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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

First some pictures

The Park Board had a long and interesting meeting on Monday night. But before discussing that, here are a few pictures. The first is of Milroy Park where a walking path will soon be constructed. It is sponsored by Rensselaer Main Street. It will run along Washington (but behind the line of trees) with a short branch to the Milroy statue.
 The demolition of the three well houses along Bunkum is progressing. The structures are down but the piping still has to be removed.
 The same well from a different angle.
 This is what the building looked like two weeks ago.
 The new O'Reilly auto parts store will open on Saturday.
Now back to the Park Board meeting. It began with a presentation by the two fundraisers, Peter and Wayne, who spent some time telling their history. They explained what their role would be if the Board wanted to go forward with their services. They do not handle any money nor do they solicit donors. Rather they do the background work of training, organizing, and preparing materials for the project. They acknowledged that there was division among the stake holders and that that division needed to be overcome for a successful campaign. Essentially they told the Park Board it was time to fish or cut bait.

Ed Dumas of the Blacker Trust then distributed a letter to the Park Board members. It said that the original plan to build ball fields had died because the cost was too high and that realization led to the idea of doing a fundraising project. The Blacker Trust is no longer focused on ballfields but open to all possible projects. His letter proposed a governing committee of five persons (Mayor Wood, Ed Dumas, Jack Drone, Michael Manis, and David Schrum) that would be responsible for the disbursement of funds and selection of projects. He also indicated that not only would the funds raised be under the control of this board but also the existing Blacker Trust funds.

Doctor John Ahler, who came with a group of Boy Scouts, said that there was a need for a plan and that a plan would greatly help with fundraising. He also said that compared to other area communities, Rensselaer has done a poor job of upgrading and improving what our parks have to offer. The Mayor told the Board that they really needed to sign on because they did not have any viable alternatives.

With that most of the people left. Some members of the Board were still unhappy that they would have to give up some control to the five-member board, though at least one saw no problem with that. As the discussion was proceeding, it was interrupted by pickle ball.

A member of the public who came late wanted approval for placing pickle ball lines on the tennis court at Brookside Park so that the sport could be played there. He had two quotes, one for $400, and said he might be able to raise some of that money. The Board approved with the hope that a league can be organized after the lines have been painted.

Then there was a short discussion of dog parks and the demolition of the well houses on Bunkum. (Hence the pictures above.) There was still some hope that the site of the well houses could be converted to a dog park, though Scott Barton told them that it will not happen.

Eventually one of the members moved to go forward with the proposal from the Blacker Trust and it passed unanimously.

The meeting concluded with a short report from Heather Hall on new park programs. The camp that recently concluded had 25 campers and 7 helpers. The youth came not just from Rensselaer but also from neighboring communities. She also wants to revive the Riley Read in the park this fall.

The next board meeting will be August 7.


Anonymous said...

Hope we can finally do some things for the youth of this community! Enough walking trails, ball fields and dogs should not come before our children....upgrade the swimming pool, add a splash pad and playground equipment!!

Anonymous said...

Agree completely with the first poster. Moreover, why spoil the pleasant greenery of tiny Milroy Park with a walking path? What is the urgent need?