Rensselaer Adventures

This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


City crews were putting up Christmas street decorations this morning.
Not all the light poles got wreaths. Some got holiday banners.
About two weeks ago I drove to Logansport and noticed a couple towns along the way that already had their street decorations up. I think Remington was one of them.

A larger crew of city workers was busy for much of the day digging near the intersection of Madison and Clark. It looked like a water main problem, but it might have been something else.

While downtown I noticed that the corner office in the Horton Building was empty and for rent. Until recently it was a day care, A Home Away From Home. The space above Unique Finds (the Princess Store) is not longer for rent--Unique Finds is using the space for home decor items.

Monday, November 24, 2014

More meetings, more tidbits

The Rensselaer City Council met Monday night. After voting to transfer some funds, the Council heard a short presentation from two representatives from Commonwealth Engineering about the storm water treatment plant. They met with the mayor about early designs in early October. The final design should be complete at the end of January or the beginning of February and it will then be submitted to IDEM. By April contracts should be bid, with construction beginning in early summer of 2015 and completion early summer of 2016. There was a question on odors from the plant, and they should be minimal. The plan will only operate when there is extremely heavy rain, and any sewage should be quickly discharged and sent to the treatment plant. The remaining water will be storm runoff.

The supply committee recommended Ceres Solutions as the provider for gasoline and diesel fuel and CTS for tire repair. I do not think Ceres was the low bid, but it has been a long time supplier and it has been very reliable. The Council approved these recommendations.
The police chief reported for the committee appointed to investigate replacing a squad car. The recommendation was for a 4-wheel drive vehicle from Thomas Dodge for $23,217 with trade in. The Council approved.
The Council approved spending $350 from the public relations fund for a float for the Christmas parade. The Park Department had expressed interest in a new truck at a previous meeting, but there is no money in the budget for it so it will not be pursued at this time.
The mayor expressed concern about a bill in the state legislature that would change the rules for boundaries for electric utilities. He said it would hurt municipal utilities such as that of Rensselaer.
A motion was approved to allow a police escort for the Bomber football team on their trip to Indianapolis this week.
Utilities reported that electricity has been provided to the construction site of MacAllister Equipment, but sewage and gas hookups have not been completed. In reference to a gas hookup to Blockbuster, mention was made that the owner of Blockbuster wanted to add a Noble Roman's Pizza; apparently other Blockbuster stores have found sales increase with this addition. Thursday trash pickup this week will be moved to Wednesday and Friday pickup will be moved to Monday next week. There will be a wage hearing for the Gasper project, which will extend the road going toward Fountainstone Theater east and then loop it back to the main road. The wood chipper will be attacking the brush pile next week. Remington is planning on extensive annexations which will more than double the area of Remington. Remington has already extended its utilities to the intersection of I 65 and US 24. Finally, Parmele Farms plans to auction off some of its frontage on SR 114.

The meeting was over a bit after 6:30 and there was some time to wander the downtown before the meetings of the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals started. The balloon in front of Landmark Realty is lit at night. Also lit was the inside of the old Hoover House building. The "For Sale" signs are gone, the windows are covered, and there was someone doing some sort of construction inside.

The Board of Zoning Appeals had one item on its agenda, an exception for a property in Barkley Township so that the owner can operate a small business of hydrographics. (Follow the link to find out what that is.) A member of the audience objected not specifically to this item, but rather to say that the rules for the Board are contradictory and that the Board does not follow the procedures that it is supposed to follow, especially those rules regarding findings of fact.. The Board, however, proceeded to act as it always does with the findings of fact. The exception was granted.

The Planning Commission approved a switch from A1 to A2 zoning for a lot in Jordan Township that will be split in two and made into a two lot subdivision. The land in question had never been farmed, and the farmer who owns the adjacent land supported the application.

Before the meeting one of the frequent attendees at these meetings told me that the South Shore Air Show will not be held at Fair Oaks Farms next year. Gary has reclaimed it. (Apparently the decision to move it out of Lake County got the people in Lake County motivated to do the things needed to keep it there.) Here is a link to an article in Times.

Late November tidbits

Landmark Realty has gone beyond painting windows in wishing the Bomber football team well in its final game of the season.
Also downtown, the law offices of Samantha Joslyn have moved from a second story office over the Jasper County Abstract Company to the building on Washington most recently occupied by Sew Many Stitches 2. 

I received a note in my e-mail a day or two ago with links to an announcement that two area buildings that have been added to the National Historic Register, one in Morocco and one in Rensselaer. The Morocco addition is the Seller's Standard Station and Pullman Diner, and the Rensselaer addition is the Oren Parker House.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Where were the people?

The annual photography show at the Fendig Gallery opened today with the awards receptions. There were not many people there. Even many of the regulars at these receptions were missing. Perhaps they were sitting in the cold at the biggest football game the high school has ever hosted, a game from which the winner goes on to play for the state championship.
Congratulations to the Bomber football team for beating an excellent and talented team from Central Catholic, 17 - 14. (I am not huge sports fan, but I did predict this game on October 13. I was not brave enough to pick a winner, though.)