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

Friday, March 3, 2017

The rescheduled City Council meeting

The first Rensselaer City Council of March was moved from Monday night to Thursday night this week because a quorum could not be found for Monday. On Thursday there were only three of the five council members present, so for a motion to pass, all three had to be in favor.

The first item on the agenda was approving bids for the substation that will be built on the intersection of Bunkum Road and CR 850W. The bids had been opened in January and acceptance had been postponed at the next meeting. The engineering consultant recommended acceptance of a bid for the switching gear of $349,650 from Power Grid Solutions (the low bid), of $418,208 for the transformer (the low bid), and $49,986 for the steel bid (not the low bid but with best lead times on delivery and engineering). The Council approved these recommendations so now has purchased the materials for the substation. They will still need to approve contractor and labor bids.

The City Project Manager was given permission to seek bids for tree removal. These are large trees that are in City right-of-ways. The expectation is that tree removal will continue for years because of the emerald ash borer, which is killing ash trees. (Speaking of tree removal, I learned a few days ago why trees were cut down in Weston Cemetery along the Iroquois River. The electric utility wanted them removed because the branches were a threat to its power line. The Cemetery wanted them removed because it the big ones fell into the river, the roots would tear up the cemetery road.)

The Council also approved hiring a company for $1950 per day not to exceed five days to do a leak survey of the City water system. It has not been done for several years and it can find leaks that the City does not find.

The Police Chief asked for about $2K to replace a file server that is failing. He also said he was applying for a grant to purchase bullet proof vests. He was going to submit the grant to the Jasper Foundation. The last time the department purchased vests, they had submitted a proposal to the federal government and the little bit of money they were awarded was not worth the time needed to write the grant proposal.

In Administrative Comments, Mr Cover said it was time to promote the assistant superintendent of streets to full superintendent. There was a short discussion if this was the Mayor's prerogative or the purview of the Utility Board, and if it was the Utility Board, whether the Board had to meet as the Board or whether it could meet as the City Council since the membership is the same. All three members present voted to elevate the position to full superintendent.

The high rate treatment plant is nearing completion and some of the equipment is been started to test it. Soon the crew will try to simulate full operation, though exactly how they can do that is not clear.

Yesterday more concrete was being poured and more large culvert pieces being delivered.

The Council approved hiring four or five seasonal/summer people for several departments. 

On March 9 there will be a meeting with engineers about a Grace Street reconstruction from Cullen to the bridge. I am not sure when the project will begin, but it will rebuild ramps and drives and will result in the closure of the street.

At the future site of the O'Reilly Auto Parts store, the ground cement has been spread over the site as if it were crushed stone.

1 comment:

Kevin Earnest said...

Typically they will startup and test this type of plant by pumping river water through it.