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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meetings on Monday

I missed the big event of the weekend, the Rock the Arts, because I was out of town. How did it go?

When I left on Friday, I noticed that GRG Auto Repair was having its gas tanks removed. When I came back on Monday, it looked like the work was almost finished.

Last week the Teen Mission was busy around town. Among the things they did were a floor for a greenhouse at CDC Resources, weeding in the community garden, and projects at the Jasper County Youth Center.

The Pulaski County Economic Development  had an interesting article about Gutwein Popcorn. It can be seen here: http://www.pulaskionline.org/images/stories/pdf/pcedd3-2.pdf

On Monday I attended a short (35 minute) city council meeting. An ordinance for an new electric lighting rate that involved LEDs but which I did not understand passed first reading. I think the council has to have a public hearing on it and pass it again before it takes effect.

The council approved gas line extensions along Eger Road (9200 feet), Wood Road (4200 feet) and Amsler Road (2200 feet). 

The mayor recommended a 3% raise for city employees for the upcoming fiscal year and his recommendation passed.

The utility office manager wanted to use an on-line service to check the utility payment records of new customers. If they had not been reliable payers for past utilities, they would be charged a high-risk deposit of $125 rather than the standard deposit of $75. This past year the utility wrote off $13000 of unpaid bills, and this would, in the opinion of the utility manager, reduce that amount in the future. The council approved the request of the utility office manager.

The future of the Hoosier State Amtrak service is in doubt because Indianapolis no longer wants to subsidize the line. It is possible that the Hoosier State will cease on October 1.

The council approved a $500 donation to the Jasper County Community Services as a result of the presentation given the council at its last meeting. The money would come from the $7500 that has been approved for donations.

Councilman Barton wanted the city to sponsor a team at the Jasper County Economic Development Organization's golf outing in August. $280 was approved from the PR fund.

Coffee with a Cop is coming up next week. Citizens are invited to meet with police officers at four restaurants to voice any concerns that they have. This event is a replacement for the National Night Out that has been held for several past years.

Progress is being made in the 69K power switchover, and it may be completed in September. 

The early completion of the council meeting meant there was plenty of time to get to the Jasper County Planning and Development Commission meeting in the Court House. There was only one item on the agenda, a rezoning of a parcel of land along US 231 north of SR 14 from A1 to A4. The request was for the Davis Veterinary Clinic, which has outgrown their present quarters about a mile to the east. Mr Davis remarked that he was getting to meet a whole lot of people that he did not know existed in the process of getting approval to build.



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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

News from downtown

The Embers building has new windows on the second floor. The trim was being painted this morning.
Notice the Rock the Arts sign on the side, this weekend's big event.

The front of Unique Things is also getting new paint. After this picture was taken, a coat of white was applied, but that is a primer, not the final colors.

Larry Meiser , owner of Larry's Shoesdied ten days ago. He celebrated fifty years in business in April.  The shoe shop will remain open, but it will no longer do shoe repairs.

The City Office and Pub has changed ownership. Rumor says that it will also be changing menus.

The Stuff the Bus campaign to collect school supplies for students in need will take place until August 2. This year there is also a group that wants to bring the backpack food program to Rensselaer. They are having an organizational meeting on the 28th.

I finally figured out what is happening with the library re-roofing--it is more than just a new roof. After laying a layer of tar paper, about three inches of stiff foam insulation is added, then a layer of particle board, and finally new shingles.
Below workers are putting up a frame to raise the elevation of the roof, preparing it for the insulation sheets. The purpose is obvious--prevent another episode of burst pipes.
Rensselaer has had a lot of problems with the new public buildings it has built recently.

In early August the weekend event will be the Moveable Feast. Below is one of the houses that will be on the driving tour. Do you recognize which one it is?
Tonight is Kids Night at the Tuesday Night Farmers Market.

A couple of other things of no real importance--workers are tuck pointing St Augustine Church and new parking lot stripes have been applied to the parking lot of Brookside Park.

