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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

City Council meeting 3-23-2015

As I arrived at City Hall, I noticed that demolition of the old Johnny Rusk building had begun.
 Two of the Councilmen, Watson and Cover, were absent so the meeting barely had a quorum.

After the normal preliminaries, the first item was a request from Advanced Soccer for use of city parks for their soccer programs. The request had already been approved by the Park Board, and was also approved by the Council.

The big item on the agenda was the opening of bids for the new fire house. Two bids were received. Both included in addition to a price various bits of information, such as Form 96A (I do not know what that is), a statement of non-collusion avoidance, a bid bond, lists of references and past work, and a financial statement. The first bid was for $6 million, plus prices on several alternative and for items such as removal and replacement of unsatisfactory soil. The second bid was for $4,298,000 plus the other items. The bids were referred to the city project manager and I assume one will be approved at a future meeting.

The next item on the agenda was something about a conflict of interest, but it could not be addressed because one of the members there would have to abstain and thus there was not a quorum. It will be picked up at a future meeting.

The city has received quotes for removal of 24 problem trees on city right-of-ways. The bid the city project manager recommended was $12,000 from Practical Tree Service. The Council approved that recommendation. Three more problem trees have been added to the list and the project manager will report back to the council with a recommendation concerning them.

In other items, Donna Cocheran, the electrical utility coordinator, is retiring and the mayor requested some funds for that. The city is negotiating with TV Cable for fiber optic cables to connect various city facilities.On Friday the city generating plant generated electricity that was sent out via the new 69K transmission line, marking the completion of that project. (I first began to write about this project three and a half years ago.)  Clean-up week will be May 4-8. The police department has begun investigating the purchase of body cameras for its officers but no quick decision is expected. Work has begun on the road in the Drexel Industrial Park. CSX will begin working on railroad crossings on April 6, beginning with the Jefferson Street Crossing and moving east. Renovation of the city's utility payment office began Monday morning.
A new room is being built to house all the equipment that makes noise, such as the printers. One of the main goals is to get better communication through the payment window.

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