IS IT TRUE September 11, 2013

Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics
Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics

IS IT TRUE September 11, 2013

IS IT TRUE we asked Evansville City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr. how the bond payment for the Ford Center would be paid in the event the downtown TIF was not capable of making the payment and have received an answer?…we appreciate Russ’s willingness to answer this question very much and present it to our readers the way he answered it?… the 2014 Budget for Arena bond payments is approximately $8.1 million?…payment sources per bond documents are the City of Evansville’s share of the Food & Beverage tax supplemented by1/2 TIF funds and 1/2 Riverboat Funds with County Option Income Tax (COIT-LIT) as a backup in the event that those three sources have insufficient funds to make any of the payments?…the 2014 City of Evansville collections of the Food and Beverage Tax is estimated to be $750,000, leaving the downtown TIF to pay $3,675,000 and Riverboat Funds to pay $3,675,000?…that Controller Lloyd assured us that both funds have sufficient money to make this payment?…he further let us know that typically even TIF supported bonds have backup payment sources to avoid default?…in the case of Ford Center the COIT was added as a funding source to make the bonds more saleable?

IS IT TRUE we have previously established via the 2012 annual report for the downtown TIF that 2012 was a year that the TIF spent $1.5 Million more than it took in?…there is a sufficient accumulated balance in that TIF to make the kind of payments that Controller Lloyd estimated for a few more years so all should be well with the Ford Center note through 2015 or so?…the real wild card looming is the continued reliance of Riverboat Taxes to fund long term bonds when the revenues of the Indiana Riverboats has been in a slow decline?…it was recently reported that Indiana casinos as a whole have seen a 12% decline in revenues over the last year?…Evansville’s Tropicana was somewhat less affected only seeing a 2.4% decrease in revenue?…this will translate directly into a lower payment to the City of Evansville at a time that the City seems to be on a spending spree with the Riverboat Money pushing fixed expenses closer and closer to the anticipated revenue?…this financial decision is very much like a family where the breadwinners are getting pay cuts and or their hours cut back going forward with building a swimming pool or putting in a room addition on credit?…counting on the downtown TIF and the Riverboat funds to cover everything is a risky and unwise financial plan and anyone that can add who has the discipline to do a 25 year spreadsheet will learn that very quickly?

IS IT TRUE it was reported yesterday that “the deliberations of the City Council with respect to funding the downtown hotel are just about ended”?…in that very same article is was reported that the VETTING was not even started yet?…while we do not doubt the accuracy of either of these statements we find them to be rather conflicted?…it is entirely expected based on Google searches that the principles of HCW will pass background checks and credit checks with flying colors?…the VETTING of the results of other projects they have done like Branson Landing are not so assured of being in the bag as winners?…there are plenty of things out there that have been published about that and other projects that look very much like the Ford Center in underperforming financially relative to the financial projections used to entice the powers that be to move forward with the project?…that will raise the question of is this proposed hotel, retail, restaurant, and apartments project really the best use of $37.5 Million borrowed dollars assuming it is wise to borrow that much money in the first place?

IS IT TRUE then candidate Winnecke made some big statements regarding the establishment of angel networks and venture capital to invest in start-up technology based companies that would in turn create jobs and wealth in Evansville?…then candidate Winnecke spoke glowingly of the contract signed in 2008 between GAGE and NAVSEA to enable the entire federal portfolio of patents available to companies in a 26 county region centered in the City of Evansville?…after 20 months in office nothing but a bus trip to Crane, IN for politicians and academics seems to have happened?…Evansville remains the only city in America with a population over 100,000 that does not have so much as a branch office of a venture capital firm?…in the meantime out in Palm Springs, CA the Coachella Valley Innovation Hub has just seen one of its companies go from a one man operation to become a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of $18.4 Million in that same time period with 18 more such companies in the pipeline for similar liquidity events?…the public investment in that company was exactly ZERO but the support structure in place for such companies is now regarded as the best in California and has an acceptance rate for company applications for membership of less than 20%?

IS IT TRUE if Evansville can ever get over the misguided vision that fun and games is the only thing worthy of public investment and the only ticket to economic prosperity such things could happen in Evansville?…the fields of clean coal technology, fracking, and plastics should be areas where technical innovation and commercialization are vibrant and prosperous and Evansville is a well positioned as any place or even better to pursue such activities?…talent is the necessary ingredient to do this things and talent follows investment dollars?…the real problem is that those investment dollars do not exist in Evansville?…this is not a problem that a hotel, dog parks, or any assortment of fun and games temples will ever fix?


