Earthcare Loan Extended Another Two Years



Zach Stuard

Ted Ziemer, City of Evansville Attorney
Ted Ziemer, City of Evansville Attorney

In a bold move Monday night the Loan Administration Board voted in favor of a motion to extend the duration of the Earthcare Energy loan. The vote passed 3-1 with former City Council President Connie Robinson being the only vote against the 2 years extension proposed by Ted Ziemer and the rest of the Loan Administration Board. The two year extension will follow the same requirements of the original agreement; Earthcare will make interest payments of $380.00 until their first generator is attached to a pipeline. At that time Earthcare will begin to make principal payments as well as the regular monthly interest payments. The loan will be due, in full, on March 1st of 2016.

City-Council members Riley and Council President John Friend were in attendance and posed some serious questions as to the benefit of extending the defaulted loan another two years. The benefit of the extension as put by Ms. Dewey and Mr. Ziemer were to continue to receive interest only payments for another two years in a “worst case” scenario while they maintained that there is a “fair chance” the city of Evansville could receive payment in full by the end of the proposed extension.

Despite a concurrent attitude around the room that this loan was a “bad deal” all around the Board failed to consider any vetting as proposed by President Friend and Councilwoman Robinson. Friend and Robinson suggested that the Loan Administration Board receive current financial statements from Earthcare before extended the period of the loan, as any banking institution would on a regular basis. Instead the four ( Lindsey, Riley, Friend and O”Daniel ) council members, excluding Robinson, in attendance were met with questions of being in violation of sunshine laws. It was also stated by Ziemer that because the financial statements of Earthcare had been reviewed prior to the loan being administered two years ago that current financial data was not required to extend the loan period.  In Mr. Ziemer’s words “We know they cannot pay us back the loan today. Receiving current financial records from Earthcare would tell us nothing different at this time. That is why I think it is best that we take this “bad deal” and continue to receive interest payments each month while giving them time to manufacture and install a generator while hoping for the best.”

The Mayor appointed Loan Administration Board seemingly failed to recognize that the Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund used to make the loan is indeed taxpayer money. Instead they continue to claim that the money was, indeed, not tax payer money even though the fund is a federally funded by the taxpayers of this country. When finally presented with Councilwoman Riley’s proposed measure to rescind the total 4.8 million dollar deal a series of scoffs broke out across the room and Mayor Winnecke’s Chief of Staff, Steve Schaefer tauntingly stated “Do it” in an almost threatening tone. Riley is expected to move on the measure Wednesday and is expected to have the support of the majority of City-Council behind her.


    • I wish someone would give me a multiple hundred thousand dollar loan knowing I couldn’t pay it back and just keep putting off my end of the bargain… what a deal.

      I’ll say this now; Evansville will never be paid in full, especially if that 4.8 million happens.

      • I doubt they’ll get their hands on the 4.8 million. I think City Council is “on” that, but it might have happened if CCO hadn’t sounded the alarm.

        • Until such time that the City Council formally rescinds the loan approval, the Mayor is fully within his authority to make the loan.

    • stealing someone’s Thunder from yesterday . . .

      Is this an act of ‘self-dealing’ under the IN Statues ?

      1) What is the interest rate to be received from Earthcare during the extension ?;

      2) What is the Jumbo CD rate which could be received over the 2 years if the $ 200K was tacked on to another long-term investment ?

      If 1 < 2, then Houston, we have a problem !

  1. Why would the federal money go to an appointed board, when the city council exist? SBR should have picked shaeffer by the head and shook him. There is no reason for “Earth care” to even pay the interst, they moved the money to Texas, te Nev. llc is defunct, no assets.

  2. Federal money was claimed not to be “tax money” for this loan. Does this line of thinking on par with several years ago when the Ford Center approval was claimed to be financed without “property taxes”? It was coming from people who were using the motel/hotels and was being charged a …….TAX !

  3. You’all forgot to point out that the Mayors legal counsel (Ted Ziemer) was paid $1.3 million dollars last year by the taxpayers of this city. Shameful.

    • Which is why I don’t understand the reasoning behind the extension. Surely the collection of this loan would allow him to bill the city an obscene amount of money. Although, I would suspect that chances for a successful collection are minimal at best.

