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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Park news and more

Rensselaer now has a downtown mural. Do you know where it is?
On Monday evening the Rensselaer Park Board held a public forum in the Library. The room was changed from the large conference room to the Story Time Room because Santa came to visit kids and pulled rank. There were about twenty five people in attendance.

Various members of the Board outlined plans for soccer at the Monnett property, baseball and tee ball at Brookside Park, a trail in Bicentennial, and dog parks in Iroquois Parks. I had not heard of the walking trail in the shape of an 8 for Bicentennial, but the rest of the items have been discussed repeatedly at previous meetings.

Members of the audience asked a lot of questions, probably more about the proposed dog park than any other item. A few suggested that Iroquois might not be a good location because it floods. (I think that the fact that it floods makes it ideal--the flooding is a reason it is so little used.) One person asked what was being planned for small children and whether any discussion had been held about possible splash pads. The answer was that the Board had to prioritize and soccer and baseball seemed to be the most important right now. There apparently has been thought given to removing the baby pool at LaRue and making that end into some kind of splash park area.

Construction estimates were $400,000 for Staddon/Soccer Park, $31,000 for a walking trail in Bicentennial, and $26,000 for an Iroquois Dog Park. There are naming opportunities available. If you would like your name on a ball field, a bench, a light, a sign, pavement, or watering station, contact the Park or the Jasper Foundation. If you have the money, you can provide the name.

The library staff was probably a little unhappy because the meeting went until library closing and then some people wanted to talk a bit more.

After the meeting I asked someone who works in the USDA building if anything had been done with the canoe landing that had been planned south of SJC. I was told that the parking lot had been completed, so on Tuesday I checked it out. (It is on Mt. Calvary Road at the end of the last field before the bridge over the river.)

Here is a closer look at the rules and regulations.
The crushed-stone road curves in to a parking area.
However, the river is still another thirty or forty yards away from the parking area. There was a path worn in the Creeping Charley and the tall grass indicating that some people had used the landing.
There still is no boat ramp and the bank is about four feet high with the current water level. It would be a difficult task putting a canoe or boat in with the way the site is now.
The river has little current at the site. About a mile downstream the waters of Slough Creek and Carpenter Creek join the Iroquois, roughly doubling the flow. The river is more suitable for canoeing in Newton County than it is in Jasper. When competed, this may be a popular put-in spot.

I forgot to mention a couple items from the Commissioners meeting on Monday. A back-up generator is being installed this week at the Fase Center near DeMotte. This is a project that has been discussed in several Commissioners meetings. It will provide back up for both the Fase Center and the Sheriff's Annex (which includes the County Morgue). As a result, the Fase Center will now be able to house people in an emergency, so new policies will be drawn up.

The other item that I thought was interesting was a question during the Sheriff's presentation. One of the Commissioners, looking at the result of the jail inspection (the jail passed) noted that the census had been low this past year and he asked why. One reason that the Sheriff gave is that people can now use credit cards to provide bail.

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