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

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

County meetings 02-09-15

When I arrived at the Commissioners Meeting on Monday, I noticed that the Christmas Tree in the hall was still up. Then I noticed it had been transformed into a Valentine's Day Tree. If you hate to take down your Christmas decorations, perhaps you can transform them to Valentine's Day decorations and keep them up for most of the winter.
 The meeting itself was pretty routine. I discovered that I had missed their extra meeting of the 22nd--they had mentioned that there might be one and there was. The Health Department has two nurses resigning or retiring and the Commissioners agreed to allow the replacement of one, though that one may be allowed additional hours (though not 30 or more). Apparently when the Commissioners had in an earlier meeting allowed the Health Department to switch a part-time position to a full-time position, that move was made with the understanding that when the next part-time position became vacant, it would not be filled.

The surveyor discussed doing some of the GIS work in-house rather than with their outside contractor, a member of the board from Animal Control updated them on several items as did the manager of the Jasper County Airport, and the County IT director discussed installing a new system of panic buttons. The last item will cost $11,950 and was approved.

In the last two meetings there was discussion of closing a road that goes through NIPSCO property in Kankakee Township. NIPSCO had agreed to relocate the road in response to public comments. The Commissioners approved that solution. In contrast to the previous meetings in which there was much discussion, there was none at this meeting. NIPSCO came prepared, however, with their full team of experts ready to answer any questions.

Max L Farms, which did a great presentation in January before the Plan Commission and the BZA did not bring anyone to this meeting. So there was no one to object when the Commissioners decided not to follow the recommendation of the Planning Commission and allow their entire 99 acre plot to be rezoned from A1 to A3 (intensive agriculture). Rather the Commissioners only approved the part of the property that will be used for pig production to be converted to A3.

At about 9:30 three quotes were opened for the demolition of the building I always refer to as the old Johnny Rusk Building. The quotes ranged from $19,890 to $42,415. The Commissioners accepted the low bid, which was from the company that had demolished the county jail a few years ago. In a few months the building below should be a vacant lot.
The Sheriff gave the Commissioners his year-end report. He noted that the jail served 73,000 meals at an average cost of $1.53, which was under budget. There were no escapes and no deaths of those in custody. He said there was still some ongoing fine tuning of heating and cooling. He had two openings of merit deputies, one who transferred within the department and one who had to resign for medical reasons. The Commissioners approved their replacement. He noted that the county had recently had its first death from an overdose of heroin in the last 18 months.

After a short recess, the meeting resumed. The city had requested an easement from the county to put in the water main from the fairgrounds to the I-65 intersection. (This has been discussed in past city council meetings.) After a representative from the city was called in to explain what the city was doing, the request was approved.

A variety of items involving bridge repair, a cell tower agreement, appointments, approvals, quotes for falling-ice signs, and rug cleaning where discussed before the meeting adjourned.

In the afternoon the Commissioners reconvened as the Drainage Board. They elected officers and appointed members to the various bi-county (and maybe some tri-county) drainage boards (that deal with issues when a watershed is in two counties).

The Board approved drainage plans for Max L Farms with one change and then the drainage plan for Comfort Suites. I could not see the plans that the Drainage Board was reviewing so I am not quite sure where the location of this new hotel will be other than it will be east of I-65. The signed a few certifications and discussed a few ditches before a short discussion of the White Industrial Park that is on the White-Jasper border south of US 24. Right now water is pumped west into Jasper County, but the long-run plan is to have the water flow east. The Drainage Board feels it needs to protect Remington, which has water issues.

1 comment:

Friar Framl said...

Yes, Johnny Rusk's Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. My father bought me a used 1965 Chevelle Malibu from Johnny that I drove my last 2 years at St Joe and into my marriage. Johnny Moore had his garage and Marathon gas station on the side of Johnny Rusk's building. It's outline is shown by the change in white paint