      • Oh but you are missing the big payoff. The re-election of Winnecke will keep that $1.3 Million a year coming into his firm’s coffers. The value of protecting Winnecke from adverse publicity to Mr. Ziemer is between $5 Million and $6 Million of real revenue during the 2nd term. An Earthcare scandal before the 2015 election cycle may just unring Mr. Ziemer’s future cash register. The legal fees for writing collection letters are nothing more than a tip.

  4. (slamming shoe on conference room table)

    This investment is going to pay off in spades ! I will show you ! You will rue the day that you challenged my wisdom !
    You will all be sorry ! SORRY, I say !

    • I know this is satire, but we may see him actually do something like it, if the hubris goes unchecked.

  5. Ziemer needs to be retired. Speaking on behalf of retards everywhere, I apologize for his statement that ” we know they can’t repay us today. But receiving current financial statements won’t change that”.

    I wonder if Earthcare is even the party making the interest payments ? Maybe one of LW’s minions set up a shell corp. for the purpose of creating the appearance of repayment ? That might explain why Earthcare was a no show at the meeting yesterday (couldn’t afford to buy gas to drive here, I’m guessing).

    • Hey! I’m in charge of the retards! They call me their “denigrated spokesperson.” I think that’s what it’s called anyhoo.

      • Councilman Weaver,

        I am sorry you have been denigrated. When do you anticipate being able to remove the scarlet ‘R’ from your sweater ?

  6. Great attitude Mr. Ziemer. Go on the attack when the hard questions are asked.
    If the company formerly known as Earthcare cannot currently afford to repay the loan why give them 2 additional years to hide assets we may be able to go after today to get something for our investment.
    If this loan is never repaid those 3 unnamed persons on the Loan Administration Board that votes yes – as well as Mr. Ted Ziemer- ought to be “blacklisted” and never hold any office or perform any duties that directly impact the taxpayers of Evansville.
    They have shown zero backbone & zero interest in getting this admittedly “bad deal” of a loan collected.

  7. If I was an Evansville attorney I would really pi–ed off that the Mayors attorney was paid $1.3 million dollars in 2013 with city taxpayers money. Wonder how much Mr. Ziemer raised for the Mayor’s election?

  8. Better wake up Evansville because the Winnenke administration is milking our hard earned tax dollars.

  9. What is the BASIS for Dewey and Ziemer stating that there is a “fair chance” the City will receive repayment in full during the extension period ?

    Especially since they admit they have not seen current financials, how could they possibly know there is a ‘fair’ chance vs. ‘no chance’ or even ‘a great chance’ ?

    Let’s face the facts people: we are witnessing Fraud before our very eyes.

    • That “fair chance” is the same odds given any player at the slots on the boat, problem is another sucker will have to come along and give them money for us to get our loan repaid, I guess in that context there is a “fair chance” that another city is more gullible than Evanville but the odds are very slim.


      • Shouldn’t Evansville have a moral or ethical obligation to announce Earthcare, or whatever its new name is, as fraudulent enterprise so that other cities are warned. Or maybe they won’t need the warning. Never mind.

    • The same baseless gut feelings they had two years ago when Dewey “saw it with her own eyes” and Ziemer wrote a contract that was so pathetic that the City has no contractual basis for having terminated the deal for lying.

      • “Debbie did a tremendous job, Debbie went to Nevada to put her eyes on the technology to insure it worked,” said Winnecke. ~~ WFIE Article

        You doin’ a heckuva job, Brownie.

        • They keep it up and you’ll me rubbing elbows with you in the democrat party. Bet that thought just caused you a cognitive crisis.

    • Helix Power of Webster Texas fell for this BS technology 2 years ago too. Today the website is not finished and they have no installations either. Dewey was blaming Earthcare’s failure to launch on bad press (CCO) at yesterday’s meeting. She is a total fool when it comes to technology. If Earthcare, Helix, and even Langston have not launched this thing in two years there is a technology problem. For Dewey or anyone else to blame the failure of a snake oil machine on “bad press” is just stupid. For God’s sake, the President supposedly went to Nevada too and that didn’t even get this POS funded. Give it up Evansville, Dewey and Winnecke have torched your money. Admit failure and go take a selfie.

