Monday, March 30 2009
We have just received the latest traveling city hall meeting of Major Jonathan Weinzapfel which will be on Tuesday at the Nativity Church at 3645 Pollack Avenue from 5.30 to 7.30PM.
Traveling city hall program at Nativity Church
Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel’s traveling city hall program will be at Nativity Church, 3635 Pollack Ave., from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Residents can ask questions and voice concerns to the mayor and city department heads and also review plans for the Lincoln Avenue-Fuquay Road reconstruction project set to begin April 13.
Monday, March 30 2009
The article below describes best what kind of advantages can be gained from rental property. In today’s economic climate it is easier for owners of rental properties to find good tenants. We have several rental properties and not a week goes by without a phone call if we have any homes for rent. There are many homes for sale in Evansville which are ideal to be used as rental property. The secret in a good rental property is location. Desired areas provide a safe environment which renters prefer.
Please feel free to call me if you are interested in rental properties. You can reach me at 812-499-9234.
Rental Properties to Lead Recovery, Experts Say
Housing experts predict that multi-family rental properties and apartments will recover fastest from the current downturn, followed by housing in cities that didn’t overbuild.
The market is likely to hit bottom in the next few months, says Bernard Markstein, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of Home Builders.
"Next year will see slow but steady improvement, as home builders are controlling their inventory," Markstein says.
Apartments and other multi-family residences will snap back quickly once businesses start hiring again, predicts Victor Calanog, director of research at Reis.
Baby boomers looking for retirement homes and first-time home buyers also will lead the way out of the decline, predicts Bill Singer, a securities attorney and trader who is a member of Forbes.com’s panel of financial gurus.
Source: Forbes.com, Madalina Iacob (03/18/2009)
Sunday, March 29 2009
Home owners can not only take advantage of the favorable interest rates we have today and save money, but a close look at your home insurance may also save you money. We recently looked at different rates provided by various insurance carriers and we were able to safe close to $ 3000.00 in our combined insurance policies which covers home owners, personal umbrella, auto and commercial rental properties. I strongly recommend any home owner to review your current insurance policies and see if there id not another carrier who can offer better rates. This review should be taken every 2 to 3 years. The link below will help you to understand home owner’s insurance coverage better.
Please feel free to call me at 812-499-9234 if you need any assistance in your home owner’s insurance coverage.
Saturday, March 28 2009
As a Board member of the South West Indiana Disaster Resistant Community Corporation, I have the pleasure to invite all our readers to an awards dinner hosted by DRC to announce the winners of nominees which were submitted by the various participating partners. Please feel free to call me at 812-499-9234 if you have any questions.
Partners in Preparedness Awards Dinner to feature FEMA associate
WARRICK COUNTY, Ind. — Art Noffsinger, Warrick County commissioner and an associate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will ask "Are You Sure You Are Ready?" at a Partners in Preparedness Awards Dinner by the Southwest Indiana Disaster Resistant Community Corp. at 6 p.m. April 16.
The program, open to the public, will be at Paradise Pavilion, 6299 Oak Grove Road in Warrick County.
Awards will be given in several categories to area residents, businesses, schools and other organizations that have contributed to disaster preparedness in the Tri-State.
Christine Martin, the group's executive director, said this year marks the first year for the awards but they are expected to be given annually.
Reservations for the Partners in Preparedness Awards Dinner are due by April 8. Contact Christine Martin at 318 Main St., Suite 207, in Downtown Evansville, or call her at (812) 425-8401 or visit www.swidrcc.org.
The cost is $30 per person or $225 for a table seating eight. Proceeds will help support preparedness projects and programs by the disaster resistant community organization.
Friday, March 27 2009
For a change we are getting good news in a row. If the last few days are any indication, I would say we are seeing small gains across the board. We saw that existing home sales rose in the month of February by 5.1%, we continue to see low interest rates for buyers and home owners who refinance, Berry Plastics Corporation announced a $ 80 million expansion which will add at least 150 jobs if not more, and today we see that a major bench mark measure has gained in the past two months. The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in February and a 1% in January.
Consumer spending up for second straight month
The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in February, in line with expectations. That follows a huge 1 percent jump in January that was even better than the 0.6 percent rise originally reported.
But the report says incomes fell by 0.2 percent in February, the fourth drop in the past five months, declines that reflected the sizable number of job layoffs that have been occurring because of the recession.
After-tax incomes also fell in February, edging down by 0.1 percent. With incomes down while spending rose, the personal savings rate dipped slightly to 4.2 percent in February, compared to 4.4 percent in January. Still, the recent performance marks the first time that the savings rate has been above 4 percent in more than a decade.
Economists believe that the deep recession, already the longest in a quarter-century, will continue prompting consumers to do more to trim spending and boost their savings. However, that development could make it more difficult for the country to pull out of the recession since consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity.
The back-to-back increases in consumer spending in January and February had followed six straight declines in spending that occurred from July through December. Consumer spending in the fourth quarter fell at an annual rate of 4.3 percent, the biggest decline in 28 years, and was the major factor pushing overall economic activity down by 6.3 percent during that period.
Many economists believe that the gross domestic product will drop by around that amount in the current January-March period and will continue falling in the spring although at a slower pace. Many analysts are not looking for the current recession, which began in December 2007, to end until the second half of this year.
A price gauge tied to consumer spending rose by 0.3 percent in February and was up 0.2 percent excluding food and energy, indicating that the recession has contributed to a significant moderate in inflation pressures.
Wednesday, March 25 2009
We are seeing increased discussions on new legislation to help first time buyers and home owners wanting to refinance their mortgage. Under the proposal, borrowers refinancing their mortgage would be eligible for $5,000 to help cover closing costs or to reduce their principal balance. The plan also revives a $15,000 home buyer tax credit proposal that Republicans pushed last year. This time, the proposal would require the borrower to have at least a 5 percent down payment. Both programs would expire in July 2010.
This would certainly benefit a large section of the population and would be a factor to help the economy get off the ground again.
Monday, March 23 2009
There is good news for the real estate market in general. Existing home sales rose 5.1% in February to a stronger than expected pace of 4.72 million units.
This is great news for a real estate market that has really seen nothing but gloom and doom for the past 2 years.
With mortgage rates still below 5%, and prices still down 15% from a year ago, it is starting to look like this may fast becoming one of those rare “windows of opportunity” to buy a new home in a great school district at a phenomenal price. Homebuyers with good credit, a steady job and a little down payment money should have no trouble qualifying for a mortgage.
There are also changes to the short sale law State Law now Requires Specific Response Time from Lenders on Pre-foreclosure (Short) Sales. Indiana Code, effective January 1, 2009, requires lenders, once the loan is 60 days delinquent, to acknowledge a short sale offer within 10 days and respond to the offer within 30 days. This will improve communication and we can hope that this will also reduce the turn around time for short sales.
Indiana Code References:
IC 24-9-3-6 Version b http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title24/ar9/ch3.html
Sunday, March 22 2009
In keeping up with the new trend “going green” we have come across this product:
Botanical PaperWorks sells plantable greeting cards made with a handmade paper that's embedded with wildflower seeds.
Sunday, March 22 2009
Here we have some new information on Gov. Mitch Daniel’s federal stimulus funding to make the homes of low-income Hoosiers more energy efficient. Of importance to note is that Gov. Daniels makes every effort to make sure that the funds are used where they are needed and his Energy Assistance Program will ensure that waste and fraud are eliminated.
Daniels to spend millions on weatherization payments
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana will spend $132 million in federal stimulus funding to make the homes of low-income Hoosiers more energy efficient, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Friday.