  1. Interesting place that Palm Springs CA. Others include Savannah Ga. Charleston SC. San Diego CA. Any community along low counties and parishes of the eastern seaboard, or Gulf of Mexico.
    The most looming problem the whole country faces today is how to adapt effectively with the established climate change and sea level raise along the whole of the coastlines on the planet. That’s real stuff could(will)even cause human foot print migrations.
    Pick up an September issue of National and comprehend.
    I have,and do have some positive solutions,easy stuff its just infrastructure engineering for development of commerce. BIG money commerce for the region that perfects it first,and of course the jobs and revenue follow that.
    Human Bio-technical environmental boom so to speak.
    I couldn’t think of an better model for that than right here along the Ohio River water shed system.
    We have been mandated to do this anyway. WE need to start leading in the learning and applications of true earth sciences here this can also grow the heck out of downtown with an student population that always on the next best trending.
    We achieve that and you couldn’t build enough hotels or housing to handle the influx of others wanting to apply the systems to advance.
    Continuous out flux of stuff is an problem, influx of commerce..”not so much”.

    • Are you aware of any possible problems that could arise by building the new hotel on the suggested location downtown considering the old sewer system that is under many downtown properties? Certainly it would pour lots of waste from hotel rooms, apartments, stores etc into an already overloaded system. What is your opinion?

      • If they have half a brain you would think they would dig down and do the repairs under that block as part of the project. I doubt they have half a brain though because there was a sewer collapse during the Ford Center construction. As for handling the load, the Executive Inn was a much bigger load to handle so that does not worry me especially with the 1.6 gallon toilets and no swimming pool.

  2. Great IIT today.

    Does the Editor know if there is a place on any local government website where the NAVSEA patents are listed?

    • GAGE used to have about 30 DVD’s with them on there. I think that Crane may even have a link on their own website. The real beauty of the PIA that was signed is that it makes the entire patent portfolio of the United States government available to local business. The agency that you need to go through is called the Federal Lab Consortium (FLC). The leader of that in 2009 was Belinda Padilla. I believe she has married and has a different last name now. Here is a link.

  3. The bottom line is that Weinzapfel spent our tax money like a drunken sailor for 8 years and Winnecke got the whole debt load dumped in his lap, which, as an active participant for those 8 years in the Weinzapfel can do no wrong club, he would have to be the dumbest person on the planet if he did not see all this coming. Sometimes ego gets in the way of self preservation.

    Why do you think “Democrat” Weinzapfel hand picked “Republican” Winnecke as his successor? Weinzapfel knew what the hell was coming. They are probably still laughing and patting themselves on the back over that one.

    Weinzapfel did not give a damn about putting this tax burden on the backs of local citizens, and he did not care about dumping the whole financial mess on Winnecke. All he cared about was taking care of his cronies wherever they were located and making sure they came through at election time.

    Now we are faced with the last Weinzapfel project and again local taxpayers are in line to be fleeced.

    I am sure not being able to expand all this municipal debt into the county was a big surprise for the ERBC types. Chalk one up for the voters.

    One thing is certain, Evansville is carrying too much debt and is about to increase it even more. Your grandchildren will be paying off this debt their entire working lives, should they decide to remain here.


  4. could have, should have..trouble as always, right here in rivercity..It should be, could be..but not this way!! Damn shame!

  5. Thanks for your reads:
    I think anyone whom doesn’t take the issues all of us face as the human foot print on the planet in any given area in the United States probably ought to read the June 2013 POTUS report on addressing climate change.
    21 pages,page 5 is rather interesting in defining planning structures moving forward.
    This is nation wide ,however the metro Evansville area does have the enterprise to be cutting edge on this. You have every issue to be addressed right here in the demographic region. Right now,however also the very local Hoosier industries to produce clean energy or build for climate change moving forward
    It needs some tweeking a bit,however I see the workforce and the skills that are needed beckoning for the jobs. Indiana needs jobs,this can be an revival of the skill sets that built the last centuries technical industrial advances.
    I.T. and skilled trades to apply the technologies, rebuild the infrastructure,really move forward,creating huge commerce numbers.
    Think logistics,think transportation,think construction,jobs and revenue and the finance that goes with it all. Done incrementally this can be an real vision or plan if preferred.
    This is the time to accept this and design for it with the proven and viable industrious technology in place right here.
    The 2012 clean water act pretty much sets the normal for what the future is going to evolve into with the regulatory environmental drivers/mandates.
    Storm water/sewer management is environmental management,so building for that is only another incremental step taken to the positive.
    Read the report its put out by the Whitehouse,to myself this takes precedent even over whats going on in Syria.
    In times approaching how the US adapts will insure its place as an leader well into this century.
    Internationally this climate change issue is the driver of every thing crisis related,coming quickly too.
    Mass migrations, border infringement, living conditions, health crisis just about anywhere,trillions of dollars involved, millions of people.
    Right now the right steps are pure commerce,with the planned solutions available with today”s technology.
    You demonstrate the skills to build projects for this now, then “they will come,They will be Vibrant and they will stay.”

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