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

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

City Council meeting, 03-14-2016

Monday's Rensselaer City Council meeting lasted almost an hour, had two sustained discussions, and a split vote on an ordinance.

In the public comments section at the beginning of the meeting, Carol Beaver, representing Rensselaer Main Street, requested $450 to help fund planters and other decorations around town. The request was approved.

Next was an ordinance that would allow a worker who had left City employment to return and after a probationary year, reclaim his vacation and longevity pay. The ordinance was prompted by the desire of the police department to hire a former officer. His return would save the department approximately $15000 of training costs. The discussion of the issue lasted about ten minutes, and in the vote Cover, Watson, and Hollerman voted for the ordinance and Barton and Odle voted against.

The gas tracker for March will be a three cent increase per hundred cubic feet and the electric tracker for the second(?) quarter will be a increase of $0.00445 per kilowatt hour, or about $3.12 for someone using 700 KWH of electricity per month, the average usage.

The second item with considerable discussion was the request by the utility office and the clerk/treasurer to purchase a new software package for their day-to-day work. They want software that will be satisfy the needs of both offices, which are currently running two different programs by two different vendors. The request was approved.

Mayor Wood said that INDOT, which will replace the Washington Street bridge in 2017, asked the City for requests. The City would like the decorative elements to complement the decorative facades of the city parking lots. The City will proceed and will ask for the necessary funding in the next budget.

The superintendent of the powerhouse reported that the roof is developing problems. He had gotten bids on replacing it and recommended a vendor from Valparaiso that had quoted a price of $70,450. The Council approved going ahead.

The Council approved a slight increase in funding for Gas Pipeline Awareness Day and the Municipal Open House to be held on April 29. The Council also approved a request from Councilman Barton for $1500 for an Open House for the new fire station scheduled for June 25.

The Council approved efforts by Police Chief Phillips to pursue a grant to help fund the County's new dispatch system, which aids the city. It also approved the Mayor's efforts to get quotes for tree removal. The new test well on Sparling produced about 1000 gallons per minute during a 24 hour test. The City has not yet received the results of a water quality test, but at this point it appears that the well is good to go. Finally, the Building Inspector Kenny Haun announced that a derelict house on Clark Street was being demolished. I think it is the one shown below. It is a building I have been past many times but have never really noticed.

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