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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

City Council 10-9-2017

The City Council had its first October meeting on Monday evening. The first item on the agenda was the salary ordinance that establishes salaries for elected officials and City employees for 2018. It had been worked on in special sessions and passed without discussion.

The rate tracking for the electric utility is an increase that will add about 95 cents to an average customers bill. The gas tracker for October is a small decrease per hundred cubic feet.

The Council approved payment of $1200 for a gas line easement needed when US 231 is moved a bit to the east at the Mount Calvary Road intersection. This is the little bit of the highway that was not resurfaced a year or two ago--if you drive on it, you notice that it is in bad shape. The Mayor had thought this bill had been paid but it was not.

The City attorney gave a short presentation on a firm that is bringing a lawsuit seeking damages against several manufacturers and distributors of opioids. The County Commissioners had heard a presentation on this matter at their October meeting and according to Mr Riley, they had signed on. The case is a contingency case; the lawyers get paid only if they win, and they then get 40% of whatever award there is. The Council approved joining the case.

The Police Chief had gotten bids for a new squad car and recommended taking a bit of $24.297 less trade in from Thomas Dodge. It will be an all-wheel drive car. The Council approved the purchase.

The City Project Manager had several items. One was a request to pay $9846 for shut-off valves to go with the 18 hydrants that were previously approved. The Council approved $60,340.10 for a new sewer camera. The state mandates that the city photograph a certain percentage of their lines each year and this equipment is needed to meet the state requirements. The Council approved $14,000 to Grimmer for work in isolating the water line that was on the bridge that was demolished. It also approved some work by Grimmer that will extend a water main so it will not be under pavement when Calvary Road is moved a bit next year so it lines up on both sides of the highway, which it currently does not do.

The Council approved spending $250 from the Public Relations fund for Trunk or Treat, which will be held on the 31st from 5 to 7 at the Fairgrounds. The Trick or Treat hours in town will be the same as last year, 5 to 8 pm on the 31st.

In superintendent comments, the Police Chief noted that the Board of Public Works approved the start of phase 2 on converting the old fire station to a new police station. The power outage on Friday night that hit the northern part of town was cased by a mechanical problem at the Eger substation on Melville, near the new Primary School. The southern part of Rensselaer was not affected because it gets its electricity from the Banet substation on Sparling.

Extension of storm sewers on Elm Street has been completed and the old water wells on Bunkum Road have been sealed off. This is Fire Prevention Week and there will be some kind of program at the fire station on Saturday but I have not found an announcement to link to