The money will pay for upgrades to the insulation and heating and cooling equipment inside the homes of people already receiving state energy assistance.
As Daniels outlined the state's plan to spend the stimulus money dedicated to energy conservation, Daniels said 30,000 households could see their energy bills drop 30 percent -- an average savings around $20.
The $132 million is a massive increase in funding for weatherization efforts -- 11 times as much as the state spends each year.
Daniels said weatherizing that many homes could equal the total energy savings of 25 megawatts per year – or one small power plant every 10 years.
First preference for home weatherization will go to elderly or disabled Hoosiers who currently fall below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. They’ll come from a list of those who have already qualified for the state’s Energy Assistance Program, which Daniels said will help eliminate waste and fraud.
Daniels said the weatherization program would create 2,300 jobs, and he hopes those jobs will go to Indiana workers.
"As far as we're concerned, every person hired and every contract awarded should go to Hoosier firms," Daniels said.
Of those jobs, 300 would go to energy assessment and inspection workers, and another 2,000 would go to contractors hired to do the in-home work.
Daniels acknowledged training that many Hoosiers for such work will require “a lot of training.”
“Nothing on this scale even remotely has ever happened before,” he said.
The state will receive two rounds of stimulus funding for energy conservation. Daniels said the state will watch how firms handle the first round of projects and use that to gauge how the second half of the money is spent.
"We are going to measure energy savings per dollar spent, and I hope we'll see some real creativity; some new approaches," Daniels said.
States must spend their weatherization funds by Sept. 30, 2010.
Friday’s announcement was the third of a series of stimulus spending announcements the governor says he plans to make. The first two announcements were roadway projects the Indiana Department of Transportation of INDOT will take on.
Next week, Daniels said he will announce the next phase of projects as INDOT seeks to spend its $440 million in federal dollars.
Most of the money must be spent quickly, and Daniels said that’s the state’s aim. He said the state seeks “speed, jobs and lasting results.”
Saturday, March 21 2009
Housing Takes Its Legislative Message to Congress
On Tuesday, March 24, members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will be in Washington to convey to Congress the priority legislative issues of the housing industry.
The central message that builders will be carrying to Capitol Hill is the need for Congress and the Administration to focus on the state of the housing economy and measures that can be taken to ensure that housing and housing's economic recovery remain at the top of the federal agenda. Along these same lines, builders will be addressing financial practices and policy proposals that run contrary to this message; namely AD &C lending restrictions and endangered housing tax incentives.
The AD & C lending crisis has become an increasingly pervasive problem in the home building industry. Builders and developers are facing excessive credit restrictions, where lenders are cutting off loans for viable new housing projects and producing unnecessary foreclosure and losses on AD& C loans. Overly conservative appraisals are limiting sales and refinance opportunities and exacerbating pressure on outstanding mortgage and housing production loans.
To read more about the AD & C lending crisis, click here.
Friday, March 20 2009
Mortgage rates are continuing to hold at levels not seen in 45 years. We do not believe that mortgage rates will fall much below the rates we have now. This is your opportunity to buy your next home at mortgage rates we have always dreamed of. This is also the time to contact your
Low Rates Boost Mortgage Activity
Mortgage applications zoomed upward last week, with the index rising 21.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis to 876.9 from 723.4 the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 20.7 percent compared to the previous week and was up 31.2 percent from the same week a year ago.
Much of the increase was in refinances, reflecting a significant decline in rates. The refinance index increased 29.6 percent, while the purchase index was up only 1.5 percent. The refinance share of mortgage activity reached 72.9 percent.
Average interest rates were down:
30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.89 percent from 4.96 percent;
15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.52 percent from 4.54 percent;
1-year ARMs decreased to 6.20 percent from 6.21 percent.
On a local level we just received these rates from a colleague of mine at Countrywide Bank, FSB:
4.625% 30 yr, no pts, no origination fee
4.375% 1 pt
4.5% 15 yr, no pts, no origination fee
4.25% 1 pt
4.875% 30 yr, no pts, no origination fee
4.5% 30 yr, no pts, no origination fee
JUMBO Fixed Rate
6.125% 30 yr, no pts, no origination
When you are ready to purchase or re-finance it is in your best interest to check the rates with several lenders as they do vary.
Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions. You can reach me at
Thursday, March 19 2009
We have very good news on the economic front for Evansville. Berry Plastics has chosen Evansville for the construction of an $ 80 million expansion. This move will bring as many as 150 new jobs. We congratulate Major Jonathan Weinzapfel for working this out and we congratulate Berry Plastics, one of Evansville finest corporate citizen to make this commitment here in Evansville.
Hundreds of Jobs Coming to Evansville
A major economic development announcement is planned for this afternoon in Evansville. City officials say it involves hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in new investment. Executives from Berry Plastics Corp. will join Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman and Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel for the announcement at the Aztar Executive Conference Center.
In January, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel told Inside INdiana Business city officials would be doing "everything under the sun" to convince Berry Plastics to locate a new production line in the city.
Berry plans to invest $80 million and create more than 150 jobs with the new facility. The company already has its headquarters located in Evansville.
Source: Indiana Economic Development Corp., City of Evansville and Inside INdiana Business
Thursday, March 19 2009
This article can be filed under the Do-It Yourself section. With spring around the corner we would like to offer our readers some helpful tips to make this spring cleaning easier.
Tips for spring cleaning
Time for spring cleaning. Here are some tips to get your home sparkling for the bright sunshiny days to come.
Doormats: Give them some love in the form of a good sweeping and washing. Just think of how many times you've wiped your feet on them this winter alone.
Windows: Clean them with Windex and old newspapers, or you can try making your own solution of one part white vinegar and one part hot water and putting it in a spray bottle. Choose a time when the sun is not shining directly on windows to avoid streaking.
Dusting: Dust your entire home, including hard-to-reach places like the tops of the refrigerator, ceiling fans and window casings. While you're at it, dust your books and shelves by taking everything off and wiping each book with a soft cloth. Always work from the top of the room down.
Clean carpets and upholstery: This can be as simple as vacuuming the carpet and walking the sofa cushions outside and gently beating them. But if there are stains, you should deep-clean them with a carpet shampooer. Make sure you check the care labels to avoid discoloration.
Give the walls a bath: They may not look dirty, but dust and other grime are probably there and should be wiped away at least once a year. Use a sponge and a simple solution of water and dishwashing detergent to wipe down the wall in sections. Use a sponge mop to reach higher spots.
Thursday, March 19 2009
We hear very day that that the stimulus package will improve the condition of the economy and will benefit the tax payers. What we do not hear is that there are many scams targeting the individuals who can not afford to loose any of their hard earned income. The article below describes very well what scrupulous scammers are after.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller Warns Indiana Residents about
Economic Stimulus Scams
Web sites, e-mails make false promises of compensation from recently passed economic stimulus package
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN)—Attorney General Greg Zoeller is asking Indiana residents to be on guard for Internet and e-mail scams that tell consumers that they can qualify to receive payment from President Obama’s economic stimulus package.
“There are a number of scams circulating that promise consumers money or jobs from the economic stimulus package,” advised Zoeller. “These scams are designed to gain consumer bank account or credit card numbers through bogus Web site links, account information requests or e-mail attachments. Indiana consumers should be on guard when navigating the Web and should be extremely cautious when considering disclosing personal or financial information online.”
Since the passage of the economic stimulus, three different types of scams have been circulating the Internet. In one scam, the user is asked to provide bank account information so a portion of the stimulus money can be deposited into the consumer’s bank account.
