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

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Commissioners meeting, mostly

I made some errors in my last post. Greene's Antique Mall is still open and doing business.  Their hours are 9-5 Mon-Sat and 11-4 Sun. A comment suggested that the office moving into the old bookstore space at SJC is the Admissions Office or Welcome Center. I asked a faculty member who usually knows just about everything that is happening at SJC and she was not sure what the plan is. Time will tell.

A Facebook post reminded me that bison will soon be roaming some of the Nature Conservancy land in Newton County. More info is here and here. The bison are descendants of bison at Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills, where one of my sons worked one summer.

A new business is coming to the Town Mall and will have a grand opening on Saturday, Oct 8. D-Tech Wireless is a cell phone company that is located in Lowell and is opening a Rensselaer branch.

On Monday the County Commissioners met. Most of the meeting was fairly routine. They did agree to go ahead with a refinancing of the jail bonds. The bonds have a bit more than five years to maturity and refinancing should cut the interest rate from a bit more than 4% to about 1.5%. The consultant said that the estimated savings after the brokers and others arranging it take their cut will be about $30,000 to $35,000 per year, or about $150,000 until maturity. There are still some additional steps. The building corporation that leases the jail to the County will need to approve the transaction.

The rezoning request that has been the subject of three previous county meetings, two by the Planning Commission and one by the Commissioners, was again on the agenda. Last month it was revealed that the land in question had not been rezoned in the 1970s when the land to its south, which at the time was in the same parcel, was rezoned. However, the County's attorney said that it had been shown as rezoned on maps that had been incorporated into planning documents, and thus those maps have legal force. After discussion the Commissioners decided to uphold the decision of the Planning Commission to deny the rezone. I doubt if the issue is dead. It will come back in one way or another, perhaps in the court system.

Other items: There was a short presentation from an insurance agent who sells voluntary policies, including AFLAC, to county employees. His report suggested that there were a lot of small claims. The Commissioners met the new assistant director of community corrections. She has worked 13 years at corrections in Newton County. Community Corrections also received approval to replace an officer who took a job with the Sheriff's Department. Later the Sheriff received permission to fill another position caused by a resignation. Over time I have noticed that there are lot of job openings in law enforcement, but often one resignation sets off a domino effect as people in the system move around seeking better positions. The Commissioners approved the 2017 health insurance plans that they had discussed in an executive session on September 12. Citizen Tom Matthis was given 15 minutes to talk about how property use is misclassified and, as a result, the proper taxes are not collected.

I missed the last part of the meeting but got back for an early meeting of the Drainage Board, which approved final drainage plans for an apartment complex planned for North Elza Street. The developer still needs to get a state building permit; because it is a commercial project, a city or county building permit is not enough. (There is a lot of red tape to do just about anything these days.)

If you want more detail of what happens at the Commissioners' meetings, you have to wait until the minutes are approved and published. Those for the September meeting are twenty pages long.

I noticed that the asters were very popular with the insects and caught a monarch butterfly visiting them. There is also a bee on a neighboring flower. (The picture has nothing to do with anything else in this post, but I like to include a picture whenever I can.)
Over the weekend I caught a cold and am resting as much as I can. As a result, this may be my only post this week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo of the treasured Monach. Hope you are feeling better...