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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meeting odds and ends (updated)

The Commissioners held their monthly meeting on Tuesday--delayed a day because of the holiday. Most of the meeting was taken up with routine matters. (I have attended enough of these meetings so that almost all of the meeting seems like routine matters.)

A representative from WorkingWell gave the commissioners information about their services and prices. She also said that they would be adding express urgent car starting October 6. Franciscan was not intending to offer express care so soon, but there was a demand for it.
The commissioners approved the purchase of a backhoe by the highway department for $93,700. It will indirectly replace a backhoe that the surveyor's office was using and that burned this past spring.

The commissioners will schedule a public hearing in an upcoming meeting to vacate 1000 N between 300E and 400E. (My map of Jasper County does not show a road there.) This bit of road is entirely within the Jasper-Pulaski Reserve, is not included on the county's inventory of roads, and gets no maintenance from the county. It is also almost impassible at one end.

The county now owns the old Johnny Rusk building between the court house and the post office. The commissioners asked the county engineer to solicit bids for its demolition, which cannot take place for at lest 60 days because a tenant needs to vacate the property. The county engineer wondered if the county could do the demolition in house.

At 9:30 bids were opened for restoration work on the exterior of the court house. There were three bids, and in addition to a base bid, they also were supposed to bid on five options. After they were opened, the commissioners asked their consultant on the project to review the bids. Near the end of the meeting he returned, and after discussion, the commissioners accepted the bid form Midwest, which is based in Paris, Illinois. They agreed to the base plus options 1, 3, and 5 for a total cost of $297,535. (I do not know what options 1, 3, and 5 are, so do not ask me.)

The commissions also approved a switch in the company handling inmate health care at the jail, from Advanced Correctional Care to Quality Correctional Care. The price was about the same, but the new company offers some mental health services.

In the afternoon the Drainage Board met and the crowd of people filled almost every seat in the room. The reason for the interest was that there were public hearings about two ditches, the Nagel Ditch east of Rensselaer and the Lawton Ditch in Kankakee Township, near Teft. The discussion of the Nagel Ditch was fairly short and was continued to the December meeting because one of the landowners said that the tiles in his field ran not to the Nagel Ditch but to the Mary Dunn Ditch. the surveyor said that after the harvest, he would check this out, and if it was true, then he would have to reconfigure the assessments. The typological map indicated that the surface drainage of the land should be to the Nagel Ditch.

There was a vigorous discussion of the Lawton Ditch. Several people said that they spent money keeping their portion of the ditch clean and they though it was unfair that they should pay as much for cleaning the ditch as those who had done nothing at all. The commissioners were sympathetic, but implied that trying to charge by who cleaned their ditch and who did not would be impossible. The commissions pointed out that the only reason this was on the agenda is because the landowners had petitioned it to be on the agenda, and that with some ditches the landowners involved found ways to agree to clean the ditch without involving the county surveyor. They were invited to try to resolve the matter among themselves. However, because the town of Teft was included in the proposal, and because Teft now drains into a different ditch, this discussion was also continued to the December meeting.

Almost everyone left. The board then heard requests from two people to consider cleaning the lower Ryan Ditch and the Frances Fleet Lakin Ditch. The Board approved the drainage plan for the Davis Veterinary Clinic, and the meeting was finished.

While on the topic of water, the water level in the quarry is rising very slowly. I compared this picture taken today with a picture I took two weeks ago and there was very little difference. Today, however, there was a nice reflection of the cliffs in the water.

 There is still a lot of equipment down in the pit. However, the water will probably not threaten it for several more months.
 You do not need to go west to see badlands. We have some by the quarry, though they are not as colorful as those you find in the west.
 SJC must be worried about water because they were beginning to install some drainage tile north of the softball field.
 Workers were also working on the roof of Bennett Hall.


Update: It appears that the drainage at St. Joseph's College is for Halleck Center, which had water problems a year or two ago.

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