I just noticed that even though there is a county council meeting tonight, there is no mention of it on the county website. It seems that when they update the site, it wipes out what is happening on the current day.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

End of the fair

One of the best parts of the fair is the free stage. The people performing there are very good and draw respectable crowds. If the seating were better, they probably would draw more. On Thursday the Free Stage featured the Jhonny and Sally show. They did country and western music in their first performance, and their second show was music from the 60s.
 Jhonny and Sally are not their real names--Sally is actually Catherine and she has a show that plays on CNBC Prime. (Check their website to hear samples of their music.)

The rides on the Midway change a bit from year to year. I think this one has been in some past shows, but the kamikaze ride that impressed me in some past years has disappeared.
 The rides disappear quickly after the fair is over.
Not all the goldfish went home with kids.
Judging from the amount of trash left in the bleachers, the demolition derby was well attended. This year there was not a combine demolition derby.
 The retired iron tractors were getting ready to leave. The old road grader was one of the odd vehicles in the retired iron display.
 This tractor will not be in the retired iron display for quite a few years. I could not resist and had to ask what it cost. It was over $300K and that was without a bunch of extra stuff, such as computers and software. I suspect most people in big cities have not idea of where the technology of farming is and how complicated the business of farming is. The combine behind it cost about the same.
 The commercial building was cleaned out and empty on Saturday morning.
The next big event for the fairgrounds will be the Fall Festival in five or six weeks.

Update: The tractor made of aluminum cans that was pictured in a couple of posts this week is going to Fair Oaks Farms. They must have been as impressed with it as I was.

Friday, July 18, 2014

New things

The Taco Bell restaurant under construction by I-65 now looks like a Taco Bell. The store is much further along than it was when I last visited about a month ago.
 This blog has posted several times about a proposed MacAllister Building just east of the airport. It has been mentioned a few times in county meetings, and the project has had some delays because of FAA regulations. The company had a display at the County Fair with a drawing of the proposed building.
 I learned that all the MacAllister locations are owned by the MacAllister Corporations--there are no locally-owned dealerships of franchises. The owner, named MacAllister, lives in the Indianapolis area.

I drove past the site of a new dairy supply at the intersection of SR 14 and SR 49 on Wednesday and construction has not begun, though there are lots of flags in the field. I was on my way to pick blueberries, which have had a very good crop this year. While there, I saw a long, empty coal train on the way west and a crop duster plane. If you have been paying attention to the airport, you know that the crop dusters are in for their annual visit.

The staff at the pool was as surprised as I was to see a new diving board installed today.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rebuild or not

In November of 2013 a storm damaged the L&P Body Shop and the closed Bazz's Eat and Sip on North McKinley. For the past week or two a new building has been going up where the L&P Body Shop was, and recently (I am not sure when) the remnants of the Eat and Sip have been demolished.
Here is a better look at the new building.
Construction has begun on the new Pig Education Center at Fair Oaks Farms.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

More Pictures from the Jasper County Fair

In the last post I had a picture of two tractors that were constructed from cylindrical objects. The were not shotgun shells. Here is a closer look. Can you tell now what the building blocks of the tractors were?
 One of the items that popped up at the City Council meeting and that I forgot to mention is that this year there will be no National Night Out.

An ongoing activity at the fair is livestock judging. Here is a picture from the barrow judging that took place on Monday.
There are lots and lots of animals, including some very strange looking chickens.
On Tuesday night the Free Stage hosted Cook and Belle and the grandstand had racing motorcross.
 In the retired iron barn kids got to do something that is rare today but a century ago was commonplace--working a water pump. They will grow up not really understanding the phrase, "Priming the pump."
 There are lots of things for younger fair goers, such as face painting and junior deputy badges.
 As the sun set, the threshing demonstration was shutting down. This was a marvel in its day, but is not so completely obsolete that it is a demonstration of almost forgotten technology. A repeat performance is schedule for Wednesday night.
For more pictures from the fair, see the Facebook page of the Jasper County Fair Association. Some pictures from the Newton County Fair can be found on their Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

City council meeting July 2014

I visited the fair in the afternoon because I wanted to attend the city council meeting in the evening. A lot of things are not open until after 5:00. I noticed these tractors in the 4-H displays in the West Exhibit Hall. Can you tell what they are made of?

