first_imgIS IT TRUE that the polls for the United States are conflicted as conflicted can be?…as was predicted President Donald J. Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president at this point of his term in office?…President Trump only has an average approval rating of 44% with some polls under 40% and only one close to 50%?…in spite of the low approval rating for President Trump, the Real Clear Politics average for “is the country moving in the right direction” is at a four year high and rising?…it is truly mystifying to have a President who inspires disapproval while his actions are getting much higher approval ratings than the actions of the very popular Barack Obama?…it seems as though the American electorate likes the actions but doesn’t care for the guy who is driving the actions?…given the choice of a popular president who does things that people disapprove of or an unpopular president who does things people like, the smartest choice is to go with the latter?IS IT TRUE that ECHO Housing has plans to turn a vacant warehouse at 101 N. Garvin St. into 27 one-bedroom units of housing for the chronically homeless.  …the project is expected to cost $6.1 million?  ….that our hard earn tax dollars we send to the State of Indiana shall pay for this “Pork Barrel” project?  …ECHO Executive Director Stephanie TenBarge said “that her organization will also commission a “Mural” on the side of the building?  …we remember when Ms. TenBarge commissioned another “Mural” to be printed on the side of a building located just behind the McDonalds resturant located on North Main and the Lloyd Expressway?  …we recall when ECHO Executive Director Stephanie TenBarge declared that this “Mural” will enhance the opportunity of bringing economic development to the North Main Jacobsville area? …we were told that she hired an out of town artist to paint this abstract “Mural” costing many of thousands of dollars? …we urge you to drive to the North Main McDonalds and look at the building directly behind it so you can see if this “Mural” would motivate  you to locate a business on North main street?  …we wonder how many poor people could had used the many thousand of tax dollars spent on this less than attractive piece of exterior abstract art to pay electric bills and put food on the table?  …in our opinion putting a painted “Mural” on the side of apartment building for the homeless is a total waste of our hard earned tax dollars?IS IT TRUE we wonder how many two bedrooms Habitat type homes that ECHO could had been built with this $6 million dollars State grant earmarked for providing housing for the homeless and economically disadvantaged of this area? …the answer is around 100 homes?   … can anyone tell us who are the Evansville ECHO-Housing 2017 Board of Directors members because we tried to locate them but failed?IS IT TRUE it’s time for the City to find other locations to hold charitable fundraising activities events held on Riverside Drive because they  interfere with Tropicana-Evansville business activities?  …it’s guesstimated that that corporate citizen Tropicana-Evansville is losing around $50,000 a day when the city closes Riverside Drive for charitable events?  …in 2016 Tropicana-Evansville give the City of Evansville a $25 million dollar advancement from the projected gaming money profits from their 2017 budget to help fund the city  budget shortfalls?  … it’s obvious that Tropicana -Evasville is working with Evansville and it’s time we start working with them by keeping Riverside Drive open 24-7 so they can continue being a great corporate citizen?IS IT TRUE that the lawmakers of the State of Indiana have set the stage for all governments at the state and local level to start getting less of the casino tax known in and around Evansville as “boat money”?…back when casino gambling was approved it was going to be the “manna from heaven” that funded education?  … later on our elected officials declared that those dollars could be redirected to help pay for infrastructure?…here we are more than 20 plus years later our city officials are now borrowing $25 million against future “boat money” to pay for fun and games projects that will not impact the economy any more than Weinzapfel’s folly Ford Center did? …State sources say that the Indiana Division of Mental Health will lose $2 Million per year due to the changes in taxation?FOOTNOTE:  Todays ‘READERS POLL” question is: Do you think that the taxpayers should pay $225,000 per one bedroom apartment to house the homeless? FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

City Spends $47,558 to Get OCTC Property Ready for “As Is” Lease

first_imgA city-owned property at the corner of 15th Street and West Avenue in Ocean City, NJ, is the new home for the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company.Less than a month after signing a lease to rent an unused city building to the Ocean City Theatre Company “as is” for $1 a year, the City of Ocean City began to spend $47,558 to fix it up.In addition, Ocean City Department of Public Works employees logged a combined 37.5 hours of overtime replacing walls, spackling and painting the inside of the building at 1501 West Avenue, even though the lease specified that “the tenant shall maintain, repair and keep in satisfactory condition the interior of the building.”Invoices from the first three months of 2015 show that the city paid an outside contractor (Capri Consruction) $17,479 to remove existing frame walls, acoustical ceiling and flooring, and to frame new walls around the perimeter of the interior. The city paid GM Mechanical Contractors $9,600 to replace the HVAC system, Premier Electrical Contractors $6,180 to remove and reinstall lighting, fixtures and thermostats, and Erco Ceilings $6,850 to remove and repair ceilings. Shoemaker Lumber was paid $442 for chair rail, brass handrail brackets and other supplies. The invoices alone totaled $47,557.88.The records were provided by the city in response to a March 30 Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request from OCNJ Daily.The city also produced records showing city employees worked 37.5 hours of overtime in February and March alone for jobs specified as painting, sanding sheet rock and replacing plywood walls, among other tasks.There is nothing illegal about the city paying to maintain its own building or volunteering work not required by a lease. But even after a walk-through inspection of the building by a city councilman and a city official after the first reading of the ordinance that authorized the lease in December 2014, nothing was said to the public about the need for such extensive work during a public hearing before the second reading.The revelation comes at a time when the city just passed a $73.1 million budget that raises the tax levy by 3.3 percent and when many citizens are arguing the merits of priorities for a $79 million capital spending plan for the next five years. AT LEAST ‘HABITABLE’Mike Dattilo, assistant to Mayor Jay Gillian and a current member of the Ocean City Theatre Company board, said Thursday that it was the city’s intention all along to provide a building that was “habitable.”OCTC would then be responsible for outfitting it, and for ongoing interior maintenance. The building had been remediated in the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy but left largely untouched since then.City Council did not authorize the work, and Guinosso said Sunday that he was unaware of the extent of it.At the time and again on Sunday, he said he was most worried about flood damage and mold when he toured the building in December.“I knew the entrance had to be taken care of,” he said. “It would be dangerous for the kids to be in there.”He said he would have to look into what further improvements were made.OCTC Artistic Director Michael Hartman said it also was his understanding that the city’s work was to be done only to make the building inhabitable and ADA accessible.“We are incurring major expenses,” Hartman said, including laying a new floor down. “We’ve been literally slaving to get everything ready. It’s been a lot of hard work from us.”He said the work comes at a busy time for OCTC with auditions, rehearsals, fundraisers and other preparation for the upcoming season.He said some OCTC staff is in the building now. When it’s fully renovated, the building’s first floor will be home to rehearsals, classes, offices and a room for props. The second floor will be dedicated to costume storage and construction.__________Daily Ocean City headlines delivered to your inbox: Sign up for free. THE LEASE AGREEMENTThe lease of the city-owned building at 15th Street and West Avenue to the nonprofit Greater Ocean City Theatre Company (OCTC) for $1 a year was approved by City Council in December.The property is a vacant building used by the city in recent years only for the storage of records and city equipment. A state law allows municipalities to lease unused property to nonprofit organizations, according to City Solicitor Dottie McCrosson.The theater company is creating a performing arts facility used to run its youth theater camps for the city, to stage rehearsals for its full calendar of productions throughout the year, and to create a base for costuming and props. It will not be a location for live performances — which will continue to be staged at the Ocean City Music Pier, Performing Arts Center at Ocean City High School or other locations on the island.The lease allows OCTC to consolidate “four different locations on the island under one roof and to function with a little more financial stability,” Artistic Director Michael Hartman said at the time.Council approved the second and final reading of the ordinance that authorizes the five-year lease on Dec. 18. The vote was 6-0 with Council President Tony Wilson recusing himself because he, at the time, was a member of the OCTC Board of Directors. Wilson was not present at the meeting when the first reading was approved.Councilman Pete Guinosso had toured the facility with Assistant to the Mayor Jim Mallon and expressed concern about mold and about the condition of the entrance to the building from the 15th Street side. But nothing was said by the administration (which would soon authorize the work) about the need to replace the HVAC system, walls, ceilings and to rewire the electrical system.The property had been remediated for flood damage after Superstorm Sandy and was tested again for mold.“The property consists of a vacant building and is hereby leased entirely ‘AS IS,’ ” the lease states (see full text of the lease and ordinance). “The LANDLORD makes no representations as to the conditions or suitability of the property or its environmental condition, for any use or purpose.”The lease goes on to specify that the tenant acknowledges acceptance of the property “AS IS.” It states that the city will be responsible for the roof and exterior of the building, and the OCTC for the interior.“This includes without limitation the floors, walls, ceilings, windows, plumbing, appliances, electrical and all other parts of the premises,” according to the lease.But even though the lease appears to place the burden of interior repair on OCTC, public discussion was different.“Are they taking care of all the repairs inside?” Guinosso asked at the Dec. 4 meeting.“Yes.they’ll take care of the repairs inside, the cosmetic items,” McCrosson responded. “The more structural capital items, the city will take care of.”last_img read more

Roberts Bakery secures logistics deal

first_imgRoberts Bakery, the Cheshire-based firm, has agreed a deal with logistics provider Bibby Distribution, which will allow it to supply customers further afield than ever.Fresh products from Roberts’ Northwich (Cheshire) and Ilkeston (Derbyshire) plants will be picked and packed at Bibby’s Scunthorpe site before being distributed through the company’s extensive nationwide depot network to supermarkets and convenience stores as far away as Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.The contract comes after a 12-month trial during which Bibby, which has previous FMCG experience with companies such as Kellogg’s and First Milk, delivered 25,000 loaves a week to 160 customers in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster.Mark Owen, logistics director at Roberts Bakery, said: “By working with experienced logistics partners we can focus on our core strengths, which are baking high-quality bakery products and making deliveries from our main site in Northwich. The model is also scalable, which could help provide national distribution capability in the future.“As far as food miles efficiency is concerned, the partnership is already proving its worth. We have already saved over 700km a day by using their South Humberside base to reach our customers.”Ten jobs have already been created by the 12-month contract in Scunthorpe – in picking, warehouse supervising and driving roles. More are expected to come as the relationship between the companies develops.Ian Firth, divisional development director at Bibby Distribution, said: “We’re pleased to help support Roberts’ growth. Our systems and processes mean we deliver on a day zero basis, with no stock rollover, ensuring the bread we deliver is as fresh from the oven as possible. We will also be leveraging the capacity of our network to keep the cost of delivery low.”last_img read more