In another scam, the scammer pretends to be a representative from a government agency and will ask the user to submit personal information online in order to verify their recipient status. If personal information is given, it can be used by the scammers to steal the user’s identity.
Lastly, scammers can instruct users to click on a link that leads them to a Web site hosting malicious code, which can potentially steal the user’s personal and financial information.
Tips for avoiding Internet scams:
Never click on links or open e-mail attachments from people you do not know
If the e-mail offers jobs, contact the company’s human resources department to ensure job openings
Do not click on links contained within a spam e-mail, instead log on to the official Web site
Do not disclose personal information in e-mail forms
Check your credit card bills and bank statements for unauthorized charges monthly
Wednesday, March 18 2009
Evansville Mayor Touts New Downtown Arena
The mayor of Evansville has used his State of the City Address to gather support for the city's yet-to-be built downtown arena. Jonathan Weinzapfel says, despite the weak economy, there "couldn't be a better time" for the project. He sees the arena as the city's own stimulus package, putting hundreds of people to work and supporting more economic development in the downtown area.
Source: Inside INdiana Business
Here is a copy of Text of State of the City Address:
Wednesday, March 18 2009
Video of the Pilgrims Plunge at Holiday World
A few days ago we reported on the continued expansion of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari and the progress being made on the Pilgrims Plunge. Today we were pleasantly surprised to receive an email by Paula Werne, Director of Public Relations. Paula was gracious to send us a link to the video of the Pilgrims Plunge.
If you'd like to see a video of the Tower Topping, please take a look here: http://www.holidayworld.com/holiblog/2009/03/what-goes-up.html
Wednesday, March 18 2009
Please check your insurance policy in case you have any vacant properties. As far as the insurance is concerned there is a difference if a property is occupied or if the property is vacant.
Vacant Properties Raise Insurance Risk
Rising vacancies in commercial property increases insurance risk and ultimately the cost of insurance, warns the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
Chubb Group points to studies by the National Fire Protection Association that show an average of 14,900 fires a year occur in vacant buildings, causing more than $118 million annually in direct property damage. In addition, theft, vandalism, water, collapse and wind losses increase in vacant real estate.
The insurer offers these suggestions for owners of vacant commercial real estate:
Read the policy carefully for any policy terms and conditions applicable to vacant property.
Notify the insurer that the property is vacant.
Remove furnishings and all combustibles from the premises.
Advise local authorities that the building is vacant, including fire and police departments.
Inspect the facilities weekly. Consider hiring a guard service to drive by daily.
Source: Chubb Group of Insurance Companies (03/13/2009)
Tuesday, March 17 2009
In our continued quest to keep our readers informed on safety matters, we just found out that the State of Indiana will conduct tornado drills tomorrow.
Indiana’s statewide tornado drill is set for March 18th at two times — 9:07 a.m. and 6:07 p.m. CDT. In the event of bad weather at those times, the drills will be rescheduled to avoid confusion. Historically, March 18th is the anniversary of the worst tornado in history — the March 18, 1925 twister killed 689 people in Missouri, Southern Illinois and Southwest Indiana.
Tuesday, March 17 2009
There is good news in the nation’s new home construction figures. After several months of declining numbers, February’s figures rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 583,000 up 22% from last month. The low interest rates and depletion of inventory are factors contributing to this rate.
Housing starts unexpectedly surge
Initial construction of U.S. homes unexpectedly surged in February, according to a government report released Tuesday. Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 583,000 last month, up 22% from a revised 477,000 in January, according to the Commerce Department. Economists were expecting housing starts to decline to 450,000, according to consensus estimates compiled by Briefing.com.
Applications for building permits, considered a reliable sign of future construction activity, rose 3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 547,000 last month. Economists were expecting permits to fall to 500,000.
Monday, March 16 2009
The president of Carmel-based The Estridge Companies says he never dreamed his company would be in the national spotlight. Paul Estridge, Jr. received the news a few weeks ago that popular TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition wanted Estridge to lead the construction team in building a home for an Indianapolis family. The company has built more than 7,000 homes in central Indiana, but this build will be unique requiring work to be completed in one week and all products and labor must be donated. Estridge will begin work March 27 when the family is revealed. The Indianapolis episode is slated to be the two-hour season finale scheduled to air May 17.
Extreme Makeover Home Edition Coming to Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (March 16, 2009) – Central Indiana’s premier home builder, The Estridge Companies, announced today it will join the Emmy Award-winning, hit television show ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to build a new home for a deserving local family.
“Estridge is excited to build a home for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and help change the lives of a deserving Indianapolis family,” said Paul Estridge, Jr., president & chief servant of The Estridge Companies.
“In addition to our talented team of professionals at Estridge, we’re also reaching out to our generous community for their support. We encourage everyone to get involved in any way they can to help change an Indianapolis family’s life forever.”
The Indianapolis episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is slated to be the two-hour season finale and is tentatively scheduled to air on Sunday, May 17, exactly one week before the Indianapolis 500.
“The City of Indianapolis is pleased to be the site of an extreme build,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This will not only help a deserving family, but it also will demonstrate to the world how this community works together to honor and support its everyday heroes.”
Estridge, along with subcontractors, suppliers, volunteers and sponsors, will lead a construction team in building a home in one incredible week that will uphold the highest standards of quality craftsmanship, design and energy efficiency.
On Friday, March 27, one lucky family will be surprised when Ty Pennington, team leader of the show, and his design team knock on their front door to learn their home has been chosen for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
“We consider it a privilege and honor to be selected for this build,” said Scott Comer, vice president of field operations at Estridge. “The Estridge approach is to build homes like we would build for our own family, and this one will be no different.”
“Estridge is exactly the kind of partner we’re looking for to help us reward and honor Heroes in the Community,” said Conrad Ricketts, executive producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
While Estridge has built more than 7,000 homes in central Indiana, this Extreme build will be unique in two ways: It will be completed in one week and all products and labor must be donated. While an estimated 90 Estridge employees will donate their time, the company also is recruiting community volunteers to provide time, support and resources to help ensure the success of this life-altering project for the family chosen.
Individuals and companies interested in volunteering time, talent and financial resources can learn more at www.estridge.com.
“Indianapolis is well-known for its spirit of volunteerism,” Paul Estridge said. “We’re confident the community will come together with generosity of spirit and neighbor-helping-neighbor desire to together build a new home for a deserving family.”
Source: Inside INdiana Business & The Estridge Companies
Monday, March 16 2009
Indianapolis-based Endangered Species Chocolate says eight of their supreme dark chocolate "chimpanzee" bars were aboard NASA's shuttle Discovery when it successfully launched over the weekend. One of the astronauts requested the sweet treats be packed for dessert. The crew members are installing the final set of power-generating solar arrays to the International Space Station.
Indiana Chocolate Aboard Shuttle Discovery
Eight Endangered Species Chocolate bars are safely in orbit along with a NASCAR driver’s flag and a purple stuffed duck. NASA successfully launched shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station on March 15 at 7:43 p.m.
Astronauts select inspirational objects that represent the diverse interests of the crew to take to space with them. Most items will return from space to be displayed; however, eight items likely won’t make the trip back. One of the spacewalkers of flight STS-119 requested Endangered Species Chocolate Supreme Dark Chocolate bars to be packed as a dessert for one of their meals. Visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/behindscenes/whatsgoingup119.html for a full story about orbital mementos.
