Press release from the City:
City Works to Secure Information, Access Specified in I&M Lease
Company Communication Refutes Electric Provider’s Claims of Cooperation
Efforts by the City of Fort Wayne to gather information and inspect facilities in preparation for the transition of its electric utility to a new supplier remain thwarted by Indiana Michigan Power (I&M). The provision of this information is one of the specific requirements of the current lease. I&M’s refusal to convey this data has been cited as one of several contract breaches in a default letter issued by the City on August 20, 2009.
“For the citizen-owners of the Fort Wayne electric utility and for its customers, I&M’s unwillingness to provide information is not merely a negotiating tactic,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “It signals a broken contract and a violation of the public trust. It also prohibits planning for a smooth and orderly transition, and blocks the City from moving ahead to secure the best value for the community’s potential $100 million asset.”
While I&M’s public statements continue to assert full cooperation, its private correspondence indicates something different. Excerpts from communication between the City and I&M offer factual detail, as follows:
The City will be commencing a review of the various substations and distribution facilities throughout Fort Wayne in the coming weeks. We will, of course, stay outside the fenced boundaries, but as a courtesy, we wanted to let you know that this review has commenced.
Please also accept this letter as a formal request for a tour of each of I&M’s substations and other distribution facilities within the City’s footprint. To that end, please provide me with available dates and times so that we can coordinate such activity.
– City of Fort Wayne letter to I&M, July 22, 2009
â€¦I&M received the enclosed letterâ€¦as a â€˜formal request’ for an inspection and tour of all I&M substations and distribution facilities â€˜within the City’s footprint.’
In the interim, and until we have more guidance from the City, we will not be scheduling any â€˜tours’ of I&M’s facilities asâ€¦requested.
– I&M letter to the City of Fort Wayne, July 31, 2009
â€¦has advised me that he and the City’s engineer consultants would like to review and have access to the I&M substations listed below:
- Anthony 12 kV Substation – McMillen Circuit
- Anthony 12 kV Substation – Tokheim Circuit
- Anthony 12 kV Substation – Wallace Circuit
- Fulton 12 kV Substation – Bloomingdale Circuit
- Fulton 12 kV Substation – Broadway Circuit
- Fulton 12 kV Substation – Edsall Circuit
- Glenbrook 12 kV Substation – Fernhill Circuit
- Harvest Park 12 KV Substation – Gladieux Circuit
- Hillcrest 12 kV Substation – Dunbar Circuit
- Hillcrest 12 kV Substation – Venture Circuit
- IUPU 12 kV Substation – College Park Circuit
- Lincoln 12 kV Substation – Maysville Circuit
- McKinley 12 kV Substation – Engle Circuit
- McKinley 12 kV Substation – Hale Circuit
- McKinley 12 kV Substation – Phenie Circuit
- McKinley 12 kV Substation – Taylor Circuit
- Parnell 12 kV Substation – Northcrest Circuit
- Parnell 12 kV Substation – Summerfield Circuit
- Parnell 12 kV Substation – University Circuit
- Parnell 12 kV Substation – Vance Circuit
- Pettit 12 kV Substation – Belmont Circuit
- Pettit 12 kV Substation – Sears Circuit
- Pettit 12 kV Substation – Vernon Circuit
- Spring 12 kV Substation – Highland Circuit
- Spring 12 kV Substation – Tyler Circuit
- Spy Run 12 kV Substation – Centlivre Circuit
- Spy Run 12 kV Substation – Delaware Circuit
- Spy Run 12 kV Substation – Goshen Circuit
- Spy Run 12 kV Substation – Lawton Circuit
- Spy Run 12 kV Substation – Rumsey Circuit
- Spy Run 12 kV Substation – Three Rivers Circuit
- State Street 12 kV Substation – Brentwood Circuit
- State Street 12 kV Substation – Trier Circuit
- Trier 12 kV Substation – Buckingham Circuit
- Wayne Trace 12 kV Substation – Paulding Circuit
- Wayne Trace 12 kV Substation – Stinson Circuit
- Webster 12 kV Substation – Harmar Circuit
- Webster 12 kV Substation – Oakdale Circuit
- Webster 12 kV Substation – Oxford Circuit
– City of Fort Wayne letter to I&M, August 14, 2009
To date, the City has received no response to the letter sent to I&M on August 14, 2009, or to any of the other information requests it has presented to the company.
Subsequent media reports featuring quotes from an I&M representative underscore the inherent conflict between the private record and the public message, as follows:
We said they could look at the substation facilities and we have not heard back from them, so, it’s hard to understand why they’re making these claims that we’re not being cooperative.
– Susanne Moorman Rowe, I&M Spokesperson
Indiana’s NewsCenter, September 2, 2009
Susanne Moorman Rowe, communications director for I&M, said the utility would allow such inspections, but I&M insists on escorting people around energized equipment.
We said, â€˜Just call us and schedule.’ They never called to schedule, she said.
– The News-Sentinel, September 2, 2009
Susanne Moorman Rowe, I&M director of communications, said assertions that her company has not complied with requests are false.
– The Journal Gazette, September 3, 2009
According to the terms of the lease, I&M must return a viable electric utility system to the City upon conclusion of the lease and supply the City with all necessary information to ensure the development of a detailed transition and operational plan. Regardless of I&M’s statements or actions to the contrary, the City in good faith and with integrity will continue to pursue the information guaranteed to it under the terms of the existing lease.