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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

County meetings March 2, 2015

The Commissioners met on Monday morning for a long and routine meeting. There was a public hearing concerning a request by a resident for the county to vacate some right-of-ways in Union Township. I am not sure where exactly the site is. Some neighbors had no problem with it (partly because they would be getting some of the abandoned right-of-way), but a couple did. The issue was continued to the April 6 meeting.

The Coroner gave a brief report. He would like a generator for the Fase Center and the Sheriff's Annex near DeMotte, but because of the differences in wiring that the two buildings have, a fairly expensive piece of equipment would be needed. The water for both buildings is provided by a pump in the Fase Center. He would also like to have defibrillator equipment at both the Fase Center and the Senior Center in Remington.

The Commissioners approved a motion to transfer 132.8 acres of land to the Airport Authority, an issue that has been a subject in many meetings during the past six months.

Brian Overstreet reported that some people from Purdue would lead a training session for county officials on March 30 at the Fairgrounds that will discuss how to conduct a meeting, with explanations of parliamentary procedures. Sheriff Risner reported that progress continued on working toward putting communication equipment on a tower. The tower that they are interested in has been extended and is now 299 feet tall. There is some interest from the state to use it for their 800 Mhz communication equipment. He received approval to hire a replacement for a full-time matron at the jail who cooks. Finally, the county discussion of volunteer policy has led him to inquire about insurance for the Sheriff Reserves (there are ten of them and they are all volunteer) to provide income if they are injured while volunteering for the sheriff's department.

After a short recess, the meeting resumed with the usual matters of contracts, appointment, requests for reimbursement for meetings, etc. The Commissioners updated descriptions of Animal Control positions and discussed bids for mowing, approving a couple. At the end, citizen Tom Mattis had concerns about land-use issues. There seemed to be two issues that were bothering him. The first was that procedures and rules were not followed in making zoning changes and granting variances, and the second was that even when people did not get a requested zoning change or a variance, they would ignore the rejection and proceed as if they had the change.

In the afternoon the Drainage Board met. They had two main items on the agenda. The first was the drainage plan for the proposed Rensselaer Fire Station. The plan here is to construct a detention pond and use the dirt for fill in areas of the property that need to be built up. The pond will be similar to the one across the highway in Countryside. It will be maintain a ten-foot deep pool, and have five feet above the outlet pipe that will detain runoff from heavy rain. That runoff will then feed into the recently improved Ziegler tile through a six-inch pipe. The discussion took a long time, and at one point the attorney for the Board reminded members that their goal was to make sure that provisions were made to correct any changes resulting from construction, not to solve pre-existing problems.

The other item was from White County. The industrial area that is being developed between Wolcott and Remington drains westward into Jasper County. There is an existing system of three ponds and a lift station that was put in place about 30 years ago but it has not been maintained. The County wants to clean this up and start using the lift station again to pump water. They had an agreement with Jasper County that they would only pump after notifying a long-retired commissioner. They would like to replace that with an automated system that will have a sensor on the railroad bridge. It would only allow pumping into the ditch that leads to Carpenter Creek if the water level is below a cut-off level. They are trying to design the system to handle rains up to a 25-year event. In case of a heavier rain, the excess will flood farmer fields as it does now.

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