After many delays, the launch occurred during a beautiful Florida sunset and is said to be the “the most visually beautiful launch...ever seen” (www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/ ). The STS-119 crew members are flying the S6 truss segment and installing the final set of power-generating solar arrays to the International Space Station. The S6 truss will complete the backbone of the station and provide one-fourth of the total power needed to support a crew of six.
Endangered Species Chocolate makes all-natural and organic chocolate bars on the northwest side of Indianapolis. The company donates 10% of net profits to help support species, habitat and humanity. Visit www.chocolatebar.com to find the Supreme Dark Chocolate chimpanzee bar that is aboard shuttle Discovery and a variety of other ethically traded chocolate products.
Source: Inside INdiana Business & Endangered Species Chocolate http://tinyurl.com/cclkjm
Monday, March 16 2009
An Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) official says Indiana's ranking by "Chief Executive" magazine as the best state to do business in the Midwest will help keep it on the radar screen of more decision makers. IEDC Director of Media Relations Blair West says the rankings are based on the feedback of the people who most often decide on expansion and consolidation projects. It is the second consecutive year Indiana has been ranked by the publication as the top state in the Midwest.
IEDC Believes Ranking Puts State "on the Radar"
Although Indiana remains tops in the Midwest it has fallen three spots nationally to eleventh.
West says the state is still taking positive steps for economic development such as a funded transpiration plan, a favorable business tax environment and quality health care.
The magazine ranked Indiana third in the nation in Business Friendliness, fourth in Transportation and sixth in Cost of Business.
The full report can be found at www.chiefexecutive.net
Source: Inside INdiana Business.
Sunday, March 15 2009
Mortgage Rates continue to fall. Interest rates are inching closer to 45 year lows.
Here we have the latest rates for last week:
The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 5.03 percent, excluding fees, during the week ended March 12, 2009, down from 5.15 percent the previous week. One year ago, the average rate was 6.13 percent.
Rates on 15-year fixed rate home loans averaged 4.64 percent, a decrease from 4.72 percent the week before. Last year at this time, the average rate was 5.60 percent.
The average interest rate on a one-year adjustable rate mortgage fell to 4.80 percent, down from 4.86 percent last week. During the same week of 2008, the average rate was 5.14 percent.
From a good colleague of mine at Countrywide Bank, FSB I received the following rates:
4.875% 30 yr, no pts, no origination fee
4.625% 1 pt
4.5% 15 yr, no pts, no origination fee
4.375% 1 pt
5.0% 30 yr, no pts, no origination fee
4.75% 30 yr, no pts, no origination fee
At present Rural Housing is about the only mortgage were no down payment is required. In some way it limits buyer’s location choices to certain areas but at the same time the no down payment requirement is a major draw.
Sunday, March 15 2009
Holiday World is getting bigger and better. The world tallest water ride called Pilgrim’s Plunge is going through the final stages. The $ 4.3 million ride will be ready on May 2. We wish every one at Holiday a fun and safe season.
World's tallest water ride topped off at Holiday World
The world’s tallest water ride, Pilgrim’s Plunge, is topped off Friday at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. A giant crane hoisted the final U-shaped piece of steel to the top of the ride’s 16-story elevator tower.
A 46-foot-long section of steel weighing 16 tons was put into place for Pilgrims Plunge.
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. — Pilgrim’s Plunge — the tallest water park ride in the world — was topped off here Friday morning as a giant crane with a 210-foot boon hoisted a final U-shaped piece of steel to the top of the ride’s 16-story elevator tower.
“The sheer size of the ride is just amazing,” observed Will Koch, president of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, noting the only two rides designed like it are much smaller and found in Europe.
“It’s definitely going to get people’s attention,” he added.
The $4.3 million ride will debut May 2 when Holiday World begins its 2009 season.
Koch said the family-owned park tries to add a major attraction every couple of years, “walking a fine line between being family-oriented and being exciting, but this definitely is tipping toward the exciting side of the line.”
Koch predicted Pilgrim’s Plunge will offer a “special feeling” with a bird’s-eye view of the countryside.
From the top passengers facing west will see the entire 100-acre, 26-ride amusement park, including its three wooden roller coasters, before they plunge into a spray of water.
Koch recalled asking Intamin Ltd. of Switzerland to design the largest “shoot the chute” ride in the world. The designers came back with an exciting twist, an open-air elevator.
Instead of an angled, roller coaster-style lift using small four-passenger vessels, riders on Pilgrim’s Plunge will pass through a dark tunnel in 10-passenger boats, emerge and then be whisked 135 feet into the air by the elevator in 22 seconds.
Koch: “At the top, when the machinery locks in and the boat is released there’ll be that ‘Oh, my gosh’ feeling as the boat starts to roll and drop 131 feet at a 45-degree angle. At the bottom there’ll be a huge splash, with a wave 45 feet tall and 90 feet wide.”
Maximum speed will be 50 mph.
The ride, part of $8.4 million worth of improvements, is the second most expensive ride in Holiday World’s 64-year history, topped only by the Voyage roller coaster in 2006.
Pilgrim’s Plunge is on the northeast side of the park, an area where growth will continue in the future. It will be accessible from both the Thanksgiving section in Holiday World and via a pathway from the water park. Riders will be able to wear swimsuits if they prefer.
Koch said he’s currently working on new rides and attractions for 2010 and 2012, “but what they are I can’t say.”
Asked about the economy, Koch said, “It’s going to be a challenging year. Does the economy make us nervous? You bet. But I’m hoping with the addition of this ride we’ll stay above that million-customer mark again this year.”
He said the park started by his father and grandfather in 1946 may benefit from tourists who decide to stay closer to home this year: “Even in a down economy, people still want to get out and get away, to have a break, relax and have fun.”
Admission will be the same as last year. For more information, call (877) 463-2645 or visit www.HolidayWorld.com online.
Saturday, March 14 2009
There are new developments in line for down town Evansville. We wish all the best to the Kunkel Group in their latest endeavor.
New assisted-living home will be built on Knights of Columbus property
A new home for assisted living residents, presently housed at Riverwalk Communities (formerly known as McCurdy Healthcare Center) Downtown, is planned for the site of the old Knights of Columbus at 304 Market St., across from the Coliseum.
The Kunkel Group, Inc., Evansville-based developers, revealed Friday that it has entered into a build-to-lease agreement with Riverwalk Communities for establishing a $6.9 million assisted living/adult day-care facility on the Market Street site.
The facility’s name will remain Riverwalk Communities.
Work on constructing the four-story building with a lower level is expected to begin soon.
It is expected to be complete for opening this summer, said Chuck Harper, Kunkel director of sales and marketing.
Most of the facility will feature new construction, he said.
The existing Knights of Columbus building will be renovated for incorporating in part of the project, once the building’s interior is gutted.
The new structure is expected to offer around 57,972 square feet of space for 108 beds for Medicaid waiver-eligible assisted living residents.
It also will include 10,000 square-feet-of space in the lower level for an adult-day care program.
The facility will offer a chapel, gift shop, dining area and corporate offices as well.
Ben Kunkel, head of the Kunkel Group, said the project will be funded via commercial loans.
Plans continue for converting the old McCurdy into condominiums.
A name for the proposed condominiums is still undertermined.
The proposed renovation, itself, is being undertaken by City Centre Properties, a partnership between Scott-Hilliard-Kosene and The Kunkel Group, recently said Steve Scott, president of Scott-Hilliard-Kosene.
The McCurdy plans were not discussed Friday. The focus at a media conference was kept on the proposed assisted-living facility, instead.
The search for a replacement location for the residents of Riverwalk Communities took nearly five years.
“After searching citywide, we found a new home right in our own backyard ... Downtown,” said Chris Goad, Riverwalk administrator.
