Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Time This Circus Left Town

According to this article from the Billings Gazette, SME/Southern could be authorizing an $85 million loan package to begin construction on their gas plant this Thursday, Feb. 25.

According to the same article, Prudential Financial and another not publicly announced lender, required that $14+ million in assets and some debt be reallocated to Southern from SME in order to lend the money.

In order to to this, a special meeting of SME/Southern members was held last week in Billings. Initially, the City Commission was supposed to select a representative to attend this meeting and vote. This item was on the City Commission agenda as of its agenda setting meeting on Feb. 10, but had disappeared by the time the actual agenda was posted online on Friday, Feb. 12. In its place was this item: "Motion to Adjourn To Executive Session". As usual, the city was closed-mouthed about what was going on and at least one member of the public went on the record as protesting this action.

We found out that Yellowstone Valley Electric Co-op wanted to block this special meeting, which resulted in the hearing last Friday, which YVEC subsequently lost.

As a result, the meeting went forward and the above mentioned financial transaction was approved by a 4-1 vote; 4 co-ops in favor with Yellowstone Valley voting against. (Since the city of Great Falls did not authorize a voting representative, they could not enter a vote).

If you haven't already done so, check out Gregg's post about this latest chain of events.


Lt Col (R) Rich Liebert said...

Our new mayor and commission have been ill-advised and ill-served in this manipulation of the agenda and secret session, and the irony is nothing was accomplished and the city manager had a statuatory and MORAL obligation to attend the most critical meeting last Friday morning.

Many of us citizens who've done our homework and research for years advised him and staff many times last year and before that this day was coming, in regards to the 'dummy corp' SME Electric and the 'con' before us now.

In effect, we can only suspect (as we NEVER can any transparency so we must assume) that that 'Gullible Falls' has co-signed the loan with Mr. Gregori, and as Ms. Balzarini has said, we don't have to make any payments, that's like you not having to pay your kid's car payment on the loan you've co-signed, BUT if your kid (Southern) loses their job (lawsuits, fuel volatility, etc.), then you DAD will be 'on the hook' for the payments as well.

Let's HOPE our new city attorney can lead us out of this 'jungle of despair'..........

Anonymous said...

What's the worry? Balzarini, Lawton, and other city officials have told us there is no risk. We've seen how well they do their jobs so no loss of sleep here. The city will be rolling in great jobs and money from the Highwood project. With that cheap power this will be the garden spot of the state with other businesses racing here to get deals with the city.

...I may need to adjust my meds.

Anonymous said...

This is such a big mess that even the newly elected leadership seems to be frozen to their seats and unable to move to solve the problem that continues to bite and nip away at their credibility.