IS IT TRUE? November 16, 2011


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE? November 16, 2011

IS IT TRUE that one of the uncertainties from the Vectren presentation to the Evansville City Council has been settled by a direct contact made by the City County Observer with Howard Bush, the Manager of Tariffs & Special Contracts for Kentucky Utilities office in Lexington, Kentucky?…that there was some uncertainty with respect to the current rate and the future rates that KU customers will be paying in 2016 after EPA attainment has been achieved?…that the current price paid by a KU customer for 1,000 kWh of electricity is exactly $86.70?…that today that same 1,000 kWh costs a Vectren customer $157.60?…that KU projects that in 2016 after a 20% increase for implementing EPA required improvements and general inflation that the cost of 1,000 kWh will be $105.00?…that if this is correct and if Vectren has no rate increases at all for any reason over the next 5 years that in 2016 the electric bills in SW Indiana will only be 50% higher than KU services areas?

IS IT TRUE that the Evansville Redevelopment Commission has scheduled an Executive Session for Thursday afternoon to discuss the prospects and maybe even a few details with respect to the downtown Convention Hotel project?…that of course this is a closed door meeting as we are becoming accustomed to after 50 years of this sort of business?…that any decision will have to go to the City Council for funding and that if it is not transparent and open that the members of this council or the next one will be coming under much public scrutiny over the commitment of public dollars to a private project?

IS IT TRUE that Fort Wayne made the Wall Street Journal this morning for missing out on the downtown Renaissance that many cities have enjoyed during the boom years?…that Fort Wayne was cited as being deficient on downtown residence development for only having 1,050 living units in the downtown?…that they did put out a press release yesterday stating that all will be better soon because some local developer will be converting an old empty office building into 40 condominiums?…that if only having 1,050 units constitutes being “left behind” that we really wonder how the Wall Street Journal would describe what Evansville has done?

IS IT TRUE that Mayor Weinzapfel was making another announcement yesterday and that this time it was regarding a $50+ Million deal to read water meters better and make free public wifi available throughout Evansville?…that for a city that ranked 368 out of 370 in internet connections to do any improvement in that area is a welcome thing?…that it was also stated by the Mayor that the free wifi is not expected to compete with our two existing providers, but will raise our ranking to the top quartile (top 92) cities for internet connectivity?…that from a technological perspective that this just seems to be impossible since the #368 ranking was for the Evansville region and not just the City of Evansville?…that this claim seems to be about as credible as creating 400 jobs by moving the jobs from Boeke Rd. to Walnut Street?…that what may indeed be a great deal seems to have gotten lost exaggerated claims that are made for political purposes?…that the opportunity to get $50 Million for nothing and change the techno game for the entire town sounds worthy of a cash flow diagram too?…that we shall cross our fingers that all of the Mayor’s claims are true?

IS IT TRUE that there have finally been a couple of complaints regarding the Ford Center that may have some merit?…that an Indianapolis based TV reporter stated that the TV friendliness of the Ford Center is basically abysmal?…that ESPN will be there tonight for the IU vs. UE game and that maybe we can get a second opinion?…that if ESPN agrees that the CCO expects this is an oversight that can be corrected?…that there are not exactly a rush of games played in Evansville that are televised but it would have been nice to be TV friendly?…that the other complaint is not about the Ford Center itself but with the convenience of picking up handicapped people who have been dropped off before the game?…that this is an exit protocol problem that we trust will be solved very soon?…that one is a growing pain?


  1. Another interesting aspect of the “free” WiFi deal/wireless meter reading is this quote from the C&P

    “Other public safety and service benefits include wireless video surveillance of local and public parks, a METS safe transit initiative and a municipal kiosk program for additional community services.”

    So video surveillance will be free? a high tech monitoring station will be needed and staffed 24/7 (central dispatch?), only parks? stop light cameras couldn’t be far behind, cameras in high crime areas?, neighborhood watch cameras?…George Orwell anyone?


  2. I am missing the “energy savings” which purport to pay for this ? $ 50 Million for nothing ? Cue Dire Straits !

    • Biscuit…..

      Another quote from the C&P story.

      “Johnson Controls will make the building and processes of the EWSU plant more efficient and will implement the a FOG program, which city leaders say is part of the money-saving component that will pay for the project.

      FOG stands for fats, oils and greases, which are currently landfilled or dumped into the sewer system and causing inefficiencies and possibly spills. Under the FOG program, the EWSU will collect such materials and produce methane, and some 500 kilowatts will be used to power its facility.


