Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Little Inside Baseball From The Public Works Meeting Last Night

  1. The range in cost estimates for redoing the lake is because of the difference in disposal of the dredged soil on adjacent properties vs having to haul it to be dumped.
  2. There is a price to be paid even if the lake is left to go back to wetland and never be a millpond again. That price could be as high as $600,000. That is the "do nothing-get nothing" cost.
  3. The difference between the "do nothing" cost and the lower, most likely alternative to restore the lake is somewhere around $1.1M. That's a far cry from the $3M dollar figure being tossed about by people who have only gotten a fraction of the story.
  4. The best cure for bad information is good. None of these meetings are held behind closed doors, including S.O.L.E. which is having an open house next week. Attend a meeting instead of getting your information from the comments section of the Gazette.
  5. Once the city has committed to a project then outside fundraising can begin in earnest. It would be irresponsible of S.O.L.E. to collect funds for a project that may never happen so they have been forced to wait. Once there is a commitment to a solution then a major fundraiser will be held and grant writing can begin as well.
  6. The lake and our parks are just as much of the infrastructure of Evansville as the streets and sidewalks. The Council has a duty to maintain them in the most responsible fiduciary manner for the benefit of all of us. One of the major "needs" to come out of the Economic Summit was to make Evansville a destination. Lake Leota was once the focal point of travel to Evansville. It can be again. If we lose this how do we build a new focus for our city?
  7. Because of the number of natural springs in the lake bed there is no chance of reclaiming that land for ball fields or skate parks or anything. It will be a lake or a wetland. Sorry
  8. This will most likely go to referendum at some point, probably in November.


patriotic golf guy said...

Overall, pretty good assessment, however I must disagree with a few parts.

In comment #3: the cost you are referring to is what I understood to be the potential (or speculated) wetlands conversion cost. The do-nothing plan is more akin to closing the dam and having a foot and a half lake once again. That cost, I suspect, would be nominal.

In comment #5: Realistically I am not sure that it is logical or good policy of SOLE to sit on their hands in regards to fund raising before the city decides what to do. It may be an easier pill to swallow (however big that pill is) if people knew that SOLE were going to be able to throw $100,000 at it. When you are the embodiment of people that are supposedly working your tail off for your lake I do not believe that it is ever prudent to sit on your hands and leave the decision making to anyone else. The only lobbying that ever works is aggressive and very active. In my opinion the only reason to be afraid of a referendum is that it won't go your way and the only reason to not go out and fund raise is that you are afraid you will raise no funds.

At the very least SOLE could become active and accept pledges from those that want this project done. As for grants from the state and federal levels, the feds were already tapped to no avail and the state will have more than its fair share of requests for funds in regards to the flooding that has occurred over the past 11 or so months.

grumps said...


I'll accept your clarification on #3. What I characterized as "do-nothing" is of course recovering the wetland. I haven't heard a single voice for the current mucky wasteland to continue.

As for SOLE. They may suffer from a too passive posture at times. Collecting a few significant pledges or a whole slug of smaller ones in advance of a referendum would give them a base of motivated voters to call upon.

Turnout in November is going to be high. That puts an extra wild card in the deck for any referendum. It would be good for SOLE to not take anything for granted.