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

Monday, July 6, 2015

Commissioners meeting, July 2015

There were a lot of items on the agenda of the July Commissioners Meeting, but none stood out as really important. The prosecutor wanted to replace a part-time investigator who has resigned and she also wanted to hire a deputy prosecutor who would focus solely on child support issues. The deputy prosecutor would be funded from something called the Prosecutors' Incentive Fund, which can only be used for a few things, one of which is child support issues. The Commissioners approved both.

The Animal Control Board wanted to offer the position of head of animal control to their present full-time employee. She would be a probationary for six months. They also wanted to hire a full time position to fill the vacancy they have. The question came up of what would happen if after six months the new director had not performed to expectations. After a bit of discussion, it was decided that the problems could be avoided if the new hire was part time rather than full time, and the Commissioners approved that arrangement.

A representative from KIRPC reported that a grant that covered eight counties including Jasper had been approved, It has $300,000 for cleaning up hazardous waste and $200,000 to clean up petroleum problems. It would be used for land that is undeveloped or underdevelopment because of threat of contamination. The Commissioners moved to sign the memorandum of understanding. The representative also reported that KIRPC had begun traffic counts on some county roads, a project funded by INDOT.

Someone who seemed to be from the surveyor's office reported that mortgage companies are requiring some people to split lots and that sometimes those splits are resulting in lots with houses that have no access. It is not a problem if the person owns all the land, but it may cause problems down the road. It was not clear why the mortgage or title companies were requiring these splits. The Commissioners decided more research was needed before any action was taken.

The IT director for the county reported that new state law allows people involved in law enforcement to have their names and addresses removed from the GIS websites that counties make public. Right now the provider of Jasper County's GIS services does not allow this to be done without taking out information that could remain.

The County had sought bids for a generator that the highway department has and no bids were received. The generator will probably be put into the county auction July 18 and may also be listed on eBay.

EMCOR, which has contracts for heating and cooling projects with the county, was on the agenda but never showed.

The Commissioners approved the renewal of the county's insurance policy. The value of the county property being insured is $44 million. It includes 124 vehicles. There was one big claim settled late last year. There have been 52 auto claims in the last three years.

The Sheriff reported that the new 911 system has been installed and is up and running. The transition was smooth. One of the servers for the old system was starting to fail--it was seven years old. In another five or six years the system will have to be upgraded again because five or six years is the expected life of the equipment.

A deputy is retiring on July 15. His position will be filled internally, but then there will be an opening for a new hire of a merit deputy. The Commissioners approved allowing the Sheriff to make the hire.

The air handling/heating/cooling system at the jail will have controls adjusted this week. The local person in charge said that often there are problems dealing with the offsite IT guys monitoring the system. They tend to believe what they see on their screens rather than what someone on site is telling them what is happening. There have been recent problems with excess humidity because some of the coolers were not functioning.

There followed discussion of various issues that will probably come back in a more finished form in future meetings.

At the end of the meeting one of the council members who was attending the meeting told me that the new Royal Oak restaurant had opened that morning and that he had eaten breakfast there before coming to the meeting. He said that the interior was completely different from what it had been when the restaurant was Ricos.

I heard the crop dusters taking off from the airport for the past few days. They seem to be very busy.

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