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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

City Council 1/26/2015 and more

I arrived at the City Council meeting on Monday five minutes late (a chore along the way took more time than I expected), and the item under discussion was a committee report on a water usage concern from the previous meeting. The two members of the committee recommended that the apartments be given a 25% credit for the overage of their sewer bill.  That amounted to $2980.80, so the entire amount of the overage was almost $12,000. There was no credit given for the overage on the water bill, which would have been at least another $12,000--it was an expensive leak. The Council passed the recommendation on a 3-2 vote.

There were two ordinances on the agenda. One allowed the city to write off outstanding checks that were more than two years old. These checks were mostly or all from refunds of utility deposits and totaled about $850. The second one I did not understand but seemed to provided for compensation when someone cuts a utility line in a city right of way. Finally, the Council approved abandoning the right-of-way for an alley that went through an old house. This item had been discussed at the last meeting but could not be passed because the correct legal description was not then available.

In the various reports and comments at the end of the agenda we learned that the old Monnett (Admin) building has been appraised for $130,000 and people will now be able to bid on it. If you want to buy, you have 30 days to contact the mayor and place your bid. The city has been working on the Zigler tile to get improve drainage for the future site of the fire station. Work is almost finished and 800 feet of 24 inch tile has been installed. Pizza Hut is apparently undergoing some remodeling. The Park Board will meet next Monday at 6:00 in the old Monnett School building. The mayor has written Commissioner Culp asking if the county would be willing to share the cost of installing a sidewalk/walkway to the fairgrounds. Comments noted that IDOT also needs to be contacted if the project is to move forward. May 4-8 will be cleanup week, with the same procedures as in the past.

Earlier in the day I ventured out to the USDA building for a meeting of the Steering Committee of the Upper Iroquois Watershed Initiative. One of the projects of this group was the recent rain garden planting at Potawatomi Park. On the way I stopped to check the water in the Babcock Quarry. I was surprised to see a section of open water with about 150 geese.
From the meeting I learned that a construction of a canoe launch where the Iroquois approaches Mount Calvary Road seems to be on schedule for the summer but no site has yet been found for a launch on SR 16 in Newton County. The USGS will likely be installing a sentry gauge at Foresman in mid February that will monitor water quality. This will add to the information currently collected at the Foresman site.

Most of the meeting was devoted to discussing the Cost Share Program. (You can find out more about the program here.) The program's purpose is to encourage practices that will improve water quality. The discussion showed that it might be difficult to determine which projects would be most cost effective. In addition to effectiveness, the projects would have to satisfy the guidelines of the program--there was a representative from Indiana's Department of Environmental Management at the meeting to clarify what the requirements were. In the end the group decided to set February 13 as a deadline for applications and to meet about ten days later to make decisions on which proposals to fund.


Anonymous said...

Thank you again. I find your notes interesting, tho understanding is limited for me at times. Babcock watering hole is quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

The train factory was located in what is now Sealy mattress.