Oakwood Hills’ Documents Show Electric Generating Peaker Plant Proceeding Apace

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

For some reason, the above scene from the Wizard of Oz came to mind when I read the most recent reply to my most recent Freedom of Information requests the Village of Oakwood Hills.

What was it the Wizard said?

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” or something like that.

Here is the first reply I received from the Oakwood Hills Freedom of Information officer September 11th when I asked about a peaker plant’s consideration:

“There is no Peaker Plant proposal being considered or looked at by the Village of Oakwood Hills.”

In this letter of September 11, 2013, the Village of Oakwood Hills wrote, "There is no Peaker Plant proposal being considered or looked at by the Village of Oakwood Hills."

In this letter of September 11, 2013, the Village of Oakwood Hills wrote, “There is no Peaker Plant proposal being considered or looked at by the Village of Oakwood Hills.”

When I asked the Illinois EPA, I hit the mother load, which prompted more FOIA requests.

In Oakwood Hills’ second reply, there were attachments concerning my subsequent request for

“documents concerning payments made from an escrow account set up by Enventure Partners to pay for all staff and consulting expenses associated with the gas-Íìred peaker plant project planned for Oakwood Hills and/or any other purposes.”

Here’s the relevant part of the cover letter:

“The Village of Oakwood Hills does not have any documentation relating to Enventure Partners, Ken Snell, Sargent and Lundy or Conrad Anderson.

“However, the Village can provide you with the Retained Personnel Agreement as well as invoices and payments pertaining to your request for, ‘documents concerning payments made from an escrow account set up by Enventure Partners to pay for all staff and consulting expenses associated with the gas-fìred peaker plant project planned for Oakwood Hills and/or any other purposes.'”

If that is a bit confusing, welcome to the club.

Look at the bottom of page 4 and the top of page 5 of the peaker plant proposal made to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in June of 2012:

The bottom paragraph indicates the Oakwood Hills Village Board and officials met with Enventure Partners about a peaker plant.

This part of the report indicates that Enventure has met with Oakwood Village officials about a peaker plant.

Extracted below is that paragraph:
OH 6-8-12 p4 bottom Meeting with Village OfficialsOH 6-8-12 p5 Escrow AcctSo, the Village’s contention is that, in spite of

  • meeting with Enventure “several times” and
  • having hired HR Green to serve as the Village’s Engineer for the Project and ha[ving] staff on retainer to evaluate legal and commercial issues associated with the Project,” which
  • “Enventure has funded [from] an escrow account to pay for all staff and consulting expenses associated with the Project,”

the Village “does not have any documentation relating to Enventure Partners…”

Yet, it does have records of the bills “documents concerning payments made from an escrow account set up by Enventure Partners to pay for all staff and consulting expenses associated with the gas-fìred peaker plant project planned for Oakwood Hills and/or any other purposes.”

Thirty documents were provided in Oakwood Hills’ September 23rd response to three more Freedom of Information requests.

The earliest date on a document is May 19, 2011.  That was one titled,

“Chapter 17 – Retained Personnel, Exhibit A, Village of Oakwood Hills, Reimbursement of Fees Agreement.”

Others show payments to

  • Cowlin, Curran and Coppedge, attorneys of $7,525
  • Attorney Sue McCabe, the former Cary Village President, of $5,355
  • HR Green, an engineering firm of $15,144
The letter sent to Oakwood Hills from engineering firm HR Green after September 23rd Freedom of Information requests were filed.

The letter sent to Oakwood Hills from engineering firm HR Green after September 23rd Freedom of Information requests were filed.

You can read the document I found most interesting below (the image is to the left).

It is dated October 2rd (after the FOIA requests were made and one day before Oakwood Hills’ reply) and is from Timothy J. Hartnett, Vice President/Practice Leader of Governmental Services for HR Green.

RE: Enventure Project – Clarification on Project
HR Green Job No.: 86110188

Dear Ms. Goldman:

I would like to correct our error on our invoices in the project description for the subject project. The reference to a “proposed peaking power plant” should have not been shown on our invoices since that proposal was taken off the table back in the fall of 2012.

We will remove the reference immediately and I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.

The most recent bill from the Cowlin law firm indicates that a “host agreement” was being drafted during the first half of August.

Here’s the billing itemization:

Preparation of a "host agreement" was occurring this past August.

Preparation of a “host agreement” by the Cowlin law firm was occurring this past August.

One may reasonably conclude that the peaker plant envisioned by Enventure Partners and the Village mothers and fathers of Oakwood Hills is proceeding apace.


Comments

Oakwood Hills’ Documents Show Electric Generating Peaker Plant Proceeding Apace — 10 Comments

  1. WOW Cal, I think you are really on something here and I agree, it just does not add up right.

    GOOD WORK!

  2. Here’s something I found when googling about Illinois EPA involvement

    Q) If a company gets a permit from the Illinois EPA, can the company build even without local approval?

    A) No, the company must build on a location that is appropriately zoned for a power plant. In some cases, the location is already zoned for a power plant; in other cases, the company must obtain a special use approval to build a power plant. In either case, the Illinois EPA’s permit does not have any bearing on the local zoning decisions.

    So here’s my question: When did Oakwood Hills zone this area appropriate for building a power plant??

  3. Cal, We need you at the meetings!!

    This blows holes in so much of what we’ve been told. Wish I had a way to send it out to everybody who was there last night,

    Thanks keep up the good work I’ll be reading more of your blogs for sure.

  4. Cal, We need you to speak at the zonning meetings.

    This blows holes in so much of what we’ve been told.

    Just wish I hadd a way to share it wihth al of the folks at last nights meeting.

    I’ll be reading ore of your blogs for sure.

    Thanks

    Mike

  5. Great job digging this up!

    What group of lying SOB’s!

    Did they think no one would find out about this?!

    I truly believe it will be in the near future, that I move out of this village.

  6. I notice in the proposed project document submitted to IEPA that the following statement was made; to wit: “both plants will incorporate HRSGs with NOx and CO catalysts installed to reduce emissions to lowest commercially achievable levels.”

    All that means to me is that that’s as good as they can get them.

    It doesn’t say that those levels are safe for the children in the nearby school or the residents in the area.

    They mention no specific numeric values for IEPA to compare with their air quality standards.

  7. are we really that stunned @ the Village of Oakwood Hills officials….come next election, lets vote them ALL out of office, and send a messaage, that corruption is not to be tolerated…..period

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