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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

More notes from Monday's meetings

I stopped in for the start of the Animal Control Board meeting on Monday night. The meeting got started late and did not have a quorum, so no votes could be taken.

The director reported that in the past three months four injured cats had been euthanized and none in January. Almost all of the animals coming into the shelter have been reclaimed, been adopted, or gone to a rescue service. The volunteer program has begun with 66 hours of contributed service in January. The opening for a part-time person who would work only in the shelter received 52 applications and the director had selected one for a job offer. The board reviewed the applicant.

Then it was off to the City Council meeting. The gas tracker for February will be a reduction of six cents per hundred cubic feet. After the presentation by Ned Speicher (reported here), Trace Bowles, manager of operations and engineering for the electric utility, requested a replacement for a line worker who is retiring. The position will be an entry level position and after one year the person will be expected to take classes for the next four, eventually topping out and becoming a full line worker. This is a skilled position that requires a substantial amount of training. Bowles outlined a long-term plan to staff with trained workers as older workers retire. He or the mayor noted that most of the linemen for REMC had at one time worked for the City.

Bowles also reported a committee's recommendations for new lap tops for the Council members. The recommendation was for a Dell laptop that was midrange in price and features. The iPads that the Council members currently are using will be given to the utilities that can use them.

The mayor presented a plaque to Ron DeMoss for twenty years of service. Mr DeMoss has one more Council meeting to attend--as superintendent of Weston Cemetery he is expected to attend all Council meetings. He will retire at the end of the month. The City has posted a job opening announcement on its web page and if anyone is interested in applying for the position, the application is due the 12th.

Brad Cozza, the Airport Manager, gave a brief report on 2015 airport operations that was much the same as the one he gave to the County Commissioners. He noted the new website for the airport that has two functions, to tell outsiders about the area and to tell locals about what is happening at the airport.

In Administrative reports, Clerk-Treasurer said that Rural Development, the agency of the U.S. Agriculture Department that is lending money to the City for construction of the high water treatment plant, requires her to be bonded for $550,000, the amount equal to one year's bond payment. (Money from the Feds comes with many hoops.) The Council voted to allow her to find the bonding.

The Mayor said that he has continued to investigate a second link of the gas utility to a high pressure line and that there will be a presentation on the topic in the March 28 meeting. The assistant superintendent for streets and sanitation reported that the test well had reached a depth of 260 feet as of 2:00 on Monday.

There have been more comments than usual on yesterday's post. I hope that means that there is enough interest to get people to go to the School Board meeting on Feb 16.

Today's picture is of Weston Cemetery, tended for twenty years by Ron DeMoss. The markers in the foreground are those of a prominent early family, the Halsteads. Micah Halstead came to the county in 1851 but then left for the West Coast. He returned a few years later and married Virginia Harris and several of their children are also buried in Weston Cemetery. On the same plot are two unnamed infants and son Edwin, who was murdered in 1871 while teaching school in Dakota Territory. You can find directories to the cemetery on the City's website and you can also learn about some of the burials from the findagrave website.


It looks like we have a week of real February weather ahead of us. Unlike last year when the Great Lakes almost froze over, this year there is little ice on them. Maybe that will change in the the next week.

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