q: I’ve heard about the hydro relicensing. What does that mean and what’s the timeline?
A: The City operates two hydroelectric generating facilities – one at Lake George and one at Lake Louise. The City was granted a 30-year license to operate the hydro facilities. The license is set to expire in August 2023. The corridor planning process will help to define the strategies available for renewing (or surrendering) the existing FERC. The City must notify FERC by August of 2018 as to its intent to relicense the hydro-electric facilities.
NOTE: The Corridor Planning process does not include the FERC-defined hydro-electric relicensing process; that will be a separate undertaking by the City. This process can take up to 5.5 years.
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: The project website (LINK to home page) makes it easier for the community to be engaged, stay informed, and become involved in the corridor planning process.
Q: Where do I sign up to receive information?