Saturday, September 27, 2008

How Much Did The City Know And When?

In today's Tribune, we find an article informing us that a Texas utility is going to sue the federal government's suspension of loans to coal-fired power plants. If you remember, in February SME found out that RUS (Rural Utilities Service) said no to anymore new loans for coal plants.

In March, the vice-president of the SME board, John Prinkle said, "I think we have a very solid project and we're on very solid ground."

In today's story, Mr. Prinkle is quoted as saying, "it cost us (SME) millions and millions of dollars because of that delay".

I have a few questions:

1. How much of the city's money went down the tubes over this loss?

2. Did SME report this "millions and millions dollars of loss" to its members, which includes the city? If so, when did they divulge it?

3. And if this loss was reported, did the executive director of ECP, Coleen Balzarini, report it to the ECP board? Oops, that's right. She wouldn't have, because I'm sure SME classified this as being confidential information. And we certainly have learned who controls the flow of information.

It comes as no surprise that Gregori's rhetoric continues. In today's article, he says "that SME is close to securing financing for the first phase of Highwood Generating Station and we continue to make good progress on total project financing".

Of course, he wouldn't say who is dumb enough to back such a loss cause. That's confidential, don't ya know.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Tim getting Nancy Pelosi to earmark some funds in that $700 Billion bail out package?

Anonymous said...

The City Commission back in Feb 2007 received the RW Beck report that stated the Highwood plant would cost $720 million dollars and
coal and transport costs had gone up significantly, including operating expenses. Furthermore, the operating capacity would be 85% initially, but concluded it was all 'OK'.

Well this report cost the city taxpayers $80,000 and that should have been the 'tipping point' to 'BAILOUT', but no, folly continued and now what, the RUS - not the enviro community - said up to a Billion (that's billion with a B) based on their professional engineering and load forecast staff.

The Tribune did report on that but find it curious on mention of that SIGNIFICANT fact and city commission expenditure, duh!!

Ed McKnight said...

"3. And if this loss was reported, did the executive director of ECP, Coleen Balzarini, report it to the ECP board?"

I e-mailed the city about selling block three power and using the money to pay down the water credits and brought up the fact that the ECP board was claiming ignorance of the situation.

Colleens response:

"...there should be no reason why the volunteer ECP Power Board should be aware of the details. Staff within the Fiscal Services Department is responsible for understanding and implementing the detailed activities related to the ECP Fund."

Anonymous said...

Colleens response:

"...there should be no reason why the volunteer ECP Power Board should be aware of the details. Staff within the Fiscal Services Department is responsible for understanding and implementing the detailed activities related to the ECP Fund."

PATHETIC! and points to almost zero transparency within the city government. This worked well for the lotten years and got us where we are today-nearly broke!

Anonymous said...

ECP board, 'Old guard' city commission and stubborn staff just 'rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic'....

GeeGuy said...

To say that a delay cost "millions and millions of dollars" does not necessarily mean that the money was lost, at least not in an accounting sense.

Anonymous said...

The same accounting sense that says because money is "borrowed" from the general fund and not "transfered" from the general fund there is no impact on the budget or city finances?

or that because there is no risk the "investment" in HGS is exactly the same as FDIC insured money in the bank?

Thanks Colleen, glad you cleared that up so well.

GeeGuy said...

First, I'm not Coleen.

Second, if you want to be snide, you should first be coherent.