IS IT TRUE? Part 2 April 13, 2011


Is This Worth Fixing? $150,000 in, $50,000 out

IS IT TRUE? Part 2 April 13, 2011

IS IT TRUE that the City County Observer has seen a jump in traffic in the last week since we finally have our automatic publication notification system working correctly?…that our traffic numbers have been challenged and even mocked by certain operatives who are unwilling to share their names?… that the CCO does extensive analysis of exactly how much traffic we have, where it comes from, how long each visitor stays and what they read when on the site?…that we continually examine what is happening with the use of Google Analytics a third party traffic characterization service?… that we also monitor our rankings on Alexa and most recently on…that the numbers from coincide very well with the Google Analytics reports?

IS IT TRUE that has the CCO traffic estimated at 95,500 visits per month and rising?…that ranks the CCO as the third highest media website in the Evansville media market?…that the Courier and Press with a traffic estimate of 643,400 is first and WFIE with a traffic estimate of 240,000 is second?…that the CCO exceeds every other traffic estimate for such a site this side of Louisville including daily newspapers in Owensboro, Henderson, Madisonville, and a host of weekly publications?

IS IT TRUE that the new program of landlord registration has the potential to slow down or eliminate the continued abandonment of housing stock in the City of Evansville?…that this program has little capacity to provide any impetus to do the extensive repairs needed on a large number of homes that are currently uninhabited?…that one of the reasons that the number of abandoned homes in Evansville has doubled in the last 10 years according to the US Census is that there has been an adversarial relationship between landlords and code enforcement?…that this program with expedited permits and preferred treatment with complaints may really expedite getting the little things done to prevent future abandonment of habitable homes?…that Vanderburgh County Building Commissioner Ben Miller is a practical, fair, and honest man and that the CCO wishes this program the best

IS IT TRUE that Tom Barnett, Director of Metropolitan Development has accurately pointed out that there are 8,000 uninhabitable homes in Evansville that need at least $1 Billion in repairs to be decent again?…that if that $1 Billion is spent on these houses that they will only have a market value of $400 Million or 40% of the cost to repair them?…that with a shrinking population that there is no reason to think that there is even any demand for these homes?…that the cheapest and perhaps the best solution to this dilapidation issue is to spend $40 Million and just tear the things down?…that if enough of these houses are torn down in areas where the Combined Sewers are that there is the possibility to reduce the number of sewers that need to be repaired and thus saving some of the anticipated $500 Million bill to satisfy the EPA order?

IS IT TRUE that what Evansville really needs to counter the spiral of Detroitization is a vibrant economy, a growing population, an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurship, available equity investment funds, cleanliness, a well kept park system, etc., etc., etc?…that the song remains the same and that the longer it plays the less likely that it will be to change that tune?…that maybe this is the year to make some real changes?…that we reiterate once again the THE CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR OF EVANSVILLE should offer the public some substance about how to start to repair the situations that started and continues to cultivate the Detroitization of Evansville?…the CCO and the people of Evansville are still waiting for direction for our aspiring political leaders?


  1. If consolidation raises land development costs in what is now the unincorporated Vanderburgh County, then construction of new apartments and starter homes will increase in Warrick County to meet the demand of the continuing flight of inner city and near inner city residents.

    • How about this. Open up the opportunity to adj. prop. owners, then to Habbitat or other housing charity. GIVE em away. Get the city out of realestate business. Let someone else make the refurb / demo-rebuild call. Let them pick up 100% of that cost. The city clears all local leans and donates the property. New owner has 6mo to demo or start refurb. 1year finish construction or ownership goes back to city and all costs incurred by city will be paid back with interest. Win neighbors – Win city – Win tax payers
      Dems wont like it because it is $$ coservative
      Repubs will say no because it doesnt benefit corporations
      Unions will gripe because do-it yourselfers usually don’t pay union dues.
      So never mind…..start adjusting your budget and get ready for the tax increases

  2. “(Is it true) that if enough of these houses are torn down in areas where the Combined Sewers are that there is the possibility to reduce the number of sewers that need to be repaired and thus saving some of the anticipated $500 Million bill to satisfy the EPA order?” [Quoted from the article above.]

    This assumption runs completely counter to the master plan concept of infill development of the urban core.

    • Of course it does, but of for example if 5,000 of the 8,000 houses that need to be torn down can eliminate 25% of the need for sewer repairs then spending $25 Million tearing down houses eliminates $750 Million in repairs. That is about as good of a return as you will ever get. Now what would we do with the newly cleared land? How about making it a wetland like it was before the houses were built there?

      • Removing residential structures from the inner city or near inner city does not automatically remove the need, or part of the need, to separate combined sanitary/storm sewers IF new replacement housing is built on the fringe of the service area, BECAUSE you still are pumping the same or nearly the same amount of sanitary sewage through the system, and through the same combined sewer trunk lines on its way to the treatment facilities.

        However, your point may be valid if you demolish enough residential structures in the inner and near inner city while consolidating the unincorporated areas, raising the cost of residential land development sufficiently to drive housing starts into Warrick County and outside Evansville’s sanitary sewer service area.

        • In other words, what I’m saying directly to your assumption is that the majority of sanitary sewage is directed through combination sewers along the last leg of its journey to the treatment plants. And so long as the existing combined trunk lines remain in the ground, most of the sanitary flow from the bulk of the service area is directed through those trunk lines whether from old delapidated housing or newly built replacement housing. Therefore, the federal mandate to prevent periodic CSO (combined sewer overflow) discharge into the Ohio River and Pigeon Creek remains in force, and the city still will have to construct the same diversions, replacement trunk lines, in-line weirs, or last ditch bulkheads to prevent illicit discharge, because basically the same volumes must be dealt with.

          • So, if driving off population to neighboring counties will save the city money it doesn’t have to spend on CSO separaton or diversion, then maybe consolidation is the answer!

    • Yes we have and our question to these two well meaning public servants who recognize the value of parks is “why has the time, money, and dedication that is needed to keep our parks in even acceptable condition not been allocated?”. We await an answer and will happily publish any parks plan that any candidate for office submits.

      • That’s what I thought. It does take a lot of time and money to repair/refurbish something that has been neglected for years. If the parks had been properly maintained all along, they wouldn’t be in the condition they are in now and there wouldn’t be this huge pit to crawl out of just to get back to a minimal level of respectability.

  3. Joe, if you will check with Keep Evansville Beautiful group you will find that I have some ideas on how to improve our parks. That I have shared in a questionnaire I received from the group. Be glad to share them with you sometime.

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