The Rensselaer City Council met on Monday night in a regularly scheduled meeting. There were a number of interesting items that came from the public. The Eagles want to close a block of Harrison on August 2 and September 6. The head of the Jasper County Community Services gave a long presentation saying that her agency has had cutbacks in federal and state funds and that she would like the city to contribute some to help offset the costs. She noted that most of the one-way trips that the agency provides--the agency has 11 vehicles and charges $1.00 per trip--are within Rensselaer. The council decided to take the issue under advisement.

A citizen complained about noise from the dog spa on Cullen and Vine. It is apparently not in compliance with zoning codes, and the city is proceeding with action against it.

Another citizen who runs a cosmetology business from her home had several complaints. The city requires that at-home businesses have signs no bigger that one foot by one foot and the signs must be attached to the residence. She said that the state cosmetology rules say the sign must be visible from the street and thus there is a conflict between what the state requires and what the city allows. She was also concerned that many businesses that are run from home are under the radar and thus have a cost advantage. Her business is recognized as a business by the city, and thus she pays the commercial rate for electricity, which is higher than the residential rate. Since she heats her home with electricity, the difference matters to her. Eventually she was told that the council could do nothing and that she should seek a variance for the sign from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Some ordinances were passed that transferred funds, and then the Council approved tax abatement for ConAgra's upcoming expansion.

The gas department is extending lines to serve non-residents in three places. The mayor said that it seemed like a good long-term investment. After the meeting I asked the department head about what that meant. It means that the city will bear the cost of extending the lines, but those who live outside city boundaries pay more for gas. Several of the new customers will be farmers who will use gas for drying crops, so they should be big users.

The Building Trades wanted a waiver for the building permit for the new house they will begin in the fall. It will be near Scott and Harrison.

After the meeting I asked one of the people attending if Fair Oaks will try to do the air show again next year. He said that they would, but that they will try not to conflict with the local county fairs.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Saturday and Sunday at the county fair

Today (Monday) will be day three at the Jasper County Fair. Here is what I have seen so far in two short visits.

On Saturday night Jimmie Bussell was on the free stage.

While he took a break, the Good Time Cloggers from Valparaiso performed in the area north of the poultry-rabbit barn. They looked like they were having a lot of fun.
 On Sunday the Community Band performed in the Retired Iron building.
 Taylor Gastineau was on the free stage (and later Rick Rascoe, but I had left by the time he performed). The black smoke above the stage is from the Truck/Tractor Pull, which made noise loud enough so that I could hear it in Rensselaer.
The smoke and noise was not from this tractor pull, which tested pedal power and took place at the same time.
On Saturday night the grandstand attraction was mud drags. I guess vehicles competed to see which could finish a run through the mud the fastest.
There are a lot of vendors selling fair food. The ones that make the circuit of county fairs, like this one, have gotten very decorative. I think the local vendors sell more food, though.
 On Sunday the rides on the midway were operating. On Saturday night the crews were still assembling them.
 On Sunday a variety of organizations took part in the Volunteer Fair, a chance for non-profits to inform the public of their mission and to find volunteers. Among the groups participating were CDC Resources, the Crisis Center, Good Samaritan Food Pantry of Rensselaer, Sorrowful Mother Food Pantry of Wheatfield, Prairie Arts Council, Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution, the Jasper County Historical Society, Demotte Historical Society, the Lions Club, Indiana State Department of Health, Friends of the Library, and the CASA program. (I know I missed two or three.) The event was sponsored by the Jasper Foundation.

Some non-profits opted for a larger presence with booths in the commercial building or elsewhere. The one I was excited to see was the PET people from Demotte. PET stands for Personal Energy Transportation. I had heard about this project before, but had not had the chance to talk to those involved. They were at the fair eager to tell people about what they do, which is to construct five vehicles per week, all done with volunteers. The cost of the materials is about $250, and that is the limiting factor in what they can produce. They were hoping to find more people willing to sponsor vehicles.

