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

Friday, February 5, 2016

Planning for the future

The test well that has been discussed in a couple of recent City Council meetings is being drilled in the field west of the Banet substation on Sparling Drive. A city employee who had been at the site told me that the drillers hit limestone at about six feet, which is not surprising given that Charles Street, where the bedrock is about two feet below the surface, is just to the east of this. The plan is to go down 300 or 400 feet. If the well can produce enough water, it will eventually become part of the city's water system.

On Thursday morning the Rensselaer Park Board met for a lengthy meeting. Brandon Schreeg, who works for an company that designs parks and other things, was a guest and Board members told him what they plan to do. Highest on the agenda is to make soccer fields in the old Monnett property. The land still has not been transferred--the title work has taken a long time and there are still a few details to work out. The Board wants seven soccer fields in the property, which is what was there last fall. However, they would like to keep fields away from the highway and use some of the land on which the old school building set. The problem with that land is that it was not filled with nice dirt but with fill that has rocks and debris from the old school.

Schreeg suggested that if more parking was needed that the existing lots to the north be widened a bit so that cars could park on both sides of the lots. He seemed to have reservations about adding parking to the west of Jordan's Floral. He was also unsure to what extent the plans were already fixed and to what extent his firm should make suggestions.

There was a short discussion of the old Administration building on the Monnett lot. The city is trying to sell it, but it will require substantial renovation to make it ADA compliant and it also has a mold problem in the basement. My guess is that the building will be demolished in the next five years.

Two people from the Jasper Foundation attended to discuss fund raising. Needed for fundraising are renderings of what is being planned and naming opportunities. A really big donation could name a park or ball field. Smaller ones can name light posts and benches. Smaller yet and a name can go on an inscribed paver.

As the meeting proceeded, a variety of topics came up. There were second thoughts about using Iroquois Park as a dog park. The occasional flooding bothered some people. An alternative was suggested, the city property with the two no-longer-used pump houses on Bunkum Road, which has about 6 acres. The city uses this for storage and for dumping snow in the winter, but the thought was that perhaps the city was not using all of it. A small fountain was suggested for the Monnett property, but then others thought it could be replaced with art work. Very little was said about Brookside.

There will be another public meeting before plans are finalized (or mostly finalized). It will be held when enough progress has been made so there will be new information that was not available at the last public meeting.

(I walked through the Core Building at SJC today and noticed that SJC has embraced naming opportunities. There are now little plaques above the benches in the hall with a donor's name and some of the classrooms also have donor names on them.)

The city has a job posting for the position of Weston Cemetery superintendent. Ron DeMoss will be retiring at the end of the month.

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