Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"IT'S ALL OVER NOW" rolling stones

I receive the newsletter from the Heisley Park Homeowners Association. Maybe this is another way to inform residents of what may be in their future.
Funny, The News-Herald does a front page article about zoning yet fails to mention anything about something that will cost us 1.2 million? Reminds me of when the AMP-OHIO debate was taking place. They never mentioned anything until the deal fell through. Wonder who's telling them what to print?


City of Painesville Items

The City Budget – As we continue to indicate,
Painesville has approved a budget for 2011. But,
there is still concern that the state cuts will limit
funds to the city. As such we can expect the shortfalls
to put pressure on spending for road and
other city improvements. Time will tell what the
details of the budget cuts reveals and how Council
will address the anticipated additional funding
problems. (See water infrastructure “solution”
below”) Stay tuned!

City to have Curbside Recycling – We are reminding
all readers that later this summer (probably
June/July) Painesville residents will get curbside
recycling. Residents will be asked to split their
trash into regular garbage and recyclable items.
Garbage will continue to go into the green garbage
cans. Residents will also be provided additional
green cans with yellow covers for recyclable items.
The city will have at least 10 routes for recyclable
collections. These collections for residents will be
every other week rather than every week. Regular
garbage will be collected weekly.

Water Bills to Increase - If City Council gets their
way, water rates will increase by $10 per month for
every homeowner (water customer). At the last
council meeting, City Council proposed passing an
FEE. This ordinance will not be based on
usage but a flat fee per account. So, every homeowner
and business (e.g., factories; apartment
building owners) will incur a $10 a month ($120 per
year) increase in their water bill. In some instances,
a resident will be hit with a $20 a month ($240 per
year) increase if they have a meter for their sprinkler
system. This planned increase will result in about
$1.2 Million dollars for city infrastructure improvements
for the city. There is no doubt that the city
needs to fund its water delivery infrastructure improvement.
But, some of the residents at the April
17, 2011 meeting questioned whether this was the
fairest way to obtain the necessary funding. Why
shouldn’t it be based on usage? Wouldn’t that
cause the cost to be borne on who used the most
water? Wouldn’t it allow apartment dwellers in the
city to share in the cost of improvements for the
water they use? And, why shouldn’t businesses
(factories and restaurants) provide more funding
based on usage and their ability to spread the
cost over their client and product base?
What is striking to this reporter is that members of
council didn’t seek resident input prior to proposing
this legislation. Mr. Angelo Cimaglio who addressed
council at the meeting pointed out that
they appeared to take the easy approach to solving
this issue rather than come up with the best
solution for residents.
There will be a subsequent discussion at the next
council meeting on this issue with the planned
second reading. Hopefully, all residents who
have a concern about this issue will attend the
next council meeting. It is scheduled to be held
on Monday, May 2, 2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

'SWEEPING THE ASHES" serena ryder

Painesville electric power users may find this article interesting, if for no other reason get ready for "what's coming down the road", or wire.

