Pharos-Tribune

Local News

December 2, 2012

On the cutting edge? Officials say trash power project a big deal

Miller: ‘This project is unlike anything Cass County has experienced.’

LOGANSPORT — Those involved in the decision to pursue a $500 million project to generate electricity from trash pellets say the project could put Logansport in the spotlight.

Todd Miller, president of Myers Spring and a member of the Logansport Utility Service Board, said the scale of the project was unlike anything Cass County has ever experienced. He predicted that people from other areas would be coming to the public hearings in Logansport to learn more about the project.

“This half-a-billion-dollar project is going to receive worldwide attention,” Miller said. “If it would work, it would fundamentally change economic opportunities in Logansport.”

Former State Sen. Tom Weatherwax agreed, saying the city couldn’t pretend Environmental Protection Agency regulations weren’t going to affect Indiana.

“Other manufacturers will be looking at this community,” Weatherwax said. “Logansport has its act together.”

Former Mayor Mike Fincher was among those who turned out for a question-and-answer session Wednesday night with the city’s team of consultants. He said the cost of the project concerned him, but he said that because the project wouldn’t happen without private funding, cost would be less of an issue.

Fincher, who said the city had looked into such a project previously, added the city might want to be concerned about putting all of its eggs in one basket. He said city leaders might want to ask themselves what would happen to the supply of trash pellets 20 years from now if the idea of burning trash pellets were to become commonplace.

He noted, though, that at least in the beginning the proposed project would keep rates low, which is important.

“I’m trying to keep an open mind with this,” Fincher said. “At the meeting on Wednesday night, there were unanswered questions, but that is bound to happen with the project being this early in the process.”

Miller said city leaders needed to ask themselves “why not?”

LMU has lost nearly $4 million in the past three years, utility service board members said, so it cannot remain on its current course. They noted that the utility also faces the likelihood that EPA regulations will eventually bar it from the continued use of coal.

“I think it should be emphasized to the public that, without any doubt, the power plant is being shut down, so the options are purchasing all Logansport’s energy, and seeing an increase in rates, or building another power plant,” Miller said. “It’s not going away overnight, but I don’t think people understand that.”

Connie Neininger, president of the Logansport-Cass County Economic Development Foundation, said she was a strong supporter of renewable energy.

Indiana as a whole generates 95 percent of its electricity using coal, Neininger said.

“We do need to look at alternatives,” she said. “I commend LMU and Logansport for looking into other opportunities.”

Neininger said the fact Logansport is looking into the project is progressive.

“I think it’s a sign Logansport is looking into the future,” Neininger said. “We cannot continue to do things the way we have always done them.”

Miller said he thinks the project is a start and he thinks both Hartman and the team of experts hired are all sincere.

“My only concern is what the ultimate lease is going to look like if we get someone to comply,” Miller said. “Right now, our plant is not so fantastic that we should be extra diligent.”

The Utility Service Board voted last week to issue a request for proposals from companies willing to invest in such a plant. The proposals are due in January, and the team of consultants hope to make a recommendation in February.

Weatherwax said he was excited about the project and was looking forward to more public questions being answered as the proposals come back.

Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or amie.sites@pharostribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition