ND hydroelectric project advances with good neighbor concessions

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Plans call for a hydroelectric power generating facility to be built in South Bend’s Seitz Park — but will it be a good neighbor?

A project agreement unveiled Thursday speaks to that issue.

“You’ve got a lot of competing interests here. A lot of different projects going on at once, then you’ve got some folks that live there,” said Daniel Buckenmeyer with South Bend’s Community Investment Department. “Everyone involved, the city, Notre Dame, everyone that’s moving along there wants to make sure that those folks that live there already are accommodated and comfortable.”

In the agreement, the University of Notre Dame agrees to pay the owners of the neighboring Stephenson Mill Apartments $500,000 for making site-related concessions, like releasing its rights to 0.58 acres and agreeing to a replat of parcels in the area.

The agreement also spells out other Stephenson Mill protections extended jointly by the university and the city.

“There were a few accommodations for the owners, everything from accommodations for any potential loss in rent revenue if folks did move out due to any perceived inconvenience,” Buckenmeyer said. “There’s dust, of course, we’re accommodating them by power washing the structure itself after we're done with everything.”

The project agreement was approved at Thursday’s meeting of the South Bend Redevelopment Commission.

Work on the hydroelectric facility is expected to begin this summer and be completed about two years later.