New plant powers talks
Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Managing Editor
A natural gas-powered electric plant set to be operational in December may replace power purchased by the city from a coal-fired plant that was to produce electricitylater this decade. Wapakoneta City Council members heard Monday the first reading of an ordinance to purchase 3 megawatts of power hourly from the Fremont Energy Center, a natural gas-powered electric plant which could be purchased by American Municipal Power (AMP) if contracts can be negotiated to purchase power the plant produces.
This would provide the city of Wapakoneta with electric power, less expensive than purchasing the power on the open market, and would replace a portion of the power the city promised to purchase from the AMP-GS plant, which likely will never be operational.
“This AMP proposal does two things — one is they went out and contracted for power which was supposed to be supplied by AMP-GS so no one was short of power and second the Fremont Energy Center provides two positives for subscribers,” Councilor-at-large and Utilities Committee Chair Steve Walter said after Monday’s council meeting. “It should provide AMP with electric power production that should be at a better price than the power they have been purchasing off the open market and there is to be a factor in the electric rate as per this contract that will cover the costs for AMP-GS.
“This gives us a payment plan to service some of the debt we will assume from AMP-GS,” he said. “It is going to give us lower cost power and a lower cost mechanism to pay our debt service for AMP-GS.”
Walter said city administrators are waiting on legal counsel to approve the wording of the contract.
He also said this deal with AMP will be the focus of a Utilities Committee meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wapakoneta City Administration Building.
Walter said this contract should not affect the city’s average cost of power and thus should not affect any consumer’s electric rate. He explained the city receives power from a number of different sources with expiration of the contracts staggered so rate increases do not hit consumers all at one time.
He was referring to when electric rates doubled from 2.7 cents per kilowatt hour to approximately 6.375 cents per kilowatt hour.
Several councilors including 1st Ward Councilor Jim Neumeier and 3rd Ward Councilor Bonnie Wurst wanted more information about the terms of the contract and regarding the status of Fremont Energy Center, a plant built in the past decade but never brought on-line because of natural gas costs in the middle of the past decade. The Fremont plant was once owned by FirstEnergy.
AMP is attempting to contract the sale of 707 megawatts of power produced by the Fremont Energy Center, selling the power to AMP members and non-members. Columbus was expected to purchase 100 megawatts, but that deal may have fallen apart thus jeopardizing the purchase and operation of the center.
If contracts are not reached to purchase enough power from the plant, the city likely would not owe anything through this contract.
The Fremont Energy Center replaces the AMP-GS plant, a coal-fired plant, which ran into cost overruns and permit problems early in construction.
Safety-Service Director Bill Rains said AMP officials tried to sell the city of Wapakoneta 17 megawatts of power, but city administrators balked. AMP tried to sell the city 13 megawatts, then 7 megawatts before settling on 3 megawatts of power.
The city uses approximately 30-32 megawatts of power an hour during a typical day and peaks at 38 megawatts per hour during a peak period in the summer.
Rains explained the city is paying on the AMP-GS project because land was purchased, engineering for the project was completed and for legal fees because of a civil lawsuit with the contractor.
Rains said buying from the natural gas plant fits into the city’s plan.
“We have to maintain an appropriate portfolio and sometimes, just like with AMP-GS, it is a gamble,” Rains said. “If that plant would have went on line, we would have had a coal-fired plant producing 20 to 30 percent of our power.
“We need to have some intermediate peaking power and this new plant is a good way to do that,” he said. “We are still going to look at alternatives that may not be as conventional to what we have done in the past.”
Similar to Walter’s thinking, Mayor Rodney Metz said having several different providers with different lengths of contracts better serves Wapakoneta consumers.
“Just like you at home with your investments, you try to stay as diversified as much as you can to receive the highest return,” Metz said. “In regard to electricity, we try to be as diversified as we can to get the best price.”
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 April 2011 )

Well Councilman Flock this will be the mechanism that will pay Painesvilles 2.7 million owned on AMP-GS.
"This gives us a payment plan to service some of the debt we will assume from AMP-GS."
"It is going to give us lower cost for power and a lower cost mechanism to pay our debt service for AMP-GS.