The vehicles are powered by the hand crank and are distributed to people in third-world countries who cannot walk. The vehicles give them mobility and change their lives. Because the people live in impoverished places, they cannot afford gasoline or electricity, so the key to helping them is to keep it simple. And also durable--the vehicles are made so they will be hard to break. For example, the tires are not inflated but a filled with foam so they cannot go flat. (Though I suppose with enough use they will wear out.) I was allowed to test drive a vehicle. It is easy to drive on the smooth floor of the commercial building and it turns on dime. However, my legs got in the way, something that is not a problem for many of those who get the vehicles.
If you go to the fair, stop by their booth and see what they are doing. I think they have an impressive story to tell.

Tonight the grandstand will have a rodeo and the free stage will have "Elvis" Curt Lechner. He has performed for a number of local fundraisers and will be doing another on September 27 at Embers for CDC Resources. (That is also Oktoberfest night, so you can do two events in one evening.)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Willy Wonka

The Fendig Children's' Summer Theater Production of Willy Wonka is now history. I preferred the play to the movies. In the play the first half ends with Charlie finding the last golden ticket.
There were good crowds on Friday night, and also some good clouds.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Busy weekend

This will be a busy weekend even without the South Shore Air Show. The fair officially starts on Saturday, but events have taken place already, and this morning was dog day at the fair--the dogs do not mix well with the other animals, so they get judged before the others arrive. Tonight will be the second and final performance of the Children's Summer Theater production of Willy Wonka. A new art show is kicking off at the Fendig Gallery (which is a bit ironic since the reception overlaps the production of the Fendig Children's Theater Group). I stopped in to take a peek at what is on display.
 A block away there is rapid progress on the new library roof.
It appears that Fase's is getting new signage.
Have a good weekend. Mine will be busy.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A ribbon cutting, fuel tanks, and other things

On Wednesday Pawsitively Pets had its Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony. Pawsitively Pets is a pet grooming business on Drexel Drive. It is open Monday thru Friday from 9:00 until 5:00 and on Saturdays from 9:00 until 3:00.
While in the area, I checked on the water level of the quarry.
In the evening there was a meeting of the Airport Authority, and on the way I passed through the Fairgrounds to see what was happening. There were quite a few folks getting things ready. I noticed that the openings on the Commercial Building were actually doors that could be shut.

At the airport meeting the main item was a discussion of the proposed fuel farm. As I understand the background, and this was picked up from the discussion, there is a program called the Airport Improvement Program through which the FAA makes money available to airports. Certain amounts become available each year. However, the money is not automatic--rather it requires a grant proposal. The airport authority would like to spend the money that is theoretically available to it for new fuel tanks because the existing tanks are split tanks which contain both jet and regular fuel, and this type of tank is no longer legal to install. The authority, working through its consultants, NGC, had a good bid on the tanks themselves but only had one bid for the installation work, and the consultants thought that that bid was excessively high. The reason they only got one bid is because of the timing--the best time to put out bids is in the spring, but grant funding is not sure until the late summer. If the cost of the project exceeds what the grants fund, the local authority, and thus the taxpayers, foot the bill.

The members of the board and two NCG people discussed the situation for over an hour. The top consultant thought the best course of action would be to order the tanks because the price of those would probably be considerably higher if they were put out for bid again, but to rebid the installation work. The two other options were to accept both the tank and the installation bid, or to do nothing. No one was in favor of doing the installation now, one member liked the option of buying the tanks now, and the others seemed content to wait. So it appears that they will start the process over next year.

It was interesting to listen to them trying to deal with risk. If they bought tanks and then could not get a good bid for installation, would they be stuck with tanks? They did not want that risk, but in rejecting that risk, they assumed the risk that the tanks might be considerably more expensive next year. What risks are you willing to take and which are you not willing to take in a situation where every option involves some kind of risk?

