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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meetings and openings

The monthly Commissioners Meeting took place Monday morning.  Here are some of the items that I thought interesting.

Midwest Restoration reported on progress on the work on the exterior of the Court House. Presently they are patching limestone and doing additional tuck pointing. When they pressure washed the exterior, there were two places where water entered the building and the representatives from Midwest said the problems had been addressed. They talked a bit about the retaining wall around the square and said that because the stones were set so close together, freeze-thaw cycles and expansion-contraction of the stones had gradually chipped them and moved them out of alignment. They were going to increase the gap and put in expansion joints. Finally, the Commissioners decided not to have a sealer applied because the sealer being proposed had not been used by Midwest Restoration previously and there was uncertainty about whether there would be adverse side-effects.

The County will have an auction on November 15. Among items for sale will be three vehicles from the sheriffs department.

NIPSCO had a contingent of people there who wanted the County to vacate CR 250E between 1450N and 1350N. They plan to expand their landfill for fly ash in five to seven years. If the expansion has to be approved as a new landfill, it will take five to seven years to get all the regulatory approvals completed, but if it is approved as an expansion of an existing landfill, the regulatory process only takes 18 months or so. NIPSCO owns both sides of the road, and if the road were not there, the expansion would be viewed as an expansion, but if the road remains, the expansion will be classified as a new landfill. There were questions about fly ash, and NIPSCO said that some of the fly ash is used. The sulfur scrubbers produce the gypsum product used by Georgia Pacific and the fly ash from one of the four units at the Schaffler plant is used as a concrete substitute. One member of the audience said that farmers use the road. The topic will be the subject of future meetings, not just of the Commissioners but of the Planning Commission and the Drainage Board.

At the end of the meeting a citizen who lives in the Prairie Ridge subdivision near SR 10 complained about 14 unsold lots that were rarely mowed. One of the commissioners said he would take care of it.

As I left the Court House, I noticed that a person was being carried out and put into a Prompt ambulance. I learned later that she had fallen down the stairs.

In the afternoon the Drainage Board met. There were two longer discussions. One involved a contractor who had sprayed ditches to kill trees and brush and who had not been paid because the surveyor had found his work unsatisfactory. At the end of the meeting there was a discussion about people who repair tiles or ditches and then want the surveyor to reimburse them. The new policy is that if you want reimbursement, you need to talk to the surveyor before you begin work.

Leaving the meeting, I stopped in Demotte Carpet, which opened its Rensselaer branch on Monday. If I had been a customer, I would have been the third one.
 The store is misnamed--it carries other types of flooring besides carpet--tiles, linoleum, and wood flooring. The store if full of samples but does not have any actual carpet for sale--you chose what you want and they install it or they will bring what you want from DeMotte and you can install it. The store is narrow and very long--it stretches all the way to the alley.
 Demotte Carpet did a considerable amount of remodeling to the building. The back section had been an unheated store room. Now it has more samples of flooring.

The other opening for Monday was Franciscan Urgent Care.

On Monday evening the Park Board met. The primary item discussed was their plan to revamp Brookside park by putting two ball fields where the soccer field is now. The financing would need to be done from the Blacker Trust, which has two trustees who must approved any expenditures. There was a lot of frustration at the slow pace of events early in the meeting, but the meeting ended on a more optimistic note as the members decided that they would ask the trustees to have a set of blueprints drawn up. The blueprints will be costly and will require financing from the trust, but it seemed that they are necessary to move forward.

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