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January 12, 2014

City council OKs mayor to negotiate with more than Pyrolyzer

City council OKs mayor to negotiate with more than Pyrolyzer.

The second vote on a change to Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin’s negotiating abilities with a renewable energy firm was met with even more changes at Friday’s rescheduled Logansport City Council meeting.

Franklin has been negotiating since last March with Pyrolyzer LLC, out of Boca Raton, Fla., over an electric-generating plant powered by refuse-derived fuel now estimated to cost between $700 million and $800 million.

Negotiations were expected to conclude by October 2013, when it was announced it would likely take until December. Logansport City Council amended legislation last month authorizing Franklin to negotiate with Pyrolyzer by striking the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline.

Council voted on the final reading of this measure Friday with yet more amendments.

The latest changes permit Franklin to negotiate with not only Pyrolyzer, but any “qualified provider.”

John Molitor, an Indianapolis attorney providing special counsel to the city for the plant project told attendees of the city council meeting Friday that Pyrolyzer has yet to achieve the objectives of the city and the Logansport Utility Service Board regarding its rate stabilization initiative.

“It’s necessary at this point to pursue some other alternative,” he said, while seeing if a deal could still be worked out with Pyrolyzer.

In an interview after the meeting, Franklin urged the project’s goals of acquiring a plant for Logansport that lowers electric rates using renewable fuel is not in jeopardy. He said the latest amendments “still get us to the finish line” and could possibly lead to an even larger investment.

Franklin went on to call Pyrolyzer’s proposal “still very viable” and said the amendments may even improve talks with the company.

“This we hope motivates Pyrolyzer to be more aggressive,” Franklin said.

Council passed both the amendments and the measure in its entirety 4-3. Council members Bob Bishop, Joe Buck, Gary Fox and Charlie Hastings voted in favor of the measures and council members Jeremy Ashcraft, Chuck LaDow and Teresa Popejoy voted against them.

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