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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

City Council meeting and other things

Monday's City Council meeting began with an update on the Parks for People campaign, the upcoming effort to raise funds for improvements in the City parks. Titan will be the architect and perhaps the contractor. In early October a film company will be in town for a couple days to film a video. In the later part of October the campaign will go public and between now and then City officials, City employees, and members of the Park Board will be encouraged to donate to get the campaign off to a solid start.

Much of the rest of the meeting was concerned with details and normal business. The Council adopted the 2018 budget with no discussion. Before the Council approved a policies and procedures document, there was a discussion of breaks and lunch hours and if the wording in the draft was needed because of Department of Labor regulations. A policy regarding advance payment of invoices was repealed and replaced because for some reason the changes in the just adopted policies and procedures conflicted with the existing payment-of-invoices policy.

The Electric Utility was given permission to seek quotes for a truck with a 60 foot aerial boom. (I think this is a bucket truck.) It will replace a 2005 truck now in use. Next year the State Department of Transportation plans to move US 231 a bit to the east at the Mr Calvary Road intersection and as result, the City must move the gas line. To do that it needs to purchase an easement from St. Joseph's College. The price has been negotiated and something is still being checked by lawyers, but the Council gave the Mayor the right to pay the $850 for the easement.

City linemen are back from Gainesville, FL. The Mayor and others have had many calls expressing appreciation for the work they did in helping restore power. The recent hot weather has resulted in a lot of generating hours at the power plant. Construction of the substation west of town continues and by mid October much of the remaining equipment should have arrived.
Coffee with a Cop is scheduled for October 4. The Utility Office will celebrate Public Power Week from October 1 to 7. The Park Board will meet Monday night.

The Project Manager received permission to seek bids for road resurfacing, work that will be aided by the $700+K Community Crossing Grant the City received.

In other happenings, the sale at SJC continues and prices are dropping. When I stopped by last week, the signs said everything was 10% off. I heard that today everything was 25% off. The sale will continue for approximately eight more weeks, and who knows what the discount will be then. (Of course there may be little left worth buying.) This coming weekend there will be a special sale of SJC branded items in the Field House.

SJC announced on Facebook the return of a bell that had been once been in the old Administration Building but which had been removed long before it burned. It had been installed in St. Henry's Church in Medaryville. St. Henry's is closing and will be demolished and the bell came back to SJC. I was only inside the church once, for a funeral, but it seemed like a nice building.

We are getting close to harvest time and a few fields have already been harvested. The trees are still very green, but there are leaves falling. The weather conditions this year may result in unimpressive fall colors.
Asters, one of the very last flowers to bloom in the fall, are now blooming.
There was a pickle ball callout on Monday and there was only a small group that responded. There will be another lesson on Oct 2 at 5:30 at Brookside Park. The Facebook page is here.

Habitat for Humanity has begun construction of another house on East Elm Street, south of the old Schumacher factory. The house on Vine that burned while being remodeled early in 2017 has been demolished.

I noticed that water was being pumped out of Babcock Quarry. Asking about it, I was told that the pumping has been going on for several weeks and is apparently meant to control the water level.
Also at the site, trucks are dumping millings from work on SR 114 east of town and it appears that the company working on the Washington Street Bridge is using the site for storage of some materials.

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