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May 19, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Minimize our risk before making bet

— I have a friend who enjoys playing the lottery. She knows that her chances of being hit by lightning are better than her chances of winning big, but she enjoys it. Another person might spend as much renting a movie or buying a beer and get just as much entertainment out of that.

We all gamble, even if we don’t play the lottery. One example is buying a used car. People don’t just take the salesman’s word that it is the perfect car. Most people minimize the risk by driving the car, having an independent mechanic look it over, etc. You know you can still get a lemon, but you minimize your risk before you take your chance.

Most people understand taking gambles and minimizing risks. Logansport’s city administration has placed a $1.5 million bet on a new power plant, and I don’t think their odds are very good.

One example: Councilman Bob Bishop, in his April 14 letter to the editor, counts on the property taxes that the new Pyrolyzer plant would pay to Logansport. He does not mention that the annexation is not a done deal, so receiving that tax money is not a sure bet. Maybe those people will not like the idea of their property values — and maybe air quality — being hurt by having the Pyrolyzer plant in their neighborhood. Perhaps those people will decide they don’t want to be annexed, and Logansport will end up not getting Pyrolyzer’s property taxes.

If Mr. Bishop wants the city to get the property taxes that Pyrolyzer would pay, he should increase the chances that the people in the annexation area will welcome Pyrolyzer. Claims that the process is “clean” and “green” may not be enough. “Trash-to-energy” plants are well known for releasing poisons into the air, land and water, even though their salesman will claim differently. What independent tests prove that pyrolyzation is “clean” and “green”?

Hopefully Pyrolyzer’s claims are true, but hoping does not make it so. Reassure people with an independent study of all emissions. This would do a lot to smooth Pyrolyzer’s “welcome” into our community, and improve the odds for the best that the mayor and city council have placed with $1.5 million.

Gretchen Kantzer

Logansport

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