Who’s running the asylum?

I know the City officials are not reading this as they continue to tell me so, but well over 100 visits a day since it was put up?

Maybe the citizens of Lowell are finally waking up?

At the September 2nd City Council meeting there was a vote to approve the purchase of a truck to haul what the LL&P Board and manager have been trying to shove up the customers and citizens of Lowell’s backsides.

A lot of questions were raised and the bottom-line is that the Council (with one "No" vote) approved the loan.

My dear Wife sat next to me and wanted to ask the question of “If Spart (or the new company that was set up for this venture) and was to have covered all of the costs, why is the city LL&P taking on buying the truck and moving this stuff?”

My thoughts were remembering the many, many times LL&P management and board members told me that Lowell and LL&P would not have to spend any capital toward the digester as this was to be a 5 year lease from the German company.

The answer is and it is my understanding that bids were asked for and no-one including John Timpson (A great patriot of Lowell who does a lot of generous things for our City) could find a way to make it work for their company to be able to take on the project.

The Lowell Light & Power Biodigester
The Lowell Light & Power Biodigester

So, the great minds who last fall told citizens (you and I) over and over that customers would not have to pay any of the costs as the new biodigester came online, now have the authority to buy a 14 year-old truck to haul manure containers into the city of Lowell.

Nothing about this smells bad does it?

Again, We were told that this is a 5 year lease and that Spart will be covering all of the cost to run the digester and we buy a truck.

So in the LL&P’s infinite wisdom, they decided that they can do better than any experienced trucking company can (especially since no one thought they could profitably do the job).

LL&P then decided to finance a 14 year old truck that will start running manure into Lowell 6 days a week and then transition into 7 days a week.

A three year loan on a $45,000 loan so much more than $15,000+ a year must be what Spart is paying LL&P to do this?

This is what it looks like:

The Biodigester Truck
The Biodigester Truck

They didn't say what amount of money Spart will be paying them but rest assured that they have the numbers to make it work.

Remember, this is the same LL&P Manager who spent $200,000 on two old generators only to dismantle and mothball them after the upgrades were completed.

Since the 14 year-old truck is so special they must think that there will be no down-time for maintenance?

Look at the picture again and consider that it is 14 years old.

It looks like it was ridden "hard and put up wet" doesn't it?

My truck is 16 years old and it takes about 6 trips to the repair facility each year and they plan on running this "hard-use" truck 6 days a week?

Manager Pierce stood up at the meeting and stated that the truck will be used for other LL&P and City hauling.

How can this be if the truck is going to start-out running for 6 days a week?

This sounded to me like a teenager begging his parents to buy him a car so he could save them the trouble of driving little brother or sister around.

Council person Altoft asked if there was any resolution to the high power cable buried too shallow at 14" to 18" near the new BP Station?

He wanted answers and city manager Howe tried to deflect the question by stating that he had been talking to LL&P manager Pierce about it and that Pierce was consulting with city attorney Wendt. 

My question is “What's the need for consulting with an attorney unless you are trying to find a way to get out of doing it right by complying with the safety rules and cover your ass?

Here is the point - There is a policy that LL&P is to abide by and it failed in this situation.

The policy states a certain depth that these high power lines are to be buried, and this line is buried too shallow at half the required depth.

Why bring in the attorney if the policy clearly states the requirement?

The city manager has been playing his money shell game and hiding it by not giving the council members the financial reports in a clear and easy to read format and council person Altoft asked for a monthly report by department which the city manager fought.

Our patsy-city-manager-slave mayor condescendingly told Altoft that he (Altoft) was done talking.

What kind of power does this mayor think he has?

He was voted in by the very people he is sweetly telling to shut up!

He has dismissed me in the past.

That is not how you treat people!

A mayor voted in by the people should be respectful of those who voted them into office or step aside if they can't handle it.

Aren't you as citizens finally thinking something is amiss in our city?

Why do you stand by and let these inept people run our finances into the ground?

Your power bill is going to go up!

Your property taxes are going to go up!

Think about these things and then decide to attend the next City Council Meeting where Mayor Hodges will prove again home much he is “in over his head” as he smiles and condescendingly dismisses anyone’s, including other council members’ questions!