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

Monday, April 27, 2015

City Council meeting April 27, 2015

After the usual preliminaries at tonight's City Council meeting, the executive director of the Crisis Center gave a short presentation about its role in helping people and the upcoming Radiothon on May 9 and then asked for a donation from the City. The Council approved $500 from the public relations fund. Also in the citizen's comments part of the meeting, Kevin Kelley introduced the new director of tourism, Sheila White. She mentioned that on May 7 at 9:00 am in the Commissioner's Room of the Court House there would be a meeting about the Indiana Bicentennial and encouraged members of the council to attend.

In the regular business, the Mayor announced that Chris Phillips does not want to be re-appointed to the school board so the city is taking applications for the position. (I believe that the City of Rensselaer gets to appoint at least one of the members of the Board.) If you are interested, send a letter to the mayor with a letter explaining your interest and attach a resume.

The electric department would like to purchase an upgrade to their meter reading equipment. The main part of the upgrade would be a super reader, an electronic sensor that is more sensitive than the current readers. At present the hand-held readers often cannot read the meters from inside the truck, so the meter readers have to hold them out the window. The new unit would allow them to read more quickly. The equipment is on a special sale for $18,000. The council approved the purchase, with $6000 to be paid by the electric department and $$4000 each from water, gas and sewer departments.

In response to a request at the last council meeting, the gas superintendent had sent the council members data on the cost and estimated recovery time of the gas extensions that her department wants to do this summer. The total cost is about $54,500, though not included in that is any allocation for city workers who install the lines because they would otherwise be on the payroll. Councilman Barton objected to this, saying that they would otherwise be doing something of value. The payback was estimated to be a bit under four years. The proposed expansion was approved on a 4 to 1 vote.

The committee that was formed a couple of meetings ago to look at pay of superintendents gave a report to the council. It noted that superintendents are all paid different amounts and that the City has three categories of superintendents. Category 1 is supposed to start at $45,000, Category 2 at $60,000, and Category 3 at $75,000, though at present the City has no one in Category 3. The issue was tabled until the next meeting.

In administrative comments, the mayor noted that the engineer for the water main to I-65 had not submitted a final report, but was close to finishing it. He will be attending a meeting on Amtrak in Lafayette on Tuesday and the results of that meeting will probably be reported in the Rensselaer Republican later this week.

The Council gave a round of applause to George Cover who last week announced that he was retiring from teaching.

In the Superintendents' reports, the police chief noted that the department was finished tagging abandoned vehicles in advance of Clean Up Week (next week). The gas superintendent reminded those in attendance of the open house at the gas department on May 1 from 11:00 until 2:00. There will be 17-20 vendors present. One of the Council members asked on behalf of a citizen who would be catering the lunch. The answer was that Yesteryears' is providing the meat.

The new truck that the street department received is ready to roll.

(I do not have pictures to fit this post. Sorry.)

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