“It is definitely a win-win situation for the residents of Riverwalk Communities, Evansville Downtown redevelopment, the historic Knights of Columbus building and the grand old McCurdy Hotel (as the health care facility was known for many decades),” said Mike Weber, Riverwalk Communities owner.
The Kunkel Group predicted the proposed new facility, located at one of the city’s prime gateways off the Lloyd Expressway, will help pretty up the Downtown area.
The all-electric, state-of-the-art facility also is expected to help reduce energy and maintenance costs for the health care operation.
The proposed site includes nearly one-half of a city block, bounded by Third, Market and Court streets, said Harper.
He and Kunkel said The Kunkel Group purchased the old Knights of Columbus building several years ago for $150,000 from a group of local developers, known as Sandbaggers, LLC.
The McCurdy’s current 80 residents are being given the option to relocate to the new facility or terminate their contracts, officials said.
A high number of the residents have expressed an interest in relocating there, they said.
One of the residents, Emerson Lindy, appeared excited about the prospect as he tooled around the McCurdy’s rear lobby, overlooking the Ohio River, in a wheelchair.
“This will be a good place,” he said as he looked over an architect’s rendering of the proposed facility.
Friday, March 13 2009
We congratulate all award winners for their contribution to Evansville and wish them all the best in the future.
Chamber announces small business award winners
The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana announced the winners of its annual small business award Thursday morning.
The winners are:
Give Back Award: Firefly Southern Grill
Entrepreneur of the Year: Tracy Zeller Jewelry
Non-Profit of the Year: Youth First, Inc.
Small Business of the Year: Woodward Commercial Realty
The winners were announced during a brunch held Thursday at The Centre in conjunction with the RC Cola/Chamber Tri-State Business Expo.
Friday, March 13 2009
Evansville-based Mead Johnson have received a scientific endorsement for a health claim on infant formula by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It is the first infant formula to receive such an endorsement under new 2006 European Commission regulations. An EFSA panel returned a favorable opinion on Mead Johnson's claim that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) contributes to the visual development of infants.
Mead Johnson Announces European Endorsement
Evansville, Ind. -- Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (NYSE: MJN) announced today that it is the first infant formula manufacturer to receive scientific endorsement for a health claim on infant formula by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) recently published their favorable opinion for a health claim on docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the visual development of infants. The NDA agreed that the scientific evidence submitted by Mead Johnson supported the statement that “DHA contributes to the visual development of infants.” To bear this claim, the NDA panel stated that a formula should contain at least 0.3% of the total fatty acids DHA. The EFSA opinion states that, “the Panel could not have reached this conclusion without considering the studies claimed by the applicant (Mead Johnson) as proprietary.”
To date, this is the only positive EFSA opinion on a Health Claim for infants under the new, stringent 2006 European Commission Regulations. This regulation restricts the use of health claims on foods, including foods for infants and young children, without EFSA endorsement of the scientific evidence and adoption by the European Commission. Only health claims compliant with this new regulation will be allowed in the European Union.
“Mead Johnson is extremely pleased with EFSA’s positive opinion,” said Dirk Hondmann, senior vice president, Global Research and Development for Mead Johnson. “Their opinion recognizes the value and quality of our long-standing strategy of investing in pediatric nutrition research and development, and it exemplifies our mission to create nutritional brands and products trusted to give infants and children the best start in life.”
Mead Johnson, a global leader in pediatric nutrition, manufactures the Enfa branded products for infants and children. For nearly a decade, the company has been providing a range of infant formulas that are supplemented with at least 0.3% of the total fatty acids as DHA – a level derived from the company’s evaluation of the levels in human milk worldwide. Researchers who have conducted studies of infant formula that included lower levels of DHA have not consistently demonstrated improved outcomes when compared with formula not containing DHA. More than 100 studies have shown that DHA is an important nutrient for mental and visual development.
Source: Inside INdiana Business & Mead Johnson Nutrition
Thursday, March 12 2009
Another Indiana-based bank has received preliminary approval to participate in the U.S. Treasury Department's Capital Purchase Program. American Community Bancorp Inc., which operates the Bank of Evansville, says the federal government is offering to invest up to approximately $7.5 million in newly-issued preferred stock. The company has not decided whether it will take part in the voluntary program.
Bank of Evansville Approved For Treasury Program
American Community Bancorp, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ACBP) (the "Company"), the holding company for Bank of Evansville, announced it has received preliminary approval to participate in the U.S. Treasury Department's Capital Purchase Program (the "Program"), part of the government's effort to restore confidence in the nation's financial system by providing capital to the U.S. banking system. Under this Program, and subject to satisfaction of standard closing conditions, the Treasury Department has offered to invest up to approximately $7.5 million in newly-issued preferred equity stock of American Community Bancorp, Inc.
Michael S. Sutton, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to have been approved for the Program. While we have not entered into an agreement with the Treasury Department to participate in this voluntary Program, we are considering the possibility and evaluating Program details at this time."
At December 31, 2008, Bank of Evansville was "well-capitalized" by all regulatory standards.
American Community Bancorp, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of Evansville, provides a full range of commercial and consumer banking services in the Evansville, Indiana, area.
Source: Inside INdiana Business & American Community Bancorp Inc.
Wednesday, March 11 2009
We have learned that the City of Evansville will be purchasing three new hybrid busses with the Federal Transit stimulus funds. These busses are more efficient in fuel consumption and they also need less servicing that the older busses in use.
From: City of Evansville, Mayor's Office
Evansville Will “Green Up” Fleet With Federal Transit Stimulus
(EVANSVILLE, IN) – Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is announcing today that the City of Evansville will receive $2,615,993 in funds for public transit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). More than $2 million of that money will be used to make the METS fleet more environmentally friendly through the purchase of additional hybrid buses and retrofitting existing facilities and buses to use biodiesel.
The City of Evansville plans to spend the stimulus funds on the purchase of 3 new hybrid buses at a cost of $550,000 each. Hybrid buses use less fuel, require fewer repairs and reduce emissions up to 90% in particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. They also greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions – a green house gas.
In another step toward reaching a greener fleet, the City plans to use $50,000 of the stimulus money to prepare the fuel tanks of non-hybrid buses to use B20 – a fuel blend using 20% biodiesel, a renewable resource made from vegetable oils, such as soybean oil. The production of B20 is more environmentally friendly. B20 is biodegradable and nontoxic, and provides better fuel economy. The use of B20 leads to a decrease in total unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter emissions.
Stimulus dollars will also be used by the City to purchase six 20-passenger diesel-powered Phoenix Vans at a cost of $73,000 each. The Phoenix Vans meet California emission standards, which are the toughest in the country and they are equipped with extra-heavy capacity wheelchair lifts.
“The City’s sustainability policy will move forward more quickly thanks to the stimulus money, which will allow us to purchase new energy efficient buses right now rather than waiting on more traditional funding methods like grants and allocations,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “Having 11 hybrid buses and buses that can run on biodiesel will enable the City to have a much greener and more environmentally friendly public transit system.”
METS currently has 30 buses, 5 of which are hybrids. The City also purchased 3 hybrid buses in February, and with the purchase of 3 hybrids from stimulus dollars, the total number of hybrids in the METS fleet will be 11. A $480,000 grant, secured in the 2008 Federal Budget by Senator Richard Lugar, was applied toward the February purchase. The grant will be used to offset the cost between a conventional bus and a hybrid. 80% of the remaining purchase price will subsidized by the federal government, and 20% is divided equally between the state and the City.
