Power plant financing gets approval in divided vote

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) – The financing agreement for a proposed $800 million power plant gets approval from the Logansport city council Tuesday, but the vote is not unanimous.

There was a small round of applause from the audience after the decision.

It was the council’s first vote on the Power Purchase Agreement which outlines many of the financial details of the proposed plant. Some details include that the maximum price sold to Logansport Municipal Utilities will be 5.3 cents for the first two years, with increases to come that match the Consumer Price Index.

Four people spoke up, saying there were too many unknowns to be able to give a positive vote, including what specific legal entity is behind Total Concept Solutions and who is funding that entity.

Attorney Brian Bosma, who is also the Indiana Speaker of the House, rebutted the questions saying that those details will be available once the financing agreement is agreed to by the city, which still has to approve several more things before the plant can be built.

In the end, the vote was 5-2, with councilmen Chuck LaDow and Jeremy Ashcraft voting no.

“I hope like heck it does work. I really do. What an incredible opportunity for our city, but until I know some details, I can’t be supportive of it. I have to know what I’m voting on,” said LaDow.

“We do not have all the answers, but the answers I’ve seen are very impressive,” said Council President Joe Buck. “No, I don’t know who the money man is. But if he’s got the money and he writes the check for the franchise fee, it’s all on him. It’s not going to cost the public.”

A second vote on the power purchase agreement is scheduled for June 16.

Mayor Ted Franklin expects to finalize the other major document, the Development Agreement, later this summer. He said hopefully in the next few weeks.

The Power Purchase Agreement will only be valid if the Development Agreement is passed, by both the Utility Service Board and the City Council. Several additional agreements also must be signed, including payment of the $1.75 million franchise fee which reimburses Logansport’s costs for pursuing the power plant. Bosma said that payment is independent of the 5.3 cent rate which has tentatively been agreed upon.

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