This site has often referred to the Biodigester as the “Biodisaster” and now that a wealth of answers hidden by the old Council have been brought to light by our new Council, this project is living up to the nickname.
Despite the “dog and pony shows” we got from old Council with dividend presentations from the Town’s hydro entities, they could not mask the ugly truth up on the hill. Without going into finer details, here are the takeaway points on the Bio:
- The proceeds of the $9 million sale of Niagara Regional Broadband Networks by GHI, was put into the Biodigester project ($5.75 million after taxes)
- Grimsby Energy’s (the company that owns the Bio) has liabilities (money owed) of around $14.5 million
- $4.5 million of that is a loan from the TD Bank, which GEI is unable to pay the principal on and the Town has guaranteed this loan
- Approximately $9.7 million is borrowed from the Town’s other hydro companies (including GHI as above) and will likely not be repaid
- GEI’s bank account has approximately $8,000 in it
- To comply with Ministry of Environment and Climate Change orders and regulations, $300,000 – $500,000 is needed
- The German company which operates the Bio remotely is owed almost $500,000
- Bio will need another $300,000 from the Town to keep operating
- Accounting records, minutes and other corporate records are a complete mess
Are you surprised? Probably not and neither is this author nor Michael Rozender, a local concerned citizen who sadly passed away in 2018, and saw the Biodigester for what it really was in his 2017 guest editorial here.
The fact that old Council kept the financial workings of this wasteful project secret, spoke volumes about the problems that were really occurring. If something is a success, you don’t hide it under your hat… you flaunt it.
Speaking of hats… hats off to the new Council for quickly bringing forth the answers that people have been asking for.
It should be interesting to see what other surprises come forward.
You can read more details in the following NewsNow post: https://www.wn3.ca/2019/01/16/biodigester-now-on-life-support/
The PowerPoint presented to Council can be found here: January 14 Special Council (Biodigester)