The city is one step closer to conducting an air quality study.
On Thursday, the Finance Committee agreed to proceed with a proposal from Houston, Texas-based Edge Engineering & Science to do a two-week air modeling and supplemental analysis. The proposal will now pass to the Logansport City Council for approval and funding. That hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 1 in the City Council Chambers on the third floor of the City Building.
The purpose for the study is to reassure the community that the city is looking out for them, said Dep. Mayor Jacob Pomasl, referring to the particulates that could be released into the airstream from the Waelz Sustainable Products plant at the Cass County Agribusiness Park near Clymers, once up and running.
WSP filed for an air permit in late 2020 with an Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) hearing held on Dec. 17. WSP is looking at installing an ambient monitor that would capture total suspended particulates for the analysis of lead and other metals, but a justification for a selected location has not been provided, according to Edge.
Therefore, Edge would perform a “critical review of air modeling and any supplemental analysis conducted by WSP for selection of the location of the monitor,” the proposal stated. Once that stage is finished, Edge would conduct an “independent air dispersion modeling to justify the proposed location of the ambient monitor or suggest alternative locations.”
Air dispersion modeling will be done in compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s methodology, according to Edge.
Once the first two steps are completed, Edge would advise the city on siting of a monitoring station as well as a meteorological station.
“We wanted to get started on it right away,” said Pomasl as he explained the purpose behind the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety vote and then the Finance Committee’s agreement. “We want to know of an optimal place to put the monitoring system.”
He said conducting a study to determine best air flow, patters, and the like will help solidify where the monitoring system should provide the most accurate air quality testing results.
Mike Englert, WSP general manager, said that “WSP will comply with all state and federal air quality regulations and standards, and the monitoring equipment will be installed as voluntarily proposed by WSP and agreed to with county officials.”
Mental Health focus
Also during the meeting, the city announced that it is looking at incorporating mental health benefits into its employment package.
Police officers and firefighters already have access to mental health counseling, but Pomasl said the Mayor’s Office would like to include all city employees. If approved, the comprehensive plan would grant four free counseling services to employees, spouses, and children. The four free sessions would be for each person, so between an employee and his or her spouse, that could equate to eight. Four additional sessions could be used per child.
The overall cost to add this package would be approximately $3,500, which would be covered by the city.
Community Development position
Building Commissioner Wayne Erwin announced his retirement. He will step down from his post at the end of April.
Therefore, current Code Enforcement Officer Johnny Quinones will move into the vacated role with Jamey Harper, rental property inspector, taking over as the new code enforcement officer.
The city will search for a new rental property inspector within the next few months. The position will be reconfigured to include additional responsibility.