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

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Two more meetings

The County Commissioners assembled as the Drainage Board on Tuesday afternoon. There were many items on the agenda, but only a few were of general interest.

There were two guys from INDOT seeking county approval for a sewer pipe, which I thought a bit odd. Usually the State tells the County what to do. But in this case INDOT wanted to use a County right-of-way. The sewage stations at the rest stops just south of the Kankakee River are aging and INDOT wants to pipe the sewage to the sewage handling facility of the campground that is west of the Interstate. To do this they want to bore the a two to four inch pipe below the regulated drain. The Board approved, noting that they would still need to get approval to use the County right-of-way along county roads.

An engineer reported on his work regarding the Price Tile and the Amsler Tile. Both are deteriorating and in need of extensive repair. In the case of the Price Tile, the people who farm the land objected in large part because the cost per acre was about $650. However, the estimated cost of redoing the Amsler was even higher, at about $930, and the landowners there were in favor of the project. A major hurdle going forward will be getting permission for CSX to cross their right-of-way.

The next item was by far the most interesting. Bruce Sayler is planning to build apartment buildings on the north end of Elza Street. He ultimately would like to do four ten-unit buildings and will do the project in stages, starting at the north end. He was before the drainage board because his retention pond will drain into the Norman ditch or tile, which empties into the Maxwell Ditch (the stream that forms the eastern boundary of Brookside Park). He did not have final plans but was told that the Board would want a slow release of water, which would mean a big retention pond. He will be on the agenda at the end of the Commissioners Meeting in October at 11:00.

In the evening the Rensselaer Park Board met. The meeting began with the presentation of a check of $1500 from the Jasper Foundation that was meant to support the soccer program. (I am attaching the press release from the Foundation at the end of this post.)

The Board heard a presentation asking for use of the Brookside Park for a softball tournament on Sept 17 to raise money to help with the medical expenses of a softball player who was injured in a game in July. The Board decided it did not need to approve the request, but that it could be scheduled in the same way a shelter rental.

There was news that the transfer of the Staddon Field property from the School Corporation to the Jasper Foundation would take place very soon. We will see if still another hurdle can be found to delay it.

Then there was discussion of the soccer program, which continues to be operated under the auspices of Saint Joseph College. The program was supposed to pay for use of the fields and for utilities but for some reason could not, and my interpretation is that the Jasper Foundation money was given to allow the program to continue this year. The Park Board has decided that next year they will sponsor a soccer program for the parks and the the SJC soccer program will not be using the parks.

$200 was raised for support of a dog park at the Pet Parade at a Tuesday night farmers market and the check was given to the Park Superintendent.

A motion was made to hire Mrs H Hall as a program director, charged with developing new programs for the parks. It was passed unanimously.

The next meeting will be held on Oct 17, the third Monday rather than the first.

****Press Release from the Jasper Foundation

The Jasper Foundation, Inc. board directors Dave Schrum, Robert Monfort, and Kathy Parkinson, were pleased to offer a Way to Go Grant to the Rensselaer Parks Department. The Way to Go Grant is an opportunity for board members at the Jasper and Newton County Community Foundations to give a qualifying non-profit of their choosing a little extra press and congratulate them on the work they are doing.
The Parks Department serves the Rensselaer area by playing host to numerous parents and children alike throughout the year and for the fall youth soccer season. This grant will help defray the costs of upkeep and usage of the grounds for soccer.  Soccer is a popular activity for many families in Rensselaer and the surrounding area. If you drive down College Avenue on a Saturday morning in September you will see hundreds of children and parents enjoying the games.
The Jasper Foundation, Inc. and the Newton County Community Foundation are dedicated to advancing the community in the areas of health, education, community initiatives, arts & culture and historic preservation. For more information, please contact the community foundation office at 219-866-5899 or 219-285-5899 or visit the website at 

Addendum: Rich's Cycle Solutions has occupied its new location far faster than I had anticipated. See here.

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