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

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

City meetings 05-11-2015

There is often a meeting before the city council meetings on Monday evenings and yesterday I managed to get to one of them, a meeting of the Board of Public Works. It approved paying a bill to the company that conducted the first round of bidding for the fire station,  a large bill to the company constructing the road that will connect to Drexel Boulevard, and a bill for an engineering report on the waste water treatment plant. The road work in the Drexel Industrial Park is 43% complete (or maybe the payment is 43% complete). The sanitary sewers are complete and water main is now being installed. Work on the road surface should start in the next three weeks. The waste water treatment plant will need upgrades because of new regulations. It will soon have to remove phosphorus.

A couple of other bills not on the agenda were also approved. One was a pass through of a bill to the state revolving loan fund for one of the ongoing projects--perhaps the extension of the water main to the Interstate. The other was for work on the storm water treatment plant (design and regulatory assistance) that will built on Lincoln Street. That project is almost ready to be bid. One final item was from the police chief who is hiring. The Board will interview the candidates in a closed meeting, probably on June 8.

In the city council meeting the council passed the gas tracker ordinance that will raise gas prices for May by six cents per hundred cubic feet. The council approved the recommendations of the Tax Abatement Board that had met on May 6. It had recommended all nine tax abatements be continued. The council agreed to waive city fees for the new fire station so the city would not be billing itself. The mayor announced that there were four applicants for the city-appointed position on the Rensselaer Central School Board. There will be a special closed meeting to interview them.

Cruise night will be July 11. The city will have to pay something for the Hoosier State passenger service but there is money in this year's budget for that. There will be a Memorial Day Service at Weston Cemetery on May 25 at 11:00. The council approved the request of the mayor to have the area around the Veterans' Memorial paved.

Clerk/Treasurer Frieda Bretzinger had volunteered to help with the Crisis Center Radiothon and reported that over $15,000 had been raised. Police Chief Phillips reported that of the 70 vehicles tagged for removal, the city had to remove only three; the others were moved by their owners.  Softball and youth baseball will begin next Monday. The new motel that is locating at the SR 114/I65 intersection will break ground in 30-45 days in anticipation of the water main reaching them before construction is complete. The building inspector announced that something would be going into what was once a Marathon gas station but I did not catch which building he was referring to. The city will pay the last bill for the 69K project after an inspection and walk through of the substations. The city open house at the gas department had 165 visitors this year, up from 128 last year. The gas department had a request for gas service from someone building a house on the west side of 850W across and a bit north of Oak Tree Estates. The city provides gas to Oak Tree Estates from a gas line that follows Bunkum Road and it provides gas to the Interstate area from a line along SR 114. The council approved connecting the two lines and thus providing service to anyone who builds along 850W. Bulk pick-up week was pronounced a great success with many tons of trash, yard waste, and brush removed.

Work continues on the renovation of the city utility office. There is now a second window. Glass will be installed in the big window this week and then a intercom system will be installed, something that excites the people working there because communication with customers has been a problem.

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