Wonder what the cost of power would be if "debt-service" wasn't included? This is how Painesville will SWEEP the Meigs County debacle under the rug.
One small problem AMP seems to have presently. They are having a hard time selling this project to other AMP "communities." [ you don't have to wonder why,do you?] This plant produces over 700 megawatts of power, and recently Columbus that had signed on for 100 megawatts, may have balked on the deal and it seems to have fallen apart.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Last night I found out that our city manager has 10,000 cash registers, I mean water meters that the City of Painesville collects from. Now the plan is a surcharge of $10.00 per month for a total of $120.00 a year per meter. Best guess $1,200,000.00 increased revenue a year for the water department. All for infrastructure improvements. Wait... wasn't that 4% raise every year for 6 years supposed to go for that?
There were two people in the audience that showed me their utility bills; both were around $10.00 a month for the water portion of bill. This will become a 100% increase in their water bill.
Joe Shmo living in a condo by himself will pay the same fee as Fasson, Tri-Point Hospital[yes they still get water from Painesville City.] numerous Laundromats and restaurants as well as homes with many people occupying a single family home.
I will have to watch the council meeting again but I believe the city manager and council members mentioned a rate increase to repair things... 9% was thrown around as an increase to fix things. Look at your bill; would you be better off with a flat $10.00? or a 10% increase in your bill? A $10.00 water bill would become an $11.00 bill. A 35.00 water bill would become a $38.50 water bill but our leader wants $10.00a month from each meter. Water bills should only be based on amount usage, you use more... you pay more. Seems the math favors large commercial users?
The city should at least open its books to council, if not the people. Their math is screwed-up somewhere. Continual 4% increases for the past 3 years with 3 more years of increases and bragging how the water department has saved over $950,000 since 2007.
Watching council, Hach is on board as well as Hada, and Fountain missed his second meeting this month so I'm guessing he'll be on board too.
Council members DiNallo, Fodor, Werner, and Flock must hear how much you are not for this fee. If they don't hear from you it's almost guaranteed to pass on the third reading.

Council approved everything pretty much on the agenda except The rezoning of 720 Mentor Ave. from R-2 to B-1. Along with not having enough votes to pass Amending Chapter 167 to Clerk of Court/Administrator. Councilman Flock cannot vote for raises with the city claiming poor-mouth all the time.

The city has set a whopping $100,000.00 aside for street repaving this year. Nebraska St., also Jefferson St. between Jackson and Mentor Ave. and if they have money left over? Gillette south of Walnut St [don't get excited your driveway is probably longer than that part of Gillette.]

On a side note I wonder if our city and school administrators will some day understand that they must post better results. As an example; our City Manager lives in a beautiful home on Levan Dr. The house next door started out with an asking price of $149,000.00 It just sold for $70,000.00 This sale price comes from the Lake County Auditors site, which has a disclaimer.[wonder if it will become a rental.] Now there are probably many reasons why this home sold for less than half its asking price (the economy being number one) but please don't tell me that bad roads, bad school scores and bad infrastructure didn't play a big part in that.


This article was found on the city web. site today. Telling residents they needed to make 15 million dollars in infrastructure improvements by raising 1.2 million dollars for the next 10 years.
Real nice article although they forgot to mention their way to the 1.2 million was a $10.00 per month surcharge to everyone's water bill.
Can't they even be trusted enough to tell people what this is to cost them?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


We just went through the anniversary of the Civil War that started over 150 years ago.It has been said that that was when our country was divided the most. Ask a northerner what the war was about and he'll tell you slavery. Ask a southerner and he"ll tell you states' rights. Even then we could not agree on what the war was about.
Today I feel the country is divided again and we can't even agree on what the problem is, let alone on a solution.
Any American that thinks this country can go on with the debt that it is presently incurring can only be judged a fool.
The Democrats want to raise taxes on households with income over $250,000 while the Republicans want to balance the budget by cutting social programs. Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, College Pell grants etc. Both sides feel the other is wrong. I have noticed what can best be described as rage between the cores of both parties . To be honest, this is not the way I believe these issues can be solved. The cores of both parties seem to be equally represented by about 25% in both groups with about 50% of the voters independent.
It has been said that before the start of the Civil War 30% were for the war, 30% against the war and the rest not sure what they wanted.
Recently the Republicans swept into Congress, along with many state governors and legislatures. So people could assume Republicans leadership is what the country is looking for. At the same time, polls show Americans wanted the Bush tax cuts abolished for the rich, and no cuts to social programs. So what gives?
Whichever political party assumes power seems to overstep what was asked of them and they both take things too far.
Here's an example close to home of things gone too far. While I was standing in a local check-out line and overheard one lady telling another that she was up for some new section-8 housing....and this one had better have a garage! Now, nowhere is it written that anyone is entitled to a garage...especially on the public dime. That's one extreme...and just how did we get to this point? How about the huge tax cuts, rebates and other legal corporate charity (porous borders maybe?) that big business enjoys at the expense of just about everyone? Another extreme....and a costly one at that.
Recently I read a book by an author named Ayn Rand.... "Atlas Shrugged" which seems to be where Congressman Paul Ryan is getting his views. Basically, Ms. Rand (an atheist)stated that she rejected faith, emotion and hope.... the original 'Vulcan' from Star Trek.
She believed the capitalists, not the workers, were the producers of all wealth and the workers (not the capitalists) as useless parasites. Sorta like inverted Marxism.
Congressman Ryan, along with all his cuts to social programs, believes the wealthy among us should have their taxes cut from 35% to 25%?
He showed a graph on how he arrives at a balanced budget in 10 years.
Another Congressman showed a graph that if ALL Bush tax cuts were rescinded, we would pretty much be in the same place in ten years.
I don't know where this is going... but soon the Federal Government will have to raise the debt ceiling. I have heard rumblings that certain groups want something for their yes vote. Don't forget only one Senator needs to filibuster to keep the vote from being taken.

