The Dynamis contract: Ada County picks a winner. And a loser?

Here's a draft of our Wednesday editorial.

Ada County, you’ve been had.

Remember what you were promised two years ago? Ada County commissioners gave Dynamis Energy $2 million to draw up plans for a gasification plant to turn garbage into green energy. The money, supposedly, was to cover design work.

But what you bought bears little resemblance to what you were sold. Cynthia Sewell’s article in the Statesman Sunday follows the dollars to this inescapable conclusion.

Public money, collected from county landfill fees, went to a host of add-ons, accessories and excesses:

• Dynamis spent $150,000 on a deposit for a turbine — an essential for power generation, of course, but unrelated to the task of drawing up designs.

• Dynamis spent $44,795.41 on computers and accessories — an investment more befitting a startup business than a company that likes to tout its experience on green energy projects elsewhere.

• Another $180,664.85 represented pure profit for Dynamis, a 10 percent project markup. In other words, the county invested your money speculatively, and the private entrepreneur got paid on the front end.

• And Dynamis’ employees weren’t slaving away in hopes of a big payday down the road. Engineers received $656,600 and were paid $270 to $350 an hour, above the going rate for contract work in the Treasure Valley.

When politicians criticize business subsidies, especially in the energy sector, they often say that government should not pick winners and losers. Current Commissioners Sharon Ullman and Rick Yzaguirre and former Commissioner Fred Tilman made a “winner” out of Dynamis. Thanks to the commissioners’ largesse, Dynamis minimized its own risk and even pocketed some profits in its so-called design phase.

And the loser?

It could be you.

Perhaps you remember another promise from the commissioners: Dynamis would need to pay back the $2 million and buy back its design before construction could begin. Construction hasn’t started, so the county is still out its money.

Your money.

And it’s not even clear whether the county could collect its money if Dynamis doesn’t deliver. Potomac Energy Fund, a Dynamis creditor, has staked a claim to the beleaguered company’s assets.

Which would at least include, as we now know, some nice, high-end computers.

It never should have taken two years, and a public records request, for county residents to finally get an accounting of where their Dynamis dollars went. That’s unacceptable.

But when the records thoroughly disprove their sales pitch — and show that your money went for a whole lot more than design work — it’s no surprise the commissioners wanted to keep the facts under wraps.


It will all work out in the end.


Just like all the home buyers buying houses on stated income loans, interest only, and ARMs.

No criminal thinks they will get caught.

I saw a Dynamis truck pull out a nice residential area on Eagle Rd the other day. I thought, "Dang they got nerve to drive around in a truck with the name on it".

What's the status on their personal home property taxes?

the trail of disaster

-DBSI history
-IRS & Federal Tax Liens
-Borrowing money from the County because no one would loan them money
-Overcharging time
-Denial of their troubles
-Unattainable time table for the project
-Other partners discountinuing business with them

These characters are obviously inept. And why are Sharon Ullman(bad govt) and Rick Yzaguirre(tax cheat) still supporting Dynamis?


Now imagine, KR, IF the county was flush with cash due to higher taxes. Would this even be a blip on the radar? I dont' think so.

And it's THIS mindset of 'government money is okay to waste' that contributes to taxpayers disdain of the liberal mantra, "more taxes for more services".

Radical Republicans

Here are the radical republican conservatives bumbling up yet another task and costing the taxpayers. (and trying to blame it on the liberals)

Good summary Kevin

Stay on the story and may add the names of the Dynamis principals and officers as appropriate to what appears to be a serious scandal involving improper use and oversight of public funds.


Potomac Energy Fund--out of Maryland like Johnston who came from there before he was so successful at Southfork...NOT!
He likes to drive the nice Dynamis Truck around...can i get one too???

More info

So if the County and Statesman has the invoices paid- who were they paid to?

Likely, the invoices were to either friends of Dynamis principals or to sh*ell companies. No one can get 'private information' beyond the invoices without a little diggin.