Letter to John Kish from Councilman Friend


John Kish

Details and Transparency of Arena Project Called for


Per your June 30th construction cost, please respond to the following questions:

1) What is the $ 100,000 Change Order in favor of Hunt Construction? This change order occurred since the 3/31/2011 Report;

2) It appears that no retainage is being held back on Hunt Construction? If there are problems after Opening, won’t we look to Hunt to remedy those problems ?

3) Given the fact that Hunt is now reporting $ 95,901,131 of Scheduled Value (vs. $ 95 MM estimate), what steps will you be taking to try to bring the project in ‘on budget ‘ ??’ And, if the budget
overages are not corrected, we need to inform Hunt that the incentive has been breached in reference to the $478,000.

4) Given the many subcontractors on this project, how would you describe the “Warranty” the City will have after this Arena opens for events ? Has Hunt retained payments from those subs? And, if so, has Hunt deposited those retainages into an escrow whereby the City has legal control. This premise is applicable only if, so some reason, we have not withheld the appropriate retainages from Hunt?

John, we would like for you to appear before City Council on August 22, 2011 to answer questions related to the following topics. Please note: the City Council members will ask you questions which we will formulate based on the information you provide us. You do NOT need to prepare a presentation for us. Just be ready to answer any and all questions relative to the following topics:

A) Populous Contract (please provide us with electronic version);

B) Legal Bills incurred on the Arena Project (please provide a detailed accounting of all bills incurred, whether paid through the ERC, DMD, Mayor’s Office, City of Evansville, etc.). Be prepared to attest that the summary you provide is a complete accounting of all legal bills for this project;

C) An accounting of all soft costs for this Arena Project;

D) An accounting of all costs incurred on the Browning & Woodruff Hospitality hotel projects, both of which were terminated. Although, the hotel is not considered part of the Arena project; we consider a derivative and need to know the exact cost associated.

E) An accounting of all money which has been committed on both the Arena + Hotel projects; as well as identification of which Fund these amounts have been charged to in the City of Evansville’s accounting system; and

F) Disclosure of whom the $ 2,000,000 of Bond Issue Costs were paid to, and what services were provided;

G) Please provide (Electronic Version) all contractual service contracts associated to the Arena and Hotel projects to date and the work product. In addition, please make available to the City Clerk’s office for public access.

H) Indirect Costs: What other costs has the City incurred as a result of Arena Project, i.e. Water & Sewer Department. Please contact Mr. Gerrard for this information. I have been contacted by apparently, informed individuals that the Arena will be stressing our current sewer capacities. Consequently, if this is affirmed, what plan do we have to assure that the new condo, etc development downtown will NOT be adversely affected and the anticipated investment required to

I) In your estimation, due to the downgrade from AAA to AA+ by Standard & Poors, will we be expecting any addition debt service costs associated with the Arena/Hotel project? In addition, due to this anticipated raise in the cost of capital, any loans the City i.e. Hotel Project, will grant consider increasing the interest rate accordingly. Also, what impact will this have on the pro forma’s presented by Verville and Kunkle. I know that is speculative, but, we need to cognitive.

This provides you two weeks to develop the responses. Please be prepared to receive additional questions from other members of Council.

Of course, if you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks for your cooperation.

John Friend, CPA, CVA
Finance Chairman
Evansville City Council


  1. I applaud mr Friend for stepping up to the front lines and demanding more transparency in our government

    • Time will tell, if this is just TALK.

      (You know… Kinda like Davis’ outrage at his party and the Weinzapfel Admin. that vanished the second he won the primary?)

      • Where did it vanish? Davis has been trashing his party and Weinzapfel every chance he gets. Even does it on his website.

        • Point me to any article or media report since the primary…

          At some point, rambling thrashing on a stump, means nothing if it doesn’t translate into published policy positions.

          • Well on more than one occasion Mr. Davis has said the Democratic Party has approved the vote centers as a way of screwing him in this election.

          • I didn’t think you could.

            Where did he way that, in a coffee shop? At lunch at a senior center? How exactly does a vote center “screw” him?

            Weinzapfel campainged, saying… how irresponsible Lloyd Jr was, wasting a Million dollars on a stadium…

            He even said that publicly, in the media.

          • Let me repeat myself:

            “Point me to any *article* or *media report* since the primary…”

  2. Amazing that this information on a Public Works project is not already publicly available. I do hope this City Council meeting on August 22nd is televised by Ch. 9, as I question whether Kish will “answer the bell” on these worthwhile information requests.

      • Tom, televised Live or on tape delay ? I believe you are correct re: tape delay basis ?

        • Evansvile City Council meetings are all televised live on WNIN with no tape delay. There are replays of the meetings late at night and on weekends for those who are unable to view the live feed.

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