    • Haney and crew have hit pay dirt in Jakarta:

      The operative words here being: “State owned”

      The game is called keeping one step ahead of the wolf. One assumes that, if this extension is approved by city council, Mr. Haney will be converting some of those Indonesian rupiahs into greenbacks and sending them along to meet his local obligations. Hey, it could happen. At least until the Indonesians catch on.


      • BTW, there is no Enviro Energy, LLC currently registered to do business in the State of Indiana.

        I’m guessing that Mr. Ziemer has that one covered.


          • Earthcare is still listed on the Indiana SOS website. Still using the 318 Main St. (Innovation Pointe) address.

            I would be surprised if GAGE has received much in the way of payment for the space provided Earthcare. Their annual report is due to be filed with the SOS by the end of this month.


          • Has anyone confirm the payments are definitely from Earthcare/Eviro?

            Could it be that the monthly payment may be coming from a third party that’s local?


            December 31, 2011

            In March 2012, the Bond Bank agreed to purchase a Revenue Bond issued by the City of Evansville for the purpose of making a loan to Earthcare Energy, LLC. The Revenue Bond helps finance economic development facilities situated within the corporate
            limits of the City and pay costs of issuance for an amount not to exceed $5,000,000. Principal and interest are due the first day of the month immediately following the second anniversary date of delivery of the Bonds. The interest rate will not exceed
            1.5 percent per annum.


            Well now, isn’t the date on this document interesting? I believe that would be the last day of the Weinzapfel administration, would it not?


            • This looks like a piece of evidence in a future criminal trial to me. If Weinzapfel set up a financial situation to employ some prominent Democrats on his last day in office then Evansville may need a new jail for everyone involved. This is criminal. Why has Winnecke remained silent? Isn’t that aiding and abetting?

      • They had that same story on the Earthcare website 2 years ago. I suspect that the date was changed to August of 2013 to coincide with the name change from Earthcare to Enviro. These guys are real operators.

  10. Does anybody know the names of the two bankers that serve on this loan board? Also what are the name of the banks they work for so I can avoid doing business with them

  11. Chalk it up as a loss. It will take more legal fees to attempt to get it back. Vote them all out and start fresh.

    • Realistically you are probably right on it. But as you say, we would need to get rid of the bad apples before I could in good conscience chalk up a $200,000 loss. And there is such a spiderweb of interconnected in the civic center — who works for whom, who owes whom, who scratches whose back, who kisses…….

  12. Notice that the two cheerleaders, Beaver & Weaver, were suspiciously absent. This deal stinks so bad not even the usual cast of minions showed up !!!

    • Is there any truth to the rumor floating around that one sitting member of the Evansville City Council was slated to become a highly paid executive for Earthcare and that another former member of the Council was to have been named Director of Operations for six figures. That is what I have been told.

      • I would give Ken Haney $1,000 out of my own pocket if he would rat out every local dirt bag who was in on this scam. Who introduced this so called “opportunity” to Mayor Winnecke? If we can get to the bottom of this ongoing mystery there is really a chance to give the machine a black eye. Make no mistake, Haney and company are not the only guilty dogs in this farce.

  13. Yes, this is a very sound decision by the council. I have a friend who, likewise has a great invention that would employ thousands at high paying jobs for Evansville. We should trust him with oh, say, $500,000 for starters. After all, we now have precedent that a similar loan of only 40% is entirely successful. Fantastic work, city leaders.

  14. A great FOIA request would be for all of the e-mails between the City and Earthcare made in anticipation of the due date and the extension.

    Betting there were none.

  15. I don’t know Ziemer, but he seems to really lack character.

    Why would USI align with a ‘character’ like this ??

      • You said the two magic words. I met Ted’s mother many many years ago when I was a small child. She was sort of “above others” then. Nice but monied.

  16. ahlan, will City Council issue a statement condemning this blatant act of dishonesty ? If not, why not.

    SBR, O’Daniel or Friend could be authors.

    • ahlan, mustaffa.

      At a bare minimum, when Council rescinds the Loan offer (for the $ 5 Million) I surely hope they will open the topic of this extension up to the floor for public comment.

