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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A long meeting

The Commissioners had a long meeting on Monday that dealt with routine county matters. A buried cable request from NIPSCO to run a line to a KV school was approved as was a request from the Rensselaer Urban Forestry Council to plant two trees on the Court House grounds. The county accepted the lone bid of $500 for an abandoned driveway to provide access to a house under construction, an item that has been discussed in several past meetings. A report from the County Fair Board reported storm damage to a restroom, deterioration of the log cabin and school house, new pens in the goat barn, new swine gates, and proposed paving of some roads and parking areas.

The County recorder discussed a proposed way of providing bulk documents to the public. I did not understand all of this, but it seems to be concerned with providing records to five organizations that want updates on all records. The extension office wants to rewrite a job description, and that must be reviewed as a handbook change. Community Corrections received a grant that for about $300K that will allow them to hire an assistant director and move some positions from the general fund to the grant. The sheriff discussed some legal things on the license for broadcasting from the new communication tower. He received approval to get bids for resealing the jail parking lot. The department will be retiring a 2011 vehicle that needs a $2000 engine fix and a truck that will be going to the highway department. He received permission to fill two positions that have been vacated.

There was a discussion of whether the County Unified Development Ordinance should be included in the ordinance codification that is underway. The company doing the work offers a variety of options and enhancements at an extra cost. The issue will be back on the agenda next month.

After a break, bids were opened for materials needed for road maintenance and repair. As usual, all bids were accepted. A long discussion followed about the new state program of matching grants for road repair. The county match must come from one of three sources, the returned LOIT money not already required to be used for roads, the rainy day fund, or the wheel tax. The state seems to be pushing counties to enact a wheel tax. The Commissioners hired a company to assist them in preparing a road assessment plan, which is needed to obtain the grants. It is not the same company that Rensselaer hired at the last City Council meeting.

A couple of men wanted the Commissioners to look over the drainage plan for expanding the ConAgra parking lot. The Commissioners told them that they could not meet as the drainage board because public notice was required for a Drainage Board meeting. However, if their plans followed the permissions that had originally been granted when the parking lot was constructed, they would be OK. They indicated that the original plan was for a larger parking area than had been actually constructed.

If an interim meeting is needed, it will be held on May 16. Otherwise the next meeting will be June 6.

In Rensselaer news, excavation continues on the high water treatment plant on Lincoln Avenue. Below is what the site looked like over the weekend.

Both at the Gas Department open house and in the last IMPA newsletter I learned that one could check on the operation of Rensselaer's solar park. Go here and click on IMPA Rensselaer. (A surprising number of people do not yet know that there is a solar panel farm on the east edge of Rensselaer.)

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