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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Two Tuesday Meetings

On Tuesday there was a special meeting of the Park Board in the City Council Chamber. The two trustees of the Blacker Trust gave a short presentation of what they were doing and what they wanted. 

They agreed to the Park Board's recommendation that renovation of Brookside Park is where the money should be spent. The highest priority was two ball diamonds where the soccer field is now. The next priority is a multipurpose building by the new ball fields, then renovation of the restrooms. The soccer field will have a temporary location in the northwest part of the park where the JC Cruisers have their annual car show, but the final stage of the project would be to find a permanent location for the field. 

Architectural plans are being prepared and they will be detailed so that construction bids can be made from them. The plans should be available soon and there will probably be a special December Park Board meeting to review and discuss them. Financing for this project will begin with the money currently in the Blacker Trust and some money that Blacker put in another fund at the Jasper Foundation. The Board or the Trust will seek additional funding from the Jasper Foundation and the trustees then suggested that the Park Board needs to conduct a fund-raising drive to get the additional money that will be required to complete the project. This last suggestion was met with some resistance because some members of the Park Board did not think that they could or that they should be fund raisers.

Less interesting was the second meeting of the evening, the monthly County Council meeting. The Animal Control Board wanted approval to buy materials for an Eagle Scout who wants to upgrade the dog kennels at the DeMotte Police Department. Currently they are not fit to house dogs on very cold nights, so Animal Control staff has to make trips to DeMotte to transfer animals in off hours. The Council could not move on this request because it had arrived too late. However, the Council did approve using donation funds to reimburse expenses for a parade float.

There were three requests for transfer of funds. The only one that got any discussion was for the Coroner's Office and that was because the Coroner was there to update the Council on what his office was doing. The new morgue near DeMotte is in operation and 22 cases have used the new facility.

Councilman Price wanted the Council to consider at a future meeting adjustments to the business personal property tax for small businesses. He argued that the cost of complying with the tax often exceeded the amount of the tax and thought there should be a way to reduce that burden on small businesses. Councilman DeFries disagreed, saying that any reduction in business taxes would result in a greater burden on individuals. Jasper County gets about $2 million from the business personal property tax (which is a tax on equipment), but the vast majority of that is from larger businesses.

The Council had a discussion about meeting times for 2015, Usually it meets the third Tuesday of the month, but when there are conflicts, it will meet either earlier or later. 

And in other news, I notice that the detour signs on SR 114 are gone. 

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