City Council voices concerns over Evansville Smart City proposal - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

City Council voices concerns over Evansville Smart City proposal

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There's new information Wednesday night on the Evansville Smart City proposal.   

For over two and a half hours, city council members voiced their concerns about the contract with Johnson Controls. 

Some council members saying this was a waste of their time, that the plan is already a done deal.

The meeting began with a presentation of Smart City 2.0 led Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.  

He says the contract with Johnson Controls, to automate water meters in the city and install a fiber optic network, calls for $3.1 million in guaranteed savings in the first year and $83 million over the life of the 20 year plan. That, the mayor says, is a $9.5 million increase in savings over the original plan.

But some say, if the water utility had maintained the meters in the first place, the city wouldn't be in this position.

Some council members say they learned on Wednesday night that this plan is going to happen regardless of what they say.

"If the meter was changed properly, we wouldn't have any problems. When we got ready to do this, they did it at their rate. They did it the way they wanted to do it," resident, Ed Massey says.

"You said you pretty much have no say on this? We don't. We found that out tonight. There was really no reason to ask two and a half hours of questions when we realized this deal is done. There's really nothing you can do about it," Councilman Conor O'Daniel says.

Regardless, the council will have to vote on how to finance the project. That vote should come in the near future.

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