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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Alcohol Beverage Board and County Council

There was a notice in the window of the newly opened Royal Oak Family Restaurant last week that said that the restaurant was applying for a liquor license and that there would be a meeting on the matter on Tuesday. Since I had never been to a meeting of the Alcohol Beverage Board, I decided to go.

I was surprised that Royal Oak was not the only agenda item. Rather there were eight items on the agenda, six of them renewals. I learned at the meeting that the renewals were automatic if there were no violations or citizen complaints. That left two new license requests. The first was from Burrito Jalisco Mexican Restaurant in DeMotte and the second was from Royal Oak. The Board consisted of three local people, one appointed by the City of Rensselaer, another by the County Commissioners, and the third by the County Council, plus a lady who works for the state Tobacco and Alcohol Commission. They had the applicants for new licenses swear that what they had put on their applications was correct. The big concern seemed to be selling liquor to minors. They were told to card anyone who might be underage and that there would be compliance checks. Royal Oak did not have a current floor plan, so they will not get a final inspection until they fax one in.

Checking the Internet, I found that this Board meets monthly at 10:00 on the second Tuesday of the month. The meetings are in the city council chambers.

(Royal Oak will have a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday at 11:00 am.)

The main business of the County Council was reviewing and renewing tax abatements for six companies: Wilson Industrial Sales, Terborg Distributing, Remington Seeds, IBEC, Advanced Auto, and Monsanto. All were approved.

Wilson Sales purchased Ulyat Trucking of Remington last year and is keeping their facilities. They added two mechanics at the Ulyat location to service all their trucks.  Advanced Auto continues to have trouble filling all their positions. They increased wages by about 17%. 27.5% of their employees live in Jasper County, but like the other companies located in Remington, they draw workers from White, Newton, and Tippecanoe Counties. Advanced Auto has acquired Car Quest and the Remington facility serves 475 stores. They have changed their work week to seven days and workers work four days per week.

Three of the companies will be affected by the awful corn harvest. Both Monsanto and Remington Seeds have fields in other locations that will offset the bad harvests locally. IBEC said that a greater problem than the poor local harvest is that there is an overproduction of ethanol nationwide and that keeps the price of the product low. The Remington Seed representative said that they have had to abandon some of the local fields because they were so badly affected. However, he said that they had met all the commitments they made when they were granted the abatement.

Sheriff Risner addressed the Council about the communications problems caused by the rebanding of emergency frequencies. The sheriffs department relies on a tower west of Monon for 800 megahertz service and it does not reach into the northern part of the state. He mentioned that in the last few days there was a shooting south of DeMotte and his deputies were conducting a search for an armed man with virtually no communications. He has been negotiating to use a tower a bit northeast of Aix and he now has a quote for a turnkey installation. He was giving the Council background information and perhaps in their August meetings they will act on it.

Finally, the president of the Council reported on a state meeting for council members that he had attended. He said that other county councils had similar frustrations as the Jasper County Council, especially regarding the way that the state resets county budgets in a seemingly arbitrary fashion.

The picture today is from Potawatomie Park showing the arbor vitae trees on the south end of the park. Note the line indicating how high the flood waters rose. Also, some of the trees recently planted in the park seem to have been killed by the water, in particular, several of the yellowood.

No comments: