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

Monday, April 28, 2014

A few more meetings

The city council met for its second meeting of the month on Monday and had a busy agenda. It gave the mayor permission to sign a contract leasing Staddon Field for the summer for $1 and it approved expenditure  of about $13,000 to chemically clean water well #6, which is not pumping as much as it should. If the cleaning does not work, the company, Peerless Midwest will pull the pump and clean it.

The council then approved a bunch of tax abatements that had been recommended by the Tax Abatement Compliance Meeting on April 25. I did not understand what this was about, but the motion was approved for Chief Industries, ConAgra, Donaldson's, American Melt Blown, and Genova.

A few minor matters were then discussed and approved before a presentation of plans for a new fire station were presented. The plans are for a six bay station that will house all eleven vehicles that the department now has. (The current building only has four bays.) There will be an office area on the east end, and part of this area will have both a basement for storage and an upstairs. Below are some pictures showing the plans. If you want to know more, there will be a public hearing on this on May 12.
 Main floor:
 Second floor and basement:
 Office area on main floor:

The new fire station will be next to the Kirby Risk building on Clark Street (SR 114). The projected cost is $3.3 million to $3.6 million.

In other business and announcements, the city wants to extend the road that leads to Fountain Stone Theater, Taco Bell has broken ground by the Interstate, the Memorial Day ceremonies will be on Saturday, and on Wednesday at 10:00 the first steering committee meeting on the future of the old Monnett School building will be held at the building.

The meeting ended just before 7:00, so I had time to go to the Court House to attend two more meetings. The first was a short Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, which granted and made permanent a variance that been renewable. The business was firearms sales on a limited basis from the basement of a residence.

Following that the Planning Commission met to consider five items. The first was for a change of zoning from A1 to A4 so a person could sell seed corn. The person wanted his entire 20 acre lot rezoned, but the commission wanted to limit the rezoning to a smaller part. The issue was tabled to the next meeting on May 22. The second and third items were skipped because the people bringing the proposals had not finished all the steps that they needed to take. The more interesting of the two is for a farm implement dealership on the corner of SRs 14 and 49 that will focus on the sale of dairy equipment. The final rezoning request was to allow a separation of land into two parcels, a smaller one that contained a house and a larger one that is wooded that the family wanted to retain and not change. It was passed. Whatever passes the Planning Commission still must go to the Commissions for their approval. (One Commissioner and on Council member sit on the Planning Commission.)

The last item was a discussion of new fees for building permits and building inspections. This has been discussed at some previous county meetings I have attended, and the rationale was that the fees should pay for the work done for the building inspection. Since larger buildings take more time, they should pay a higher fee, which they do not at present. (If your building is less than 200 square feet, you do not need a permit.) The discussion veered off to a discussion of whether electrical upgrades should require a permit and an inspection, which at present they do not. The consensus seemed to be that this was a good idea. No one mentioned that more cost would give people less incentive to upgrade wiring and that more regulation would give people more incentive to do the work themselves rather than hire a contractor or electrician who would know what he is doing.

1 comment:

Gerrit said...

Having witnessed an unscrupulous contractor leave his mark on unsuspecting customers, an inspection by a qualified party is a means of protecting the public from getting shafted as well as protecting them from their own mistakes. Electric issues are notorious for being the cause of residential fires and today's multitude of home appliances easily overload a circuit if improperly wired.