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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

City Council meeting and a few other things

The city council meeting on Monday night was long with many things on the agenda. The first was a public hearing on the proposed fire station. Those in attendance were addressed by Jim from Synthesis Inc, a design firm from Indianapolis. He said that the main part of the building would be a pre-engineered metal building and the added office area would be conventional construction as will that part of the second floor that will be inside the pre-engineered section of the building. There will be parking for 75 vehicles, mostly because of various events that are held at the fire station. The amount of asphalt means that a large detention pond will be necessary. Fenestration has not been finalized. The basement will be a challenge, but lots of sump pumps and a back up generator should keep it dry. The hope is that funding will be set in August this year, and then serious design work can begin. (What has been presented so far are conceptual designs.) In the best case scenario construction could begin in March of 2015 and occupancy in January of 2016.

There has been some discussion about what to do with the current fire house but nothing definite has been decided. The structure is not fit for housing heavy equipment, but it should have many years of life left for other uses. 

The next big item on the agenda was a presentation by a representative from Working Well, the occupational health clinic that is set to open on June 2. The clinic will provide work physicals, drug screening, audio testing, and an array of other services for work-related health issues. The city's interest was mostly in getting the various kinds of physicals that different occupations require--physical exams for police and firemen are different from the normal check-up physical. The doctor for the office will work out of the Munster office, and the actual lab work required will be done in Hammond. The prices and the services met with approval by the department heads concerned and with the council.

There was a short discussion about the need for a new computer server to supplement the existing server, and its purchase was approved. There was a longer discussion about changing consumer payment budgeting for utility bills. I could not follow some of this discussion, but changes were approved. 


There were several brief bits of information provided. 115 trucks were contacted while SR 114 was detoured, some to turn around and some cited. 50% of those cited have paid their fines. 128 meals were served at the recent gas department open house promoting pipeline awareness. The Jasper County Tourism Commission has awarded money to a number of community events, including $3750 to Little Cousin Jasper Festival for a zipline and entertainment, $6500 for fireworks for the Fall Festival, $1000 for the Moveable Feast event honoring the architecture of the late Frank Fisher, and $2500 for the new Rock the Arts event.

Before the meeting I stopped by the open house for the A Home Away from Home Day Care that is now in the Horton Building. This is a business that has expanded from baby sitting in the home. The woman in charge is seeking state licensing and hopes to expand her the business. She likes the layout of the building with many little side rooms, one of which will be a nursery for infants.
Right now there are six children enrolled. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony later this month. 

The Home Sweet Home shop around the corner is now empty. It had opened last July.

Leaving the meeting, I noticed that there are additional names on the offices of Sheets Family Practice. A DeFries Chiropractic sign dominates the windows, and a small sign indicates that two nurse practitioners are working there, one on Tuesdays and one on Wednesdays, as well as a CNS, which I think is a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

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