Sunday, May 2, 2010

Button, Button, Who's got the Button

May 5th, 2010
Button, Button, Who’s got the Button
It sure is fun to read all the legals in the local papers. I find out that I’ve been attending the wrong meetings, because when I read something in one paper, it is completely different in the other, and completely different from what I had an understanding on.
Let’s take the latest fiasco in the Union County Government. Maybe I shouldn’t call it a fiasco, but then I’ve always told it like it is and if it looks like a fiasco, sounds like a fiasco, quacks like a fiasco, then it must be a fiasco.
The county commissioners spent $45,000 for this lot across the street for a parking lot to be used during the reconstruction of Main Street. That $45,000 was just for the lot and I believe the money came from the contingency fund, although I’ve never seen exactly where the money came from. Slush funds are illegal now, so it must have come from contingency.
Now we have to spend anywhere from $7500 to $9500 to have the building demolished. But wait a minute there might be artifacts in there someone would want. The last I heard Mr. Jordan was going to advertise in antique auction magazines, but that would take too long so they told Mr. Roggow to go through the building and remove anything he thinks the county could use and then they would decided what to do with the rest of the stuff. (Oh man, that is my favorite word: stuff).
There was one slight problem though, there is a lean to within 1 foot of the property line and when an excavator comes in they aren’t too careful with the bucket, so the commissioners designated the states attorney to see if they (the county) could build a new one for him or repair the damages or whatever.
Now it seems to me that they have to put this demolition out for bids, and that takes time because they have to have bid sessions and open bids, award bids, get completion dates etc. Main street will be done before they get around to all this. Then again, maybe county workers will use county equipment and county time to take it down, fill it in and pave it. The downtown portion of the project is due to be completed in August and the rest by November.
Anyway, back to my story. I was reading the elk point paper yesterday and in the minutes for the city council there was a demolition application from the county and that they asked for the demolition fee to be waived. ($500) The city has agreed to waive the demolition fee if the county would agree to let the city park in the lot during the main street construction and that they put up a public parking sign. (Now hold on here). It is my understanding that this lot is being constructed to be used as overflow parking for the court house during the street reconstruction because there won’t be enough parking for people conducting business at the court house. (If you’ve ever been at the courthouse when there is jury selection you would understand). Anyway, back to my story again. Now the city sent this back to the county for action and if the county agrees, then the city will waive the fee. You know as well as I do that the county is not the fastest acting agency in the world. And again, the street project might be done before the lot is. Now the big question is why in the world is the county spending over $55,000 for a flipping parking lot to accommodate overflow for a period of about 6 months? I’m sure people would understand what is going on and wouldn’t mind parking on the street and walking a block for 6 months. Besides, I would be willing to bet that lot won’t hold over 10 cars anyway. That is a lot of money to park 10 cars.
There has been a breaking story last Friday (April 30th) that 3 oil companies are suing TransCanada to get out of their contract for shipping tar sands to their refineries because of skyrocketing shipping costs. I’m sure by the time you are reading this that the other 2 refineries will have been identified. The one refinery is Coffeeville, Kansas. The rest of the pipeline goes to Cushing, Oklahoma which is the central distribution point for the pipeline. It seems that the cost of shipping the oil down the pipeline has gone up over 92% in just the last 2 years and the oil companies are saying that they cannot make any money at those prices and want out of their contract. They also state that TransCanada was late in getting the contract back to them so there is in fact, no contract. This is all Oilspeak for saying this tar sands deal isn’t a money making deal after all and they want out. Now this doesn’t open the door for Hyperion, because if it is too costly for the big boys it is way, way out of the range of Hyperion. My first thought was “Oh My God”, Hyperion has a pipeline, but then I thought of costs, and said naw, not a problem. They can’t afford to buy the land that is optioned, so buying oil from TransCanada is out of the question. It seems as though just about the time things quiet down, up jumps a snake and we are right back in it again.
Final thought for the day. Julie Madden was talking to Mr. Dale Neeley about the Planning and Zoning plus the commissioners not following the directives in the zoning ordinance. Are you ready for his answer?? “We need to have some LEEWAY!” I think I’ve heard everything now.


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