BOISE, Idaho (CBS2) — The Ada County commissioners voted unanimously Monday to start the process of auctioning off the Barber Dam.
"Since the county is not statutorily required to operate a Dam, today’s vote gets the ball rolling on having the county get out of the Dam business," Ada County said.
The county has owned the dam since 1977. It was acquired because the original owner failed to pay taxes on it. By law, the county then took ownership.
The facility generates power that is sold to Idaho Power.
The Commission will set a minimum bid and allow adequate time for prospective bidders to inspect the Dam before significant water flows begin in spring.
Prospective bidders will need to demonstrate that they are financially able to own and operate a Dam under guidelines established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC is the federal agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil.
The Idaho Department of Water Resources issued a notice of violation to Ada County back in August after it said was there was an improper operation of the Barber Dam.
The IDWR said multiple canal operators notified crews that water flows had been reduced after an hour-long power outage which interrupted the Boise River flow downstream for a period of time.
The IDWR also said it notified the county of a $50,000.