In other airport news, the airport has installed new fuel pumps that have a higher flow rate. The EAA 828 Fly-in had 40 aircraft fly in and the dinner had 150 pork chops sold.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Going to the dogs

The Tuesday night Farmers Markets are underway, and yesterday it was pet parade night. A lot of dogs and one chicken and one pig participated. There was an entry fee for the pets with proceeds going to the establishment of a dog park. (More on the dog park below.)
Next week the retired iron folks will drive their tractors in from the fairgrounds and circle around the court house square.

After the commissioners meeting on Monday, I attended two other meetings. The Drainage Board met at 1:00 for a routine meeting. IBEC (the ethanol people at Pleasant Ridge) want to put in a second storage tank and replace and expand their containment area. Their plan was approved with no discussion.

NIPSCO is replacing all the poles for its transmission line between Goodland and Monticello. They were told to go before the drainage board even though they did not need any approval. The Drainage Board wanted them to be aware of any tiles along the route.

There was an item on the agenda about a culvert replacement in DeMotte, but apparently that has been settled locally.

A second NIPSCO item, the fly-ash landfill, was approved, though the commissioners still want to know what they can do with fly-ash coming in from other counties.

A citizen wanted to convert an open swell to a buried drain because the neighbor had done the same. Another citizen wanted to let the proper people know that the drainage ditch by her house was not draining. The surveyor said he would look into it.

Then there was some discussion about a public hearing for a couple of ditch projects. The hearing will be before the Drainage Board meeting on September 2.

In the evening the Rensselaer Park Board met. They talked to a person who wants do a trial PiYo lesson this Saturday to see if there is interest for further instruction. If you are interested, it should be from 9:00 am till 11:00 am somewhere in Brookside Park. Another person was interested in getting a program of tennis for kids started. That may begin on August 2.

Then there was discussion of a dog park, with a proposal that most of Iroquois Park be fenced in for dogs. One area would be for dogs without a leash and another would be for dogs on a leash (at least that is how I heard it). One reason for the dog park is that now people are using the ball fields for dog exercise, and that creates some conflict when they do not clean up after their dogs properly. What do you think--should Iroquois Park go to the dogs?

The diving board at the LaRue Pool had to be removed because it had cracks and it probably will not be replaced this year because of the early start of school (and thus the early closure of the pool) and the time needed for a new board to be manufactured and shipped.

Finally, at the August meeting (Aug 4) some plans for future development may be presented and discussed.

(I do not know if the Park Department still sponsors the Rensselaer Summer Swim Team--I know that they did when my kids were involved. The team finished its season over a week ago, winning all its regular meets as well as the conference meet. I have not seen the results in the Rensselaer Republican yet. Some of the ball leagues are either finished are finishing. This weekend the Children's Summer Theater will perform Willy Wonka. There are lots of activities for kids early in the summer, but then they all finish up mid summer. Is that to allow family vacations?)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July's commissioners meeting

The library is getting a new roof.
Or at least repairs.

I noticed the men working on the roof on my way to the monthly commissioner's meeting. It was a long meeting, lasting over three hours, but there was a lot on the agenda.

At each meeting the commissioners approve buried cable requests. On Monday they had two buried pipeline requests. The first was from the City of Renssealer, which wants to extend gas service in three places outside the city limits, on Eger Road, Wood Road, and Amsler Road. One of the dairy farms north (and east?) of town wants to put in three manure pipelines that will take the manure from the dairy to fields where it can be spread. Both requests were approved.

There was a discussion of insurance that was impossible to follow without the document that the commissioners had, and then they went on to fees for building inspection. This item has bounced around for months, and the idea is that the fee for larger buildings should be more than the fee for smaller buildings. It passed, with the exception of the fee for electrical upgrades, which did not pass because there was no one qualified to do those inspections.

The Sheriff reported on repairs, which is almost a monthly item. The commissioners heard again about he problems with the VAV boxes (which are some kind of supplemental heating unit that has never worked right, in part because they were not installed properly). The commissioners approved spending to fix the ones that have been identified as non-functional. The Sheriff also talked about dealing with FEMA in the county's effort to get reimbursed for expenses of the winter storms. He said the barriers to getting all the paper work done almost seem as if FEMA intended to discourage people from applying. However, it appears that his office will get $13,000 back and other departments also should get some funding.

