Geoff Hirson, president of Powerdyne Terre Haute Holdings, is expected to represent his company at a special meeting of the Terre Haute City Council Thursday at 5 p.m. in City Hall.

Mayor Duke Bennett told the Tribune-Star Tuesday that Hirson will be attending the special meeting for Powerdyne. 

The City Council is hosting a one-hour special meeting to learn more about the city’s sludge-to-diesel contracts and the Powerdyne partnership. The public is invited to attend but, because of the length of the meeting, only certain individuals will be invited to speak, said John Mullican, council president, speaking Tuesday.

Mullican said he wants to keep the meeting at the level of “fact finding” — not a debate or a confrontation.

“This is the council’s opportunity to ask questions and get answers,” Mullican said, adding he believes there will be future meetings at which the public will have opportunities to speak.

Bennett, meanwhile, indicated he welcomes a chance for the council to ask questions directly of Powerdyne. “I am hopeful that the City Council members can get their questions about Powerdyne answered by Powerdyne,” the mayor stated in a text message Tuesday.

The City Council invited representatives of Powerdyne, Bennett and other city officials, including Mark Thompson, the director of the wastewater treatment plant, and Chou-il Lee, city attorney, to attend the meeting. They also invited Roger Ward, a biological engineer, to speak and take questions.

One interested party at the meeting will be Pat Goodwin, who, in early November, launched the THINQ Terre Haute Facebook page, which provides a public forum for discussion about the city’s sludge-to-diesel projects. Goodwin said he hopes the meeting will bring a lot of information into the open.

“The main thing I’m looking for is, ‘Let’s get it all out in the open,’” said Goodwin, who served as city engineer under Bennett’s predecessor, Kevin Burke, and for other mayors. Goodwin said he is not opposed to the Powerdyne project and supports finding creative ways to deal with municipal sludge. However, he is concerned about the sludge-to-diesel contracts that have so far been signed by city officials.

Bennett has stated the Powerdyne and related contracts are being “updated” and will come again to the Board of Public Works for approval. The board originally approved the contracts in May and July of last year.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

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