The remaining amount of the $2.6 million in public transit funding will be used to purchase
10 bus shelters, 5 bus surveillance cameras, and equipment to perform preventative maintenance and repairs on the METS fleet.
Source: The City of Evansville
Tuesday, March 10 2009
Market Watch For March 2009
It’s March and the weather is now cooperating with homebuyers and sellers. Open House traffic has been excellent since our ice storm last month and I anticipate increasing home sales over January and February levels.
Details of the federal “Stimulus Package” are becoming clear and there was certainly some good news for the real estate market especially for first time buyers. New home buyers are now eligible for an $8,000 tax credit with very few strings attached. The closing of the transaction must occur before November 30, 2009. There is no repayment as long as you use the home as your primary residence for three years. Even if your tax liability for 2009 is less than $8,000. you can still get the full $8,000.00 benefit. Call your tax advisor or I can provide you with some additional information about the credit at your convenience.
I know I mentioned two months ago that real estate is local and that our local market, as opposed to the “national market,” is much more relevant for our everyday lives. I saw an article last week that certainly drives that point home. Half of all residential foreclosures in the United States last year took place in only 35 counties. Most parts of the nation, including our market area, have slowed but not crashed.
Next month I will give you some specific numbers about our local market and share some exciting new products to help both buyers and sellers.
In our continued quest to offer more services, Kathy and I would like to invite you to sign up for your personal up to date market information on your home and those surrounding yours. Just click on the link below:
Please feel free to call me at 812-499-9234 if you have any troubles with signing up for your personal report.
Tuesday, March 10 2009
The City of Evansville will use $5 million from the federal stimulus package for two transportation projects. It will expand the Pigeon Creek Greenway and implement a downtown traffic flow improvement initiative. The Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization has also approved $1 million in federal funds for the Rivertown Trail project in the Town of Newburgh.
Evansville to Use Stimulus Money for Transportation Initiatives
The Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) today approved sending more than $5 million in Highway and Bridge Infrastructure funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to the City of Evansville for use in expanding the Pigeon Creek Greenway and implementing the downtown traffic flow improvement project.
The City of Evansville will spend $2.6 million of these funds on downtown traffic signal modernization. Traffic flow into, within and around downtown Evansville will be improved through this project. The City intends to implement numerous downtown traffic changes, including changing one-way streets to two-way streets, and opening up Riverside Drive for a left turn onto and from Main Street and Walnut Street. The project will also help upgrade 31 intersections and install new traffic signals, add street name signs and new pedestrian signals, and ADA accessible ramps.
“The downtown traffic signal modernization project is one we identified several years ago as a way to make it easier for drivers to navigate downtown Evansville,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “This will make it much easier for people to visit downtown businesses and attractions.”
The remaining $2.4 million in stimulus funds will be used on the next phase of the Pigeon Creek Greenway, which is the Industrial Corridor Phase 2. Phase 2 starts at Franklin Street and follows the Pigeon Creek to Lamasco Park. A bridge will be installed to cross a small waterway off Pigeon Creek into the park. A new trailhead will be constructed in the park with bike racks, restroom facilities and a drinking fountain. The trail will then continue next to the Lamasco Skate Park, under the Delaware/Columbia Street overpass and end under the Maryland Street Bridge.
The Evansville urbanized area, which includes the Town of Newburgh, has been awarded a total of $6,018,496 in funds. The EMPO directed $1 million to Newburgh to use on Phase 2 of its Rivertown Trail.
Source: Inside INdiana Business & City of Evansville
Monday, March 09 2009
Larger cities have it easier to draw tourism to their city and in doing so keep the local economy going. We are pleased to see that Marilee Fowler, Executive Director of the Evansville Convention Bureau, is continuing to expand on venues to attract youth sports tournaments to Evansville. Her latest efforts are to open a new baseball-softball complex to attract more visitors.
Local sports tournaments increase business
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The games people play are helping many businesses survive the tough economy.
Local tourism officials say a few years ago they made the decision to try and attract more youth sports tournaments to the Evansville area.
Every weekend for the next several weeks the city is hosting a youth bowling tournament.
This weekend, U.S.I. is hosting the GLVC tourney and all the visitors will help a number of local businesses.
"Families make their children a priority and their children's activities are at the top of the list of things they will do so I think they still will be coming," Marilee Fowler, Executive Director of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau. "They may cut their stay from three nights to two nights. They may stay in a less expensive hotel. They may do more fast food instead of fine dining. We still feel very confident those families are going to travel."
The Visitors and Convention Bureau is trying to open a new baseball-softball complex to attract even more tournaments.
Sunday, March 08 2009
We just received a news release that Vanderburgh County amongst 15 southern Indiana counties will be getting Federal Aid for the January ice storms. This is good news for Evansville.
Six Tri-State Counties Can Get Federal Aid To Help With Ice Storm Clean Up
EVANSVILLE - Several Indiana Tri-State counties are now eligible for federal disaster money to help pay for clean up from January's ice storm. President Obama authorized federal disaster aid to 15 southern Indiana counties hit by the storm, including Vanderburgh, Warrick, Gibson, Dubois, Perry and Spencer counties.
Obama's disaster declaration means eligible state and local governments and some nonprofit groups can apply for federal aid. The aid can be used to help pay for emergency work, repairs or replacement of infrastructure damaged by the ice storm.
January's storm knocked down tree limbs that cut power to 75,000 Vectren customers in the Tri-State and 100,000 homes and businesses across southern Indiana. Debris from the storm is still being removed more than a month later.
Sunday, March 08 2009
Here we have the latest changes in the interest rates of last week. We are still seeing historically low rates and long term speculation is that the Federal Government in Washington will lower rates further. We would also like to point out that new home buyers are entitled to a first time homebuyer tax credit of maximum $ 8,000.00. We have already seen an increase in the number of homes being sold and we are also seeing a decline in the month’s inventory index.
Mortgage rates were unchanged this week.
The average 30-year, fixed-rate remained unchanged at 5.41 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
This week's average 15-year fixed -- a popular option for refinancing -- edged up 1 basis point, to 4.94 percent.
The average jumbo 30-year fixed dropped 10 basis points, to 6.77 percent.
Adjustable-rate mortgages were down this week. The one-year, adjustable-rate mortgage fell 15 basis points, to 5.43 percent. The popular 5/1 ARM slipped 1 basis point, to 5.39 percent.
Mortgage loan application activity declined for the week ending Feb. 27. Applications dropped a seasonally adjusted 12.6 percent compared to a week earlier.
Refinancing activity slipped 15.3 percent while applications for new purchases fell 5.6 percent.
Meanwhile, pending home sales fell 7.7 percent in January to their lowest level since the National Association of Realtors began tracking these sales in 2001.
The Pending Home Sales Index is considered a forward-looking indicator because it is based on sales contracts signed in January that are likely to close no later than the end of March.
On a brighter note, the NAR says falling home values boosted housing affordability by 13.6 percent during the month to a record reading of 166.8.
The NAR Housing Affordability Index began in 1970. A value of 100 means families with the nation's median household income, $59,000, have just enough money to qualify for a mortgage to purchase a median-priced, $283,400, existing single-family home in the United States.
Sunday, March 08 2009
Plans are in work to help home owners in distress to keep their homes and refinance the mortgage. As with any government assistance program certain conditions must apply. The loans must be through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, home owners must live in the property and tax returns have to be filed.
Please call me at 812-499-9234 for further information on this matter.