Will President Obama cave in or will he be wise enough to tell them....'Go ahead, vote against it.... and enjoy the consequences.'

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Well Monday night brings us another Painesville City Council Meeting.
Also a report from the cities finance Director Andy Unetic to report on first quarter revenue.
I will include part of the managers report and look at the figure for the water rate increase. I can only guess the News-Herald was off by $3.00 a month.
You might find yourself in a different ward also. I can only hope the city puts it up on their web. site if it passes.


4. Ordinance Amending Section 105.02 of The Code of 1998 Relating to Ward
Boundaries. The City is required to review the population distribution of the four (4) wards
after each census and determine if they are substantially equal. The Code further requires
that adjustment to ward boundaries shall be made to equalize the population when an
imbalance is identified. The growth of the City from 2000 to 2010 indicated that Wards 3
and 4 grew dramatically, Ward 1 stayed fairly stable and Ward 2 lost population. As a result,
some significant adjustments are necessary to establish as equal as possible ward boundaries.
Maps and summaries of the total population within each ward had been previously provided
to City Council. Also provided was a comparison map between the 2000 and 2010 proposed
maps. These adjustments result in substantially equal population in the four (4) wards. Ward
4 is slightly less than the other wards but it continues to be the ward with the most significant
and continued growth.

5. Ordinance Enacting Section 933.191 Relating to Infrastructure Improvement Fee. As
requested by City Council at the work session on April 9th, this legislation establishes an
Infrastructure Improvement Fee which is to be solely for improvements to the system. The
fee is proposed at $10 per month per customer account in the water system. We are
gathering additional information related to the comparisons with other communities and a
priority of the improvements. We are also developing various funding scenarios which
include a paying both cash and issuing debt for the completion of improvements. As
discussed at the Work Session, it is suggested that this item be placed on first reading to
permit time to gauge public opinion and to allow the staff to provide additional information
on implementation.

6. Resolution Authorizing Bids for a Annual Street Paving Program. This legislation
authorizes the bidding of the 2011 street paving program. Recommended for inclusion this
year are the following streets: Jefferson between Mentor Avenue and Jackson Street; and
Nebraska Street. To be included as potential alternates are Munson and Gillette, south of
Walnut Street. The total budget available for construction is $100,000. The alternates will
only be paved if prices are acceptable and can be completed within this year’s resources.
These projects are listed as streets that rank as a number 4 on the 2011 street ranking system
where 1 is the best and 4 is the worst. This is the second reading.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"PUT ANOTHER NICKEL IN......" teresa brewer

Money,Money, Money....

Well.... got to hear first-hand several proposals on how Painesville will improve the infrastructure of its water department. We have problems. We have a rusty water tower, we have an intake problem out on the lake, we have numerous lines that can't handle 250 gallons of water pressure a minute. (Not a good thing if a fire should break out...if the fire hydrant in front of your house has a red band near the top of could be in trouble). Oh...lets not even mention the rusty water line on Elm Street that everyone wants fixed.

