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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

News from Monday's City Council meeting

At every City Council meeting there is opportunity for public comments before the Council begins the main agenda. Usually no one speaks. However, there were three speakers at the meeting on Monday night. First, a representative from the SJC Alumni Board, which is now an independent organization separate from Saint Joseph'e College, asked for permission to use Brookside Park on September 30 for a homecoming celebration. The Alumni Board wants to keep the homecoming tradition alive. A reason for approaching the Council is that they will be serving alcohol. They noted that the event would be during the day and hoped that it would boost attendance at the Oktoberfest in the evening. The Council approved the request.

Next Linda Commingore of the Rensselaer Chamber of Commerce announced that the Tuesday Night Farmers Market would have their Kids Night on Tuesday. She said that there would be more Chamber members participating this year than last--27 compared to 15. She also announced several other upcoming Chamber events, such as the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting at Shorty's Marathon by the tracks on Wednesday.

Finally, Michael Manis, president of the Rensselaer Park Board requested Council approval of his talks with Project Coordinator Jerry Lockridge about using some of the City property on Bunkum for a dog park. He noted that presently people are letting dogs run free in the fenced ballfields and that causes problems. The Bunkum property was once the site of three water wells but their structures have been removed and the wells will be capped or filled in. The Council approved the request.

On the main agenda there was an additional appropriation to cover some park repairs and the authorization to set up a fund to handle grants better. The Electric Utility requested acceptance of bids to purchase a standby generator and DC storage batteries for the Watt substation under construction west of town on Bunkum Road. They were approved. The Council also approved funds for electric linemen to participate in a lineman competition in Mishawaka. The argument here was it was both education and a networking event that allows City linemen to work better with other linemen when that is needed.

The Council approved a bid of $6975 to construct a small parking lot near the bridge over the creek in Weston Cemetery. The mayor presented several awards--look for the pictures in the Rensselaer Republican.

Attorney Michael Riley said that he is working on getting easements to move the city gas line near the intersection of Mt Calvary Road and US 231. In 2018 the State plans to move the highway about 15 feet to the east (which is why that stretch of road was not fixed when the rest of it was). Saint Joe's has turned the matter over to its lawyers so no one knows how long the process will take.
The City wants to move a tile on land north of town so it can be used for another solar farm. The matter should be on the agenda of the Drainage Board on August 7 (which is also free admission day for Jasper County residents at Fair Oaks Farms.)

As I finish this I can hear the crop duster planes flying overhead--they are loud. They have been here for several days so should be about finished. And speaking of crops, sweet corn was abundant at the Tuesday Night Farmers Market.

Coming this weekend--the first showing of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by the Carnegie Players and the Rock the Arts festival.

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