      These actions by City Administration are just plain, flat-out WRONG. If left unchecked, you-bet-your-ass they’ll continue !!!

      • Is the next council meeting next Monday evening, March 10 when a vote will be taken to rescind the almost $5million for Earthcare? Or will this be at a different date?

          • From Ken Haney’s LinkedIn profile. He doesn’t even list ever having association with Earthcare Energy. He doesn’t list any jobs other than what is below.

            Enviro Energy, LLC
            June 2010 – Present (3 years 10 months)Houston, Texas Area
            Enviro Energy, LLC is a International clean energy project developer and licensee of the Langson
            Gas Letdown Generator(GLG).

            • FROM THE COURIER in JANUARY 2013: Ziemer was ready to collect then. What changed his mind?

              There is good news — and no news — about Earthcare Energy, the green energy startup company once slated to open a manufacturing facility in Evansville’s former Whirlpool plant.

              Earthcare hasn’t missed a single interest-only payment toward a $200,000 loan provided by the city in March, sending its most recent $370 check just 11 days ago. The payments are required by the loan agreement.

              But city officials say they have had no contact with the company since May, when the parties ended discussions over a proposed separate $4.8 million startup low-interest loan. Although Earthcare’s website gives a Humble, Texas, address, the chief executive of the Humble-based Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce has never heard of the company.

              “The name doesn’t ring a bell,” said Charlie Dromgoole, the chamber’s president.

              But the same website gives a telephone number with a Sacramento, Calif., area code — as its contact information. Messages left at the number went unanswered.

              Although Earthcare’s proposed deal with Evansville collapsed in May, the company’s site apparently hasn’t been updated to reflect that fact.

              “Due to a high volume of inquiries at this time, we apologize if we are unable to respond to your email,” the site states. “With regards to employment for our new plant in Evansville, IN., please note that we will soon make a public announcement on our website and in local media in Evansville, IN. with regards to how to submit an application for employment.”

              The Texas Secretary of State’s Office reports that Earthcare, which formed in that state in August 2011, retains its registration with the state. But the Secretary of State’s Office said it could not confirm the company is still in operation. A Public Information Report was filed on Nov. 29 — 52 days ago — listing Earthcare founder Ken Haney as the company’s managing member at a Houston address.

              According to the Evansville Department of Metropolitan Development, the loan payments Earthcare has sent to the city are drawn on accounts in the company’s name. Some payments were made using cashier’s checks with Earthcare Energy, LLC listed as the remitter.

              At the time negotiations over the proposed $4.8 million loan collapsed, Earthcare had already paid back $16,000 of the original $200,000. Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, who initially trumpeted the deal, said it was scuttled because Earthcare did not produce an exclusive license agreement for Evansville and because it did not seek a loan guarantee with the U.S. Department of Energy.

              The company wanted to build electric generators that would convert energy from natural gas as it leaves transcontinental pipelines to electricity.

              Ted Ziemer Jr., city government’s corporation counsel, said Earthcare will owe interest-only payments on the $200,000 loan every month until March 1, 2014, unless the company installs a generator on a customer’s natural gas line. In that case, Earthcare would begin making monthly payments of principal and accrued interest until the full amount due is paid off by March 1, 2014.

              If Earthcare does not install the first generator by that date, the entire principal for the $200,000 loan will become due then.

              “If they install the generator, that doesn’t mean the whole $200,000 is due that day,” Ziemer said. “It means that from that day forward, you compute what the monthly (principal and interest) payments would be in order to retire the debt by March 1, 2014.”

          • Maybe the Gage bunch is suffering from some sort of delusion brought on by group hysteria.

  17. The timing is definitely bad for Haney. He has the Indonesians on the hook and if things go south here it could blow the deal in Indonesia. He has a lot at stake and therefor if he has any type of leverage here you know he is going to use it.

    What that leverage could be I do not know, but I believe someone out there does. It probably centers around Haney’s first visit to this city.


    • It won’t matter. I suspect the Indonesians are a fantasy as well. They talked to a receptionist that promised to pass along a phone message.

  18. It is too bad that TAR and FEATHERING went out of vogue. There are several candidates mentioned above.

Comments are closed.