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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More odds and ends

It is time for a quarry update. Compare to July 10, or to June 1. At one time someone told me that the quarry pumped out about a million gallons a day. There will be many millions of gallons in there when it is full.
 Stone is still being sold from the piles that were built up before the quarry shut down.

There was a kids event at the library, and I thought the combination of the kids and roofers made a good picture. The leftmost wing looks complete, and the insulation with the particle board is being installed over the entrance.
The changes to the front of Fase's are more extensive than I expected.
I rode out to SJC today and noticed a football camp. Last year a weekly e-mail to employees listed the groups and events that would be on campus. This year there is nothing, so I do not know what is going on there.

I  missed the opening bit of the County Council Meeting on Tuesday night. When I arrived, the sheriff was explaining the VAV system, and since his presentation was listed near the end of the agenda, I thought the meeting might be nearly over. However, it seems that they moved his presentation up.

Most of the next hour was spent discussing and approving the continuation of tax abatements. A tax abatement is a reduction in taxes given to a company to encourage it to invest locally. It comes with conditions, and if those conditions are not met, the abatement can be canceled. The various representatives of the companies gave a short presentation to show that they were meeting the conditions of the abatement, and the continuation was approved in all cases. The primary thing of interest was hearing what the companies were doing.

The first up was Advanced Auto which has a large distribution center on US 24 just east of I-65 near Remington. They have three shifts a day and are open six days a week, employing 450 full time and 120 part-time employees. They pay an average wage of $13.50, Most of their employees are not residents of Jasper County; some commute from Indianapolis (though it sounded as if the company was providing transportation for the commute). The council members were interested in knowing why these commuters were not relocating to Jasper County and were told that the cost of housing plus credit scores were the main obstacles. 

Iroquois Bio-Energy reported that they had 37 employees, Monsanto said that they had had a very good year. They had 56 employees at the plant and were aiming for 59. Remington Seeds has 36 employees at their Remington facility, twelve of them part time. Terborg Distributing of DeMotte has 14 full-time employees and 6 part-time. They were approved for the second year of a 3 year abatement. Wilson Industrial Sales has 39 employees. They said that they had problems hiring truck drivers because many of their routes were long-haul, from the midwest to the east coast, and these trips required several days away from home. 

The council heard a presentation from Wabash Valley. Wabash Valley gets funds from the county, so the council wanted to know what services it was providing to the county. Their local office has 35 employees and served 672 outpatients treated in the last fiscal year for which they had numbers. About two thirds of their patients are from Jasper County and about one third are from Newton County. They make special efforts to serve young people, especially students. One of the council members asked how many of the people they see were suffering from mental illness and how many were drug abuse cases. The answer was that up to 80% of those with mental illness are also drug abusers, so there was no breakdown given.

The council approved an ordinance to purchase the old Johnny Rusk building. I think heard a price of $42,500. 

The council's appointment to the Board of Zoning Appeals asked to be replaced. No one on the council had a candidate to propose, so the item was tabled to the next meeting. (If you want to serve on the BZA, now is the time to contact the county council members and make your case.)

The only public comments were from the airport manager who thanked the council for their support during the planning for the air show. Even though the air show did not happen this year, the planning for the event has been very beneficial for the airport. They now have procedures to deal with a variety of events, such was what to do when they get more than the twelve cars that their parking lot can hold. The Jasper County Airport attracts many planes because the price of their aviation fuel is lower than in many other regional airports, especially those in Illinois, which has more taxes. As a result, there may be some interesting planes landing and refueling this weekend and next as they travel to a big air show in Oskosh, Wisconsin. 

Update: A picture from Precision Glass of Rensselaer.

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