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

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tuesday evening

On Tuesday evening the Jasper County Historical Society held it annual Christmas dinner. This year was special--they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their founding.

I left before the reading of the minutes of the very first meeting to get to another meeting, the Jasper County Council. I arrived a few minutes late, after they had discussed board reappointments and while they were discussing the salary ordinance, an ordinance that made official the salaries that they had discussed in their budget meetings a few months ago. It passed. They also approved the Sheriff's contract, which had been approved earlier this month by the Commissioners.

The Sheriff gave them a brief update on the departments IT status. They are running on a server that was installed shortly after the jail opened in 2008 and it needs to be replaced as does some of the other computer equipment the department uses. The Council and the Sheriff will work on finding which funds can be tapped to pay for the upgrades.

The Sheriff was asked about accidents during the recent icy weather. He said that there were only four or five accidents with injuries and that the overall picture was not too bad considering how awful the roads were. He attributed the low number of accidents and slide-offs to people staying off the roads as much as  they could.

The Council approved some transfers. Several were for the Airport Authority. The Airport Manager said that hangar construction was behind schedule. He also said that six guidance signs along the taxiway needed to be replaced because the paint had faded and they no longer met FAA requirements. It was cheaper to replace than to attempt repairs.

This was the last meeting for John Price, who was defeated in the primary earlier this year. He has made a difference in his years on the Council. He fought to lower the county income tax over the past few years. (This year because the state made major and confusing changes to structure of local income taxes, the Council did not make any changes, but the state income tax will be a tiny bit lower.) Mr Price, probably more than any other Council member, came up with new proposals, some of which were beyond the scope of the Council. The hotel tax was his idea and he pushed for it until it was enacted. The revenues fund tourism promotion. He was the loudest voice for the need for a frost law, which Commissioners enacted early this year. And he was also a loud voice for the need to revamp the heating/cooling system for the jail. Not all of his initiatives have been enacted. He wanted a system to collect fines for ordinance violations, a violations bureau, and so far that idea has not gone anywhere. He pushed for change in enforcement of metal thefts, which is in a bill at the state house that has not yet made it through the legislature.

His replacement, Brett Risner, has been attending Council meeting since he won the primary, which should reduce the time it takes him to get fully up to speed next year.

As I was out on Tuesday night, I noticed new, very bright lights. They were on the high-rate treatment plant on Lincoln.

1 comment:

Jasper County Historical Society said...

Thank you again for the Council and city news.