A Commissioner asked about the status of the tower. The Sheriff said that they would be doing a test using the Midway tower. At present, the Sheriff's office sometimes has problems with radio communication in the extremities of the county. Finally, the Sheriff will be decommissioning a squad car, 2009 Crown Victoria, that the airport would like to acquire. However, since the airport is now under the airport authority, it no long falls under the jurisdiction of the commissioners, so they cannot simply approve a transfer. (The airport provides a courtesy car that people who fly in use to conduct business or shop--it is an important item for many out-of-town visitors to the airport. The current courtesy car is a 1998 model and it is becoming more expensive to maintain.)

Four representatives from NIPSCO were next to address the commissioners. At the last drainage board meeting, they commissioners had had questions about the long-term plans for for the fly-ash landfill at the Schahfer plant near Wheatfield. NIPSCO wants to do a phase six of their landfill and plans a phase 7. After that they will need new state permits.

Then there was a long discussion of the technical aspects of asphalt and the words "raveling" and "delamination" were used a lot. Eventually the commissioners decided to accept the bid from Milestone for resurfacing a section of 400 North and from Town and Country Paving for a shorter section that they referred to as the Sandpiper section.

After a short break, a citizen from the northern part of the county addressed the commissioners. He had bought a house that had serious problems and wondered why these problems had not been noticed by the building inspector.

There was long pondering as the commissioners decided which bridge the county should focus on repairing. None are in urgent need of repair, but some maintenance now to bridges that are showing wear can prevent bigger costs in the future. They finally decided on one. They also decided to spend some money to do maintenance on the exterior of the Court House, on caulking windows that needed it, limestone repair, and a bit of tuck pointing.

There were a lot of additional items, but the above seemed to me to be most important.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Busy Saturday, Part 2

In addition to a grand opening, a fly-in at the airport, and cleanup day at the fairgrounds, today featured a car show in Brookside Park and the annual Cruise Night. One could not miss the effects of this vehicle at the car show. It blasted music so everyone could hear it. What I wonder is why music of the 1960s and 1970s is tied to the car show.
There are some vehicles that are much older. Shouldn't there be some ragtime and big band music in honor of those cars? Like this Plymouth. I am not sure what year it was, but it looks late 1930s or early 1940s.
 It has a neat hood ornament. Hood ornaments were once very popular and then died. Why?
 Here is a Buick for which the music fit.
 The placard said that this was once a 1934 Dodge. I wonder how much of the original car is still there.
 Here was another remade vehicle--or at least that is what I assume it is.
 There will be no Mustang Roundup this year, so our one and only car show is now history.

There were big crowds lining the streets for the Cruise. The red car coming towards the camera had the new fair queen and her court. They will have a busy couple of weeks ahead of them.
 The crowds seemed to be thickest around the College Mall. They were definitely thinner north of the river, and the further north along the route you went, the thinner they got.

The cars turned around at Walmart. I noticed that the trees next to the Strack and Van Til parking lot had been recently cut down.

 A crowd favorite is vehicles that burn rubber. It makes a lot of noise and a lot of smelly smoke.
 At the Charlie Roberts dealership the fire department had three vehicles on display, including their newest acquisition, a 1940 American LaFrance fire truck, the second fire truck the department owned. It had a sign in the window, "Do not shift truck into gear at any time."
 The old horse drawn trailer was used before the trucks. Note the interesting spelling of Rensselaer. It apparently came that way from the builder in Lafayette.
The sock hop in the park was canceled. There was a bit of rain and the sound man did not want to risk getting equipment wet. I think also that the Little Cousin Jasper folks were too exhausted to do much more. They had been up since 5:30 this morning. They served breakfast and lunch at the car show and they apparently did very well, serving a lot of meals.

I mentioned in part 1 that I had been getting in touch with my inner princess. I have also been getting in touch with my inner pirate, and that voyage has also come to an end.