Council president Hada estimated that the 4% increase per year (in effect since 2007) would generate 20 million dollars per year...but really it has only generated 18 million dollars annually because the residents of Painesville haven't used the amount of water expected...I guess we're just too conservative. At the same time, since 2007, the city reported that we have lowered the operating expenses by $950,000 on operations at the water plant.

One solution brought up was to get a bond and fix Elm Street (3000 feet of bad pipe) exactly the same way they replaced the line between Storr Street to the freeway bridge. Proposal #2 was to assess residents on Elm Street for their share of the cost to replace the line. That was a no-go. The proposal that seems to work the best for the administration and council members was to assess everyone a flat ten dollars a month on their water bill. So, Tony Torre, a senior widower living on Sanford Street with very low water usage would see his water bill increase by $120.00 a year. At the same time, Jose Hernandez Zorro living in a home on South St Clair with 18 of his closest relatives, using goodness knows how much water a month, will also pay a flat 10 dollars a month. Dedicated just to infrastructure improvement, same as Mr. Torre. Just doesn't sound fair to me. No one even mentioned charging more for usage. It was explained that this assessment could provide the city with the ability to float a 15 million dollar bond to be used for capital improvements on the water lines city-wide. No mention was made of just a straight increase in water rates. I believe this assessment proposal will go nowhere.

In the meantime, Mrs. Arcaro and other Elm Street residents will continue to have their lines flushed until this problem is financially resolved. The city states we operate such that our investment should be in areas where it benefits the most customers. So I guess if you have rusty water you'll have to live with it. For the record, since 2007 there have been 17 water main breaks on Elm Street alone that has cost the city $37,400.

One of my questions: Should Painesville even be in the water business? It appears we cannot sustain this operation. Council should demand that Painesville rates should be compared to Lake County water rates along with AquaOhio water rates (with the stipulation that the water be rust-free). We have to provide this service at a reasonable cost to our residents. They should have to prove that their rates are in the same ballpark as these other two local suppliers. Is Painesville even large enough to support its own water department? (finding out tonight our contract to supply water to Concord Twp. is up in five years?)

And the one question that no one asked the administration was: How much has Painesville spent on water improvements to the annexed properties? Did that come out of the capital improvements fund? Council will receive recommendations from the administration on this issue and will have three readings to let the residents be aware of what the final proposal will be.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I have seen a map on the new Ward boundaries that will be presented to council for approval.
Some very interesting changes are forthcoming in the next election.
First off I can guarantee that Paul Hach will not run unopposed this seems Chestnut St. is now in Ward IV. I have been promised at least one new candidate to run against Robert Fountain in Ward III.
I have not found one person who is NOT running in Ward II.
Also Ward I has picked up all of the Ward IV boundary that was east of Richmond St.
I see more of the same political turf fights that have been used in the past.
I also know of four potential candidates that, if elected, would not renew the present City Manager's contract.
Seems a certain Council at Large councilman will be very busy this election season.

I have emailed all council members along with the city manager and clerk of council to televise the Council "work session" on Monday April 11,2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Yes city council is under pressure and will try to get things done.... Undercover?
The much anticipated water department report was in councils hands Friday. Council-President Hada immediately called for a "special work session" to take place at 6:00pm next Monday night April 11,2011? Not a bad idea the last thing you would want city residents to see is the condition of that water pipe at a regular council meeting. I will ask council members to televise that work session so the people of Painesville can at least see "how the sausage is made".
Councilman Flock asked if Dan McGannon the present water department head will be at the presentation next Monday. The City Manager seemed surprised that he would attend.
My feeling are still that if council wants this or any other pipe fixed we will need to raise the price of water in Painesville.n To that I ask just what did that 2% raise cost the city budget on April !,2011?
Under pressure? Looking at the map in the report my street doesn't have 250 gallon a minute capacity. So when it rains I have to worry about water getting in and now if it catches fire I have to worry if water would get in. The Painesville Daily Double.
It's going to take more then myself to get this work session on T.V. please call your councilman.


There was a single home house fire [some reports say an explosion] in the Homewood, Charlotte St. area early this morning. The county coroner has been called to the scene of the fire.