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OLD POWER PLANT RESTORED

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The Barber Dam hydroelectric power plant on the Boise River three miles upstream from Boise has been dedicated by the Salt Lake-based Bonneville Pacific Corp.

In 1988, Bonneville Pacific acquired the rights to develop the historic site with the understanding to restore the dam, its adjacent structures and the power generation station to an operating power plant under terms set by the National Historic Register."All efforts have been taken to ensure strict compliance with the wildlife mitigation and sedimentation control measures agreed to by state and federal authorities," said Raymond L. Hixson, BP chairman. "We want to preserve the surrounding area for the benefit of both animal life and the people who will visit the site," he said.

The power plant's two new turbines produce 4.5 megawatts of electricity for sale to Idaho Power Co. under a 35-year power purchase contract. Projected annual revenues are $900,000.

The dam was built by Barber Lumber Co. in 1906 to provide a power source and mill pond for the Barber saw mill. It was taken over by the Idaho-Oregon Light and Power Co. in 1909, which was acquired by Idaho Power Co. in 1916.

Idaho Power operated the power plant until the late 1930s when it was abandoned in favor of newer and more efficient plants. The mill pond was used by Barber Lumber Co. until 1934 when the mill was dismantled and later the dam wasn't used.