September 20, 2013
LMU super: More time needed for negotiations
by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune Pharos-Tribune
The presentation of agreements between the city and the company proposing to build a power plant have been extended from its originally anticipated release next month to sometime in December, Logansport Municipal Utilities Superintendent Paul Hartman announced in an email Wednesday.
Negotiations between the city and Pyrolyzer LLC, out of Boca Raton, Fla., over a generating plant that would be powered by refuse-derived fuel began earlier this spring. A power purchase agreement is expected to result from the talks. The agreement would establish electric rates.
A build-operate-transfer agreement, which will determine how long the company will own the plant before transferring it to the city, is also expected to come out of the talks.
Hartman said at last month’s Logansport Utility Service Board meeting that the agreements would be presented at a board meeting scheduled for Oct. 1.
In an email, he wrote the release is being moved to December because more time is needed for Pyrolyzer, the plant’s investors and the consultants hired by the city to assist with the project to complete and review the agreements.
“This meeting is later than presented to the [utility service board] in previous discussions, however, as you can appreciate, the development of these documents in Indiana is precedent-setting,” he states in the message.
Hartman went on to write the power purchase agreement is being reviewed by investors and that their feedback to the consultants is expected by the middle of October.
The build-operate-transfer agreement is currently undergoing “final development” by the consultants and will be presented to Pyrolyzer in two weeks, he continued.
The contract between the city and the consultants will take the parties through the remainder of the negotiations.
The ordinance passed by Logansport City Council in March authorizing Mayor Ted Franklin to negotiate with Pyrolyzer on behalf of the city states talks must conclude by the end of this year.
John Molitor, an Indianapolis-based attorney working as special counsel for the city, said while the ordinance states negotiations must conclude by the end of the year, the other requirements can come afterward. The presentation, any committee meetings, public hearing and city council votes on the agreements can take place in the months that follow, he said.
The Indiana Supreme Court is currently considering the validity of the ordinance authorizing the negotiations in a lawsuit first filed in Cass County Superior Court II by Logansport citizen Julie Kitchell.
Molitor, who represented city council in the case, said he would be surprised if a ruling wasn’t made by the end of November.
Logansport Councilman Bob Bishop, a supporter of the power plant project, said he expects council members and the public will have a month or two to consider the contracts after they are finished.
“It’s going to be a pretty good-sized agreement,” he said. “They can’t bring that to us expecting a vote on it in a couple days.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.