New home foreclosure plan revealed
VANDERBURGH COUNTY, IN (WFIE) - While many homeowners across the nation simply can't keep up with their mortgage payments right now, the Obama administration unveiled a new plan to try to help get them back on track and avoid future foreclosures.
As more for sale signs pop up across the Tri-State and the country, the government spells out its plan to keep people in their homes.
Washington's answer: a $75 billion plan to offer homeowners in danger of foreclosure the chance to refinance at a better fixed rate and lower their payments.
"If keeping current with their mortgage has put stress on being able to make car payments, insurance and credit card payments, by having a reduced payment with their mortgage it could help them stay on track with other lenders," Heritage Federal Credit Union President Ruth Gaon said.
In order to refinance under the plan, loans must be through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Some interest rates could drop as low as two percent.
Certain qualifications such as living in the property and disclosing tax returns must be met first.
While it may seem like a good idea on paper, Gaon said modified loans could backfire.
"If someone has had hours cut, but are still employed, a reduced payment is beneficial," Goan said. "But someone is unemployed with no prospects of employment, a modified payment will still become past due again."
For Evansville resident Jack Weatherholt, only time will tell if the new plan will work, but he says it might have saved his next door neighbors from foreclosing six months ago.
"Probably had too much of a mortgage, don't know if another broker took over, just in over their heads," Weatherholt said.
The loan modification program will last through the end of 2012, but loans can only be adjusted one time.
Saturday, March 07 2009
Evansville-based Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana is asking the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for approval to purchase 50 megawatts of wind energy from the Fowler Ridge wind farm in Benton County. The company says the 20-year power purchase agreement would provide enough energy to power about 15,000 homes annually. Vectren already has a 20-year contract with another independently-owned wind farm in Benton County.
Vectren Seeks to Buy More Wind Energy
Evansville, Ind. -- Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana (Vectren; NYSE: VVC) has filed a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission seeking authority to buy 50 megawatts (MW) of wind energy from an Indiana wind farm. If approved, the purchase would provide enough energy to power about 15,000 homes annually and will bring Vectren’s total wind power portfolio to 80 MW, which allows Vectren to meet 4 percent of its customers’ needs with renewable energy.
"We continue to look for opportunities to add more green power to our portfolio, especially those sources that represent homegrown, Hoosier energy," said Vectren Chairman and CEO Niel Ellerbrook. "The upcoming expansion of this wind farm provided us the perfect opportunity to sign a long-term deal and bring additional renewable energy to our customers in southwestern Indiana."
Vectren plans to buy approximately 145 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year of renewable energy from a second phase of the Fowler Ridge wind farm in Benton County, Ind, which is expected to move into construction in the second quarter of 2009.This proposed 20-year power purchase agreement will be the second wind energy contract for Vectren.
The utility signed a 20-year contract in December 2007 with another independently-owned wind farm in Benton County. That contract provided 30 MW of energy or roughly 95 million kWh, which is enough to power 8,000 homes.
The Fowler Ridge wind farm, which will be the largest in the Midwest when completed, is owned and operated through a joint venture of BP Wind Energy and Dominion, in which BP Wind Energy retains sole ownership of 100 MW.
Vectren’s electric utility serves all or portions of seven counties in southwestern Indiana, including Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer, Gibson, Posey, Pike and Dubois.
Source: Inside INdiana Business & Vectren Corp.
Saturday, March 07 2009
Here we have a list of some scheduled events in and around Evansville. We wish you all a nice weekend.
— Sugar maple trees at Wesselman Woods (off Boeke Road north of Roberts Stadium) are producing the sticky stuff for all-you-can-eat flapjacks which will be served from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visitors to the Maple Sugarbush Festival can watch the boiling and evaporating process and be entertained by live dulcimer music. Admission $7 for adults, $4 for youths over age 3.
— Fans of antiques will be at The Centre this weekend for the Evansville Antique Show featuring 40 vendors of items dating from the 1960s and before; $3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, $5 to attend the preview at 8 a.m. Saturday.
— Author Patricia MacLachlan (“Sarah Plain and Tall”) will speak at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Central Library, 200 SE King Blvd.
— Guns and Hoses, a charity boxing match pitting members of Evansville’s police and fire departments, begins at 7 p.m. at Roberts Stadium ($12 to $22 for adults, $2 for children).
— At the SportsCenter near Parrish and Hickman avenues in Owensboro, Ky., the Kentucky Bisons battle the Knoxville (Tenn.) Thunderbolts at 7 p.m. in minor league pro basketball action. Call (270) 782-7556.
— British poet Byran Owen is featured during a Poetry Reading and Workshop at 2 p.m. at Central Library’s Browning Events Room.
Saturday, March 07 2009
The festive glamour of "Indiana’s Salute to Women: The 2009 Torchbearer Awards" was outdone only by the shining lives of the women honored. The event, presented by the Indiana Commission for Women, honors women who have overcome obstacles to make Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Friday, March 06 2009
Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel announced today that the city of Evansville and Vanderburgh County will receive additional stimulus funds than the once already allocated. The funds are part of the Byrne Justice Assistance Program and are to be used for the prevention of crime and improve the criminal justice system.
Evansville getting more stimulus money
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says the city of Evansville and Vanderburgh County will receive more stimulus money through the Byrne Justice Assistance Program.
The "JAG" funds, totaling more than $400,000 dollars, will be used to prevent and control crime as well as improve the criminal justice system.
The Evansville Police Department will examine its needs before deciding how the money will be spent. The funds could be used for personnel, overtime, and equipment.
Friday, March 06 2009
The report below is interesting as it illustrates the struggles the house remodeling industry has gone through in the past few years. In some ways the remodeling industry has followed the same down turns as the housing industry. The remodeling industry has however a better chance to change the course of direction as many homes need to be up dated in order to compete with other homes on the market.
Remodeling's Future Looks Bright
Market recovery will spur new remodeling opportunities, boosting spending.
Source: CUSTOM HOME Magazine
Publication date: March 2, 2009
By Stephani L. Miller
The entire home improvement industry in the United States is suffering from the same downturn that has struck the housing industry, though to a less severe extent. Like the housing industry, the remodeling sector grew at an unsustainable rate over the past decade, driven by high-end discretionary projects. According to a recent study by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, "The Remodeling Market in Transition," the remodeling industry is about to experience an evolutionary shift, driven by changing home improvement demands.
Due to free-falling prices, many homeowners now have little to no equity in their homes, cutting off one major source of financing for improvement projects. And the free fall is expected to continue through 2009, according to Moody's Economy.com. Affected homeowners are unlikely to take on significant remodeling projects until prices stabilize, and even those who have enough equity in their homes may not meet the more stringent lending standards in place, the report indicates. Also, owners in danger of foreclosing are not likely to make home improvements. Those homeowners who are able to finance improvements will focus on maintaining their homes' structural integrity and stepping up energy efficiency to save on operating costs.
Once the economic turnaround begins, new remodeling growth opportunities will replace those that were important in the past decade, according to the report. Rehabilitating neglected or damaged foreclosure properties will be one area of growth, and improvement spending in areas with high foreclosure rates may resume quickly when markets begin to recover. There also will be three key market segments that will help offset remaining drag from the weak housing market, the report says:
With nearly 130 million existing homes in the U.S., all of which will require some sort of ongoing maintenance and improvement, the remodeling industry has a solid future. It is inevitable that during this challenging economy some businesses will fail, but the remodeling sector as a whole will emerge from the current crisis stronger than ever, the report predicts.
For complete details of "The Remodeling Market in Transition," download the report.
Thursday, March 05 2009
Plans are moving forward with the construction of a new downtown arena. A contract for engineers to begin a schematic design of the new downtown arena in Evansville is expected by March 17. Project manager John Kish also says negotiations to purchase the land for the project are in the appraisal process.
Arena official plans fall start for construction
The city of Evansville hopes to buy the D-Patrick Ford property on Walnut Street by August so construction of a Downtown arena can begin this fall.
Negotiations are "in the appraisal process," and a design team of engineers is being assembled by HOK Sport, the city's architectural consultant for the arena, said John Kish, project manager.
'That's moving on, and we'll be having discussions with the landowners,' Kish told the Evansville Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday.
The D-Patrick Ford property comprises several parcels that have a combined assessed value of $4.1 million.
Kish said he plans to have a contract ready by the commission's March 17 meeting to hire the engineers to start the schematic design phase. Construction of the arena is expected to take two years. The cost is estimated between $117 million and $127 million.
Hunt Construction, the city's building consultant, will host meetings later this month for local contractors to let them know what opportunities will be available for jobs during the design and construction phases, Kish said. He did not provide specific dates for the meetings, but said they would be scheduled "in a couple places around town."
Redevelopment Commission member Ted Ubelhor asked Kish whether the arena is eligible to receive stimulus money from the federal government.
"I am told that the stimulus funding packages are of a type that the arena would not qualify for," Kish said.
Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel and Sen. Evan Bayh, D- Ind., had discussed the possibility of using stimulus money for the arena when Bayh was in Evansville in December.
The city plans to use a combination of revenues from Casino Aztar, tax increment financing funds and food and beverage taxes to pay for the arena.
A bill sponsored by state Rep. Dennis Avery to direct food and beverage tax revenue to arena funding has passed the House. If the Senate approves the bill, bonds for the arena could be issued by September or October.
Still unclear is how the ownership and management of the arena will be structured.
"I think we want to work our way through that to get the right answer, whatever the answer is in terms of the bonding authority," Kish said.
Kish said there are three main responsibilities: ownership of the arena, operating the arena and operating the event calendar.
"Those are three pieces that I think have yet to be decided," Kish said. "I think the momentum is clearly off and running with you owning the building from the bonding standpoint."
Roberts Stadium, which the arena will replace, is owned by the Evansville Parks Department. The Parks Department has a contract with SMG of Evansville to manage the facility.
One possibility is the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Building Authority, said City Councilman Curt John. The Building Authority owns the Civic Center, Vanderburgh County Jail and The Centre. John said Building Authority General Manager Dave Rector has run the Civic Center so efficiently that the city's rental rates have decreased.
Rector said he has had informal conversations with city officials about the Building Authority owning the arena. Under that scenario, the bonds for the arena would be issued by the Building Authority, which would manage the facility's operations. Rector said he expects the city to make a decision about the ownership structure within the next couple of months.
Wednesday, March 04 2009
The latest reports show that Evansville is in line to get $ 6 million form the federal stimulus package. This figure could still change. As per the report Indiana is eligible for
$ 650 for transportation projects.
Evansville expecting $6 million from stimulus
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The city of Evansville is expected to pocket $6 million from the federal stimulus package.
That's what we're hearing Tuesday night from Congressman Brad Ellsworth's office.
No words yet on what projects are targeted for the funds, but the money is supposed to be used for transportation and road improvements.
Indiana is eligible for $650 million for transportation projects.
Tuesday, March 03 2009
French Lick a near by holiday resort is adding a water park which will be open March 15. The town of French Lick is well worth a visit as The French Lick Resort and Casino is an old grand hotel. We are sure you will enjoy your visit there.
French Lick, Ind., Water Park will open March 15
FRENCH LICK, Ind. — A water park is scheduled to open in the Southern Indiana casino community of French Lick on March 15.
An adjacent 154-room hotel, called Valley of the Springs Resort, is opening this week.
Owners Jerry and Carolyn Fuhs had hoped to open earlier this winter, but they were delayed by the delivery of a mechanical component for the water park.
The 40,000-square-foot water park has a retractable glass roof.
The water park and hotel complex sits directly across from the French Lick Resort and Casino.
Monday, March 02 2009
Here we have tips for our readers who want to become landlords. We can certainly assist you in finding suitable choices and we can provide you with an investment analysis to see if a purchase would bring you the return you are looking for. For those of you who would like to own rental property but you personally do not want to be involved in the day to day work, we can recommend our property management division at F.C.TuckerEmge.
Please call me at 812-499-9234 if you are interested to receive further information on buying rental property.
6 Tips for Home Owners Who Turn Into Landlords
Home owners who decide to rent out their properties have to stop thinking of themselves as home owners and instead consider themselves as running a small business, experts say.
Thinking like a businessperson means focusing on the monthly cost of maintenance, mortgage and taxes, as well as being aware of landlord-tenant regulations and avoiding liabilities.
Here are key issues to consider:
Set a fair rent. Setting the right price will make it more likely that a landlord will be able to keep the place rented.
Understand landlord-tenant rules. Running afoul of landlord-tenant regulations and rules regarding security deposits can be costly.
Screen applicants. Eliminating potential tenants who can’t pay or who won’t take care of the property is very important.
Lay out the rules in a lease. Widely available sample leases can help. If you have questions, ask an attorney.
Consider a property manager. Despite the expense, turning the job over to experts can help a landlord come out ahead.
Talk to the condo association. If the property is a condominium, be prepared to deal with a host of regulations.
Source: The Washington Post, Renae Merle (02/28/2009)
Sunday, March 01 2009
The city of Evansville says it will receive $2 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Nearly $796,000 will be provided in Community Development Block Grants and another $1.2 million in Homeless Prevention Funds. The Evansville Housing Authority will also receive $1.8 million in Public Housing Capital Funds from the stimulus. The State of Indiana received more than $176 million of the $10 billion allocated today by HUD.
Evansville, Ind. -- The City of Evansville was notified today that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has allocated $2,013,562 to the City of Evansville as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Evansville will receive $795,964 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and $1,217,598 in Homeless Prevention Funds. The State of Indiana received more than $176 million of the $10 billion allocated today by HUD.
“The CDBG monies will be used for revitalization in our older neighborhoods including building new homes, rehabilitating others, demolishing those that are beyond repair and for infrastructure improvements,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “The Homeless Prevention Funds will be used to help residents pay their rent and utility bills in order to help keep them in their homes rather than becoming homeless. In addition, the City has already asked the local Commission on Homelessness to make recommendations on how the funds should be utilized.”
The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities (like Evansville), urban counties and states to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. The ARRA funds are in addition to the $2,931,741 in CDBG funds the City received in 2008 as part of its regular allocation from HUD.
In 2008, the City received an allocation of $131,402 from HUD for the Emergency Shelter Grants program (ESG). ESG provides homeless persons with basic shelter and essential supportive services. It can assist with the operational costs of the shelter facility, and for the administration of the grant. ESG also provides short-term homeless prevention assistance to persons at imminent risk of losing their own housing due to eviction, foreclosure or utility shutoffs.
The Evansville Housing Authority (EHA) will also receive $1,835,255 in Public Housing Capital Funds from the ARRA.
The $10 billion allocated today by HUD is nearly 75% of its funding made available through ARRA. ARRA includes $13.61 billion for projects and programs administered by HUD. The funding announced today is primarily formula-based, meaning that it is allocated using set program criteria that do not require grantees to apply for the funds, allowing them to be allocated very quickly. The remaining 25% of the funds will be competitively awarded later including funds to promote green jobs and mitigate the destabilizing effects of foreclosures on communities.
Source: Inside INdiana Business & City of Evansville