      So where will the FOG come from? out of the sewers? or will they drive around in tanker trucks grabbing all the spent french fry grease from Mickey D’s? Would that not make the city a hazardous waste hauler? and there are bound to be byproducts from turning fats, oils & grease into methane? bio-diesel would be a better plan IMHO.


      Another quote:

      “This and the other projects in the initiative are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 14,000 tons annually, the equivalent to removing 2,700 passenger cars from the road.”


      This is the saving…..14k tons of carbon emissions.

      Most of the plan is doable and would be a cost saving for the water department, but it would seem to be being sold as a everybody wins kinda’ plan that seldom turns out that way in the end…more like ooops! everybody pays in the form of rate increases on their water bills, kinda’ slick if you think about it, infrastructure improvements with no new taxes…


      • blanger, you are a good man, thanks for the lengthy research. Now I’m really confused. Has Johnson Controls picked up an outsourcing contract, and by picking up “the FOG” that will save them money by powering (the Water & Sewer Utility) by methane ? Overall, they will “save” 14,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions–but how do you turn that to cash to pay for the Wi-Fi ? Still sketchy to me, but that’s how I roll !

        • Your welcome sir….the troubling fact to me is that the story on the C&P is not correct in several issues, one restaurants are not allowed to dump grease or cooking oil down the sewers, they in fact must have grease traps installed and cleaned regularly as per city code.

          Grease, cooking oils are never sent to the landfill by restaurants (maybe homeowners?) but almost all restaurants contract for the removal and recycling of cooking oils with companies such as Griffin Industries.

          These just a lot of missing info in this which is very typical.

          Again it’s JMHO

  3. Isn’t the president of the ESWU Board Steve Titzer, CPA? Isn’t he also Chairman of the Board for Harding, Shymanski & CO? Doesn’t this firm do audits for multiple city departments and committees? Hasn’t Winnecke tapped Mr. Titzer to be part of his 15 man transition team? Does raise anyone else’s eyebrows?

      • The yellow shirts tried to tell you people to wake up!

        Winnecke = Weinzapfel = Winnecke = Weinzapfel

        Is anyone surprised? I didn’t think so.

      • You might as well just keep them raised… it’s gonna be a long 4 years. And, when Eric Williams becomes our next mayor in 4 years, things won’t change either. He’s proven he’s one of Owen’s cronies, which is disgusting, because I thought Eric had some character.

        The lesson here is – there’s no hope for those eyebrows going down anytime in the next several years. Bummer.

    • 1) Harding & Shymanski prepares the Review (as opposed to Audit) of The Centre;

      2) Greg Elpers of H&S is a member of the illustrious ERC; and

      3) I believe the comment about Steve Titzer being the President of the Water Board is true (I know he’s on the board, don’t know about the President part).

  4. Does anyone have any idea what Soon2B Mayor Winnecke thinks about Weinzapfel committing to a $50 Million project in his last days? Will Winnecke even question it if Weinzapfel hires his cronies to build the hotel as his last give away before leaving town.

    • It would appear this deal was struck with Johnson back in May. But at that time we were only given an estimated amount of savings. $3mil. Now it looks like we’re getting a price tag. I guess free WiFi is supposed to be the candy that distracts everyone. Something smells dirty here. If this has been in the works for the last 6 months I have to guess Mr. Winnecke has known. If this ends up scandalous it would make sense that Winnecke/Weinzapfel would not want this announced until after the election.

      • This does indeed appear to the the trial balloon for this project. It still needs more definition on exactly what can be expected and when from a cash flow basis.

  5. There is no way, no way, this hotel is going to cash flow, based on the occupancy and rev par rates discussed in the proposals provided by the two developers. Much too optimistic. The city is going to have to back this hotel financially. Why the redevelopment commission has not ordered a feasibility study to act as as a means to validate its consultants is amazing. I bet they have not even ordered a Smith Travel Research report yet. Unless there is some sort of tax incentive, its going to be a long haul.

    • “long haul” ? Are you suggesting the downtown hotel be tailored to long-haul truckers ! I agree, that’s an inspired idea !:

      East Bound and Down
      Loaded Up and Trucking
      And We’re Gonna Do What They Say Can’t Be Done
      We’ve Got a Long Way to Go
      And a Short Time to Get There . . .

      Maybe some nice truck stop food for those folks getting out of the Reba concert at 11:00 PM !

  6. “Free” Wi-fi? Is anyone here so stupid as to believe that anything that involves Wienie-Zapple is really free??!! Wienie-Zapple of the “let’s throw out the homestead exemption, no one will notice?”

    The whole town can’t wait until that bato is safely ensconced in the arms of his in-laws in Indy. Let him screw up that town for the next eight years. He certainly screwed up this one!

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