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Terre Haute Residents Threaten Lawsuit Over Sludge Contract

Terre Haute residents are threatening to sue the city of Terre Haute unless it acknowledges that a wastewater contract it made with a California company is invalid.

Mayor Duke Bennett and the city’s public works department signed a contract with Powerdyne to take Terre Haute’s sewage sludge and convert it into diesel fuel.

The 20-year-long agreement has come under scrutiny in recent weeks because the city did not receive a $3 million payment expected by the end of the year. The contract also stipulates the city would pay Powerdyne about $700,000 a month to take the sludge.

Noah Gambill, an attorney representing the Terre Haute taxpayers, says the contract was made without any input from the city council or the general public.

“There’s just a lot of concerning issues, on just the legalities, leaving aside the science of whether it’s feasible, whether it’s practical, whether it should be across the street from a new multimillion dollar aquatic center, of just the legalities of how these contracts were formed and the provisions within those contracts," Gambill says.

The mayor recently said the contract is being renegotiated. He declined to comment on the potential lawsuit, citing pending litigation.

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