Char-Koosta News

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Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes aids Energy Keepers, Inc. with Kerr Project takover

PABLO — On Thursday, July 10, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council took the next step in the long-awaited acquisition of the hydroelectric generating plant, Kerr Project.

The action to loan Energy Keepers Incorporated (EKI) $30 million dollars for the remaining capital will allow EKI to hit the ground running upon takeover of the Kerr Project in September 2015. The resources enable acquisition of the facilities, while also funding EKI reserves to assure the continued payment of the land rental charge to the Tribes, in addition to future capital improvements.

This action secures the Kerr Project for Tribal ownership and provides a healthy rate on interest paid back to the Tribes as part of the terms on the twenty-year loan.

Tribal Chairman, Ronald Trahan, thanked his fellow Tribal Council members for the vote of confidence in loaning the funds to EKI and for their vision and commitment to a long-term Tribal goal.

“Our leaders in the 1930’s and 1940’s saw the future of the dam,” said Chairman Trahan. “These elders and leaders knew some day we would take this action for the future of our Tribe. This action will sustain our Tribes and provide for generations to come.”

The Tribal Council and EKI are taking the business steps necessary to facilitate ownership and management of the Kerr Project. The dam is located on the Flathead River and was one of the first hydroelectric generating plants licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, then called the Federal Power Commission in the 1930’s.

Under the terms of the 20-year loan, EKI will pay the Tribes 6 percent annually on for the first 10 years of the loan, with payments adjusted to the prime lending rate plus 2.75 percent for the second 10 years.

“This is an important step for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes,” said Chairman Trahan. “Today we move closer to the goal of managing our own resources for the many generations to come.”

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