Friday, December 21, 2012

And the year ahead for Cincinnatians

Under the failed leadership of Mayor Mallory and Roxanne Qualls, Cincinnatians will have a tough row to hoe this coming year.

First, in March, Council will have a battle royal over the Mayor's plan to lease the rights to on-street parking meters -- and the right to enforce the same --  to a private company for thirty years.  Once again, COAST will join in a broad left-right coalition to defeat the proposal, and has several legal strategies in mind to defeat the proposal.

Then, around the same time, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio will need to decide if Duke Energy can pass $18 million in utility relocation costs relating to the Streetcar project on to Cincinnati-only ratepayers.  COAST estimates that the cost increase for each City homeowner and apartment dwellers will be $6 to $8 per month. 

Later next year, the City has to decide whether to actually stop talking about the Streetcar and start building it.  Major contracts are for rail, for cars and for the contractor to install the rails.  None have been let yet.

This September, we have a Mayoral primary election (if more than two candidates run for that position) and in November, City voters will vote on nine Councilmembers for the first four-year terms under the new Charter provision.

And while this is all transpiring, the City will sink further into the fiscal abyss, with a hopelessly insolvent pension fund, a structurally imbalanced budget, and new debt piled on from the Streetcar.

Shortly after the election, Qualls and Laure Quinlivan will introduce an increase in the City earnings tax of one-half of one percent on top of the 2.1% currently in place, further burdening the populace they claim to want to help.

In short, things are a mess.


  1. How did COAST determine that it would cost each each residential or apartment unit $6 to $8 per month when there has been no public discussion of the amortization period of these costs? Are you guys Duke insiders now, carrying water for the company?

    Since residential users are only 20% of Duke's business in Cincinnati -- the rest being commercial -- has this been figured into COAST's calculation?

    When Duke's transformer farm in the path of the new Brent Spence Bridge has to be moved to make way for the new bridge, will COAST be leading a campaign to ensure that local ratepayers aren't burdened with those costs, especially since it's a project of national scope that none of us have ever voted on, unlike the streetcar?

    The next time Duke extends its network to some sprawl development in Butler, Warren or Clermont County, will COAST be making the case that City of Cincinnati ratepayers should be exempt from paying any of the hard costs or overhead involved in extending Duke's service to that area? For that matter, should Duke's investment in never-completed residential sprawl communities now be declared stranded investment and be removed from Duke's rate base until those communities are completed and occupied? After all, isn't that central to COAST's argument against the streetcar -- that it won't be used and is unworthy of investment?

    1. Actually, if you had read the Duke PUCO filing as we have, you'd know that they propose a 24 month amortization period and propose a couple of different ways to determine how the costs would be allocated amongst customers.
      From page 143 of the pdf of the filing available at the PUCO site:

      Should the government entity (or Administrating Agency) elect to do so, the entire actual cost and the Company's associated cost of capital to construct, modify, relocate, and/or remove the Company's facilities, wiring, or any other Company-owned equipment, as well as the cost of installing any new facilities and equipment will be collected on a per customer basis, a per kilowatt hour basis or some combination thereof. Said costs will collected from all customers whose service address is located within the legal boundaries of said government entity. The
      cost will be collected in its entirety over a time period not to exceed twenty-four (24) months.

      Read the filing here:


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