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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

County Council--early and short

Tuesday's County Council meeting was a week early this month (because of the fair) and unusually short. They transferred some funds and approved a tax abatement for Monsanto that had not been approved in a previous meeting because the paper work had been misplaced. 

There was no move to change the county income tax. The budget hearings will start next month, with the Sheriff's department taken up at the regular meeting (the 15th, I believe). There will be an all-day budget meeting the 17th and Aug 23 will be a day for discussing cuts.

In March there was a special joint meeting of the Council and the Commissioners to hear a presentation from Umbaugh. As a result of that meeting, the County hired Umbaugh to do some planning and the results are now coming in. The County faces a declining property tax base because farm values are declining (after an unusual run-up to very high levels) and also because NIPSCO will be retiring a couple units at its Wheatfield plant. Umbaugh will make a presentation to the Commissioners at the August 7 meeting and will give a similar presentation to the Council at its August meeting. Rein Bontreger suggested that Council members try to attend the first presentation to help them get ready for the second. 

As the meeting ended, the owner of Movie Madness in DeMotte addressed the Council about library purchases of videos. He said that the Francesville Library regularly purchased from him because his prices were lower than they could get elsewhere and he wondered why the Jasper County Library did not also take advantage of the lower prices he offered. He said that he had reached out to the Library but had not gotten any response. The Council members suggested that he  contact the head librarian and see if that would work better.

Yesterday I took a short road trip. As I was leaving town, I noticed that the new O'Reilly store was being stocked. The stockpile of windmill pieces just over the White/Jasper county line was gone, and new windmills were going up north of US 24 just to the east of Wolcott.

Our wet weather (but thankfully not as wet as some parts of Illinois and Indiana) has been frog-friendly. I found two tree frogs, a little frog that can change color to blend in to its surroundings, hanging about in my backyard.

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