They had some time before the scheduled public hearing on the budget, scheduled for 7:30, and there was a discussion of the possibility of a county park, which some citizen has been asking various council members about. No one on the council was willing to investigate the matter but if citizens are willing to do the homework, they are welcome to do so.
The budget hearings themselves are almost impossible to follow if you are in the audience. The Council members have a thick binder full of numbers and the discussion is almost always in reference to what is in the binders. There were three budgets discussed at the meeting, those of the Highway Department, the various parts of the Commissioner budgets (which include a big variety of things), and JCEDO and Tourism. During the discussion of the highway budget, it was noted that about 350 different communities and counties submitted grants for matching road funds. This was the first year of the program and local officials did not expect nearly that many proposals. Only one county in the state had no proposals originating from it. Both Jasper County and the City of Rensselaer submitted proposals and they should know in a week or two if their proposals will be funded.
During the presentation of the Commissioners, someone mentioned that the eastern part of the county had received more rain than Rensselaer this week. Rensselaer got about three inches and some places in the eastern part of the county were four and five inches. The Commissioners were frustrated by the climate control work being done by Havel in both the Court House and jail. They may slow down the project to make sure that there will be savings from it. There was a long discussion of the budget for the Fair. The current fair office may be replaced because the building is old and in need of work. During fair week 230 families reside in the campgrounds. As mentioned in a post on the Commissioners July meeting the county would like to purchase land on the west side of the fairgrounds that it is currently leasing, and a resolution of interest was passed to allow the county to proceed with negotiations to purchase the land.
The short discussion of the tourism budget mentioned that assistance with South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority is being phased out as the local office has learned to do many of the things that South Shore was previously doing. The meeting was recessed and will continue with more budget discussions this week.
Voting for the bicentennial bison has yielded a very close contest between Martin County and Jasper County. As I write this, both are over 10,000 votes and Martin county is ahead by two votes. No other county is close to 1000. (If you have not voted, you can do so here. Jasper County is on the second page.) Today (Wednesday) is the last day to vote.
I do not have a picture for today’s post and I need one for the link I make on Facebook. Here is the flow in the Iroquois River for the past 45 days. Today we will probably set a daily record. The flow for the day will average more than 500 cubic feet per second and the previous high flow was 465 cfs set in 1958.