Architect seeking city approval?

Without question, the highlight of Wednesday’s marathon state alcohol commission hearing for Ultimate Place 2 B night club was when Indianapolis architect Stephen Alexander took the stand.

Alexander, who testified he worked closely with Dan Dumoulin II to build a new strip club at 5126 Clinton Drive, flatly contradicted assertions from the Dumoulin family that they never intended to build anything other than a “sports bar and grill” at the location.

In fact, Alexander said, Dan II met with him “15 to 20 times” to design a stage for exotic dancers. Dan II, who had already testified, was not recalled to rebut that testimony.

It was the second time in as many weeks Alexander popped up on the Public Eye’s radar screen.

The first time, as astute readers will remember, was when Alexander showed up at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Board’s last meeting.

Along with local businessman Jeff Carney, Alexander urged the board to support broad plans to locate an “urban mall” in downtown Kokomo, which would include the library and a new YMCA as anchor tenants.

If the mall concept included retail and residential components, as well as “buy-in” from the library and it might be possible to lure a commercial developer into the project, Alexander said.

Another necessary component of the project would be support from the city administration, including Kokomo Mayor Matt McKillip, and the Kokomo Common Council.

Dumoulin shocks his attorney

Another fascinating bit of alcohol commission testimony came when Dan Dumoulin II’s lawyers (who kept mispronouncing his name “DOO-MULL-IAN” ) were trying to establish their client as an upstanding citizen.

One of the reasons Dumoulin is threatened with losing the Ultimate Place 2 B’s liquor permit is because the local alcoholic beverage board ruled he doesn’t possess the moral standing to deserve one. Dumoulin is fighting that ruling by appealing to the state board.

Attorney Joseph Quill asked Dumoulin if he’d ever been turned down for financing because of his moral character.

To everyone’s surprise, Dumoulin answered “yes” to the question.

Upon further questioning, Dumoulin said he’d been turned down by a Kokomo bank on a loan request he put in for financing on a skating rink project.

Dumoulin, who wants to build an indoor roller-skating rink at the former 84 Lumber site on Kokomo’s north side, said he had to go outside the community to get the loan.

“We got denied on that because of all the publicity we had on the Ultimate Place 2 B,” Dumoulin testified. “They said it was too hot to mess with because of all the church people.”

Experience mattered

When Ron Herrell returns to the Indiana House in January. He will return to the powerful Ways and Means Committee, considered a plum assignment by lawmakers.

Herrell was named to the Ways and Means Committee this week by House Speaker Patrick Bauer.

“Ron Herrell will be among the busiest members of the Indiana House over the next two years, but my decision is based on the record of service that Ron has compiled in the past and the experience and expertise he brings to the Legislature,” Bauer said. “We look forward to taking full advantage of his counsel and wisdom in deliberating some of the more serious policy issues to come before the Indiana General Assembly in 2007 and 2008.”

Herrell is also serving as vice chair of the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety and on the Insurance and Labor and Employment committees.

“As a person who served on Ways and Means during my first tenure in the Indiana House, I am fully aware that the most recent budget crafted by the governor and Republican majorities in the House and Senate shorted many schools on state funding and increased property taxes for most Hoosiers,” Herrell said.

“It will be my priority to restore state support for education in the next budget, and I certainly want to see a return to the kind of property tax relief that was a hallmark of budget written in a bipartisan fashion,” he said. “I certainly look forward to the challenges coming in 2007.”

Herrell said as a result of his previous experience he will join the Ways and Means Committee with a good grasp of the issues and be ready to “hit the ground running”.

“I was surprised that I was named to three other committees,” he told the Public Eye. “I’m not afraid of hard work.”

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