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

Friday, August 11, 2017

August's commissioners meeting, closings, and moves

The Commissioners met Monday morning in their monthly meeting. After approving buried cable permits, there was a public hearing to reduce the speed limit on CR 400N through Fair Oaks to 35 mph. No one spoke and the new speed limit was approved.

Honeywell was back with a more detailed report on what they could do to improve energy efficiency in the Court House and some other County buildings. They had a long list of items including replacing old boilers, a new chiller, 35 new ventilators (not sure what those are), new web-based controls, and magnetic interior storm windows. For the jail they proposed value and shower controls to limit inmate flushing and wasting water. They proposed LED lighting for almost everywhere. The estimated total cost was a little under $2 million with annual savings of at least $35,000. Clearly the savings do not justify the project, so they pointed out that about $1.2 million is capital cost avoidance, that is, there is old equipment that is nearing end of life and it will soon need to be replaced. If there is no plan in place, it will likely be replaced with a unit similar to what is already there and that will not improve efficiency. They also noted that  another benefit  would be improved comfort of the working environment. Honeywell will probably give a similar presentation to the September County Council meeting.

Next followed a few small items. Community Corrections was granted permission to replace a person who was leaving and a request to use County right-of-ways for a fiber optic cable (mentioned in Wednesday's post) was approved.

A report from Umbaugh, the County's financial advisor, lasted about 30 minutes and this report will be presented next week at the County Council meeting. Growth in County expenditures is outpacing growth in County revenues and as a result, reserve funds are dropping. The presenter mentioned some minor adjustments that could be made to help matters, but mostly she focused on how to raise more revenue. One of those ways is to raise the local income tax, which is already the second highest in the state. What I do not understand is how counties that have much lower income taxes than we do are managing to keep their deficits under control. Perhaps the answer to that will come next week.

Chief Deputy Pat Williamson reported that the Sheriff's Department was not happy with the service that they were getting from Havel for the jail's heating/cooling systems.

Lou Nagel representing the Jasper County Fair Board reported that the severe storm on Friday night of the County Fair reminded everyone that the fairgrounds lack decent storm shelters. One idea that the Fair Board has been thinking about for several years is building a new colosseum-like show arena that might provide better shelter. Deputy Williamson mentioned the idea of using some partially-buried steel freight containers as storm shelters. Nothing was decided but ideas are floating around.

The meeting concluded with a variety of little items. Rensselaer Oktoberfest was given permission to use part of the Court House lawn on September 30. There was discussion of a flag pole for the north annex. A number of legal items were mentioned and discussed.

Leaving the building, I noticed that work was being done on the roof. I think the workers were fixing some damage from a recent storm.
The Rensselaer Republican reported in its Thursday edition that the Rensselaer Bowling not be opening this fall. The building and business are for sale.
Another closing is Stunt Dawg. The building is for rent.
American Rental has removed its sign from its store in the College Mall.
The sign is now in on a store north of Strack & Van Til (and next to the newly located Impact office). American Rental plans to be open in the new location in the middle of next week. I asked why they were moving and was told, "More space."


Mike H. said...

I passed thru town recently, and didn't spend long gawking. It had been about eight years since I last passed thru town. I had a more thorough look around town then, but what I saw is largely forgotten. I didn't take pictures, or write anything down.

I remember the old bowling alley by the Dog 'n' Suds. The bowling alley building looked to still exist, but not as a bowling alley. I'm guessing DnS is long gone.

I knew there had to be a bowling alley in operation somewhere. Every town of modest size has a bowling alley when there's not a state-of-the-art alley in the neighboring suburb. I suspect this "new" Rensselaer bowling alley will be back in business before long. Technology changes a lot of things, but bowling alleys seem to persevere.

Mike H. said...

After a bit of Googling and reading your post from a few years ago, I'm stunned to learn a new, fancier bowling center hasn't replaced the alley I remember from the '70s.