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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

City Council and a ribbon cutting

On Monday evening the Rensselaer City Council held its final September meeting. The Council quickly passed an ordinance authorizing hiring of an additional police dispatcher, approved the 2017 Salary Ordinance that they have discussed in two special meetings, and approved the 2017 budget. The vote on the 2017 Salary Ordinance was three for and one against, with one member not at the meeting. The electric tracker, which reflects the cost of power to the City from IMPA, was an increase that will raise the bill of the average customer by $1.49 per month for the fourth quarter of the year. 

Emily from KIRPSE explained a resolution with the title, "Slum and Blight Area Declaratory Resolution". The City would like to seek a grant to help upgrade downtown sidewalks and street lights, and in order to get this grant, it is best if the city first get a planning grant of $36,000 or $40,000. The grant will require the city to match at 11.11%, so either $4000 or $4450. With the results of the planning grant, which would largely be used to hire consultants to study the issue, the city would then be in a good position to apply for a grant to do the actual construction. Working against the City is the low level of vacancy in downtown, about 10% of the commercial space, but working for the City is that Rensselaer has an active Main Street organization. The resolution passed three for and one against.

The Council acknowledged an e-mail poll of September 16 approving a bid for a new garbage truck. The total cost will be a bit more than $151,000. The power plant had awarded a contract for a new roof but the contractor backed out because of employee problems. The project was rebid and the Council approved accepting a bid for $77,612. The Mayor noted that there were issues with the roof on City Hall and that something will have to be done with it.

The Council accepted the recommendation from its committee that examined the street resurfacing bids that had been opened at the previous meeting. They accepted two bids from two contractors doing different types of road repair. The total was over $700,000 but almost $300,000 of that will come from a state grant.

The Trick and Treat hours on October 31 will be from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Trunk or Treat at the Fairgrounds will be from 5:00 until 7:30 with activities both before and after that time.  The Haunted House will be open Oct 27, 28, and 29.

The quote for removing the elm tree across from the post office was $2600. It was approved.

On November 1 there will be some kind of event at the solar farm with school kids.  IMPA would like to do a two megawatt project in Rensselaer and that would require 13 or 14 acres. (The existing solar farm is a one megawatt project.) The Rensselaer Urban Forestry group was planting trees in Potawatomi Park on Tuesday morning and the work on the gas line on the Grace Street Bridge finished up early, also on Tuesday morning. October 7 has been set for Coffee with a Cop. The time is 7:00 to 8:00 but the location is not yet determined. On October 11, the day the Bicentennial Torch is scheduled to pass through Rensselaer, there will be a bicentennial truck with displays at the Court House Square.

Our picture today is of a ribbon cutting for three new vehicles that CDC Resources has recently acquired. The box truck has a number of uses and was partially funded by gifts from the Reg Shireman family, the Carroll-White REMC, and the Newton Community Foundation. Reg Shireman was a former White County Sheriff who was serving on the Board of Directors of CDC Resources when he died two years ago
The vans were partially funded by grants from the Indiana Department of Transportation. One of them has a route in White County and the other picks up clients from DeMotte and Wheatfield and brings them to Day Services at the Rensselaer CDC Resources facility at the east end of Angelica Street. The driver of this van was very enthusiastic about her new wheels. There are also three other bus routes that bring clients to the Rensselaer facility, routes through Newton and Benton counties.

In the past the CDC Resource's vans have always had the CDC Resources name and logo on them. These do not and there are no plans to add them. If you see a van with the CDC Resources logo, it is an older van. Below is a better picture of the new vehicles with only three board members in the way. (They are friends of mine--I am also on the CDC Resources Board. It was a bit strange being in the photograph rather than taking it.)
WLQI has more pictures and even a video on its Facebook page.

The Treasure Keepers pre-school and daycare has closed. For several years it has been using space in the CDC Resources building on Angelica Street. CDC Resources has added enough new clients in the past couple years to need some of the space that Treasure Keepers had been using.

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