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Do the math

Milltown, Ind.

I have been reading with a great deal of interest the call-ins each week concerning the biomass plant and how it is going to provide 25 good-paying jobs to the county and how everyone is wanting to sign up for these jobs. This got me to thinking about some of the other issues surrounding this plant that have been provided by LGR in their presentation made available at the Crawford County Commissioners' meeting in February. After studying this presentation, I decided to do a little of my own math. Here is some of what I have come up with.

LGR has stated in their presentation that they will need approximately 480,000 gallons of water per day to operate their plant. Compare this to the average of 11,000 gallons of water used daily at Jasper Engines, located at the industrial park at Carefree, which employs an average of 260 people. So, divide 11,000 into 480,000 and you would have 43.64 more companies the size of Jasper Engines come into the county. Now, multiple 43.64 companies by 260 employees and you have a grand total of 11,346 jobs. Wow that sure beats the 25 (life-of-the-plant) jobs that LGR boasted about in their presentation.

Now, here is some more math for you: 480,000 gallons of water per day multiplied by 365 days per year is a staggering 175,200,000 gallons per year. Can this county actually accept that kind of demand on the aquifer system? What happens if we have a drought? Using this much water, what happens if other companies do come to our area and we find out we have depleted our water system for one company that promises it will provide us with 25 jobs?

Now, I know that realistically we are not going to get 43.64 companies interested in coming into our county; heck, we can't even get one interested, except for (this one)

Also, at the commissioners meeting in February, LGR made available a job positions by title list for the 25 (life-of-the-plant) jobs. I have been looking at some of these positions on Craigslist and different search engines so I would know what to expect if I decided I might send in a resumé to LGR to get one of these high-paying jobs. Of the three that I have looked at so far, (jobs were in California) plant manager, plant operator and maintenance technician, I see that I will need to start college courses to get my Ph.D. in different fields and brush up on my experience, because they listed as qualifications for these jobs a college degree and five to eight years experience in the biomass field. Oh, and the starting salary for the plant operator was $38,480, for the maintenance technician starting salary was $45,779, and the starting salary for the plant manager was $115,000.

So, for those who want to be first in line for these jobs, you better hurry up and get those degrees, because LGR stated at the commissioners' meeting that they would only be hiring the best qualified.

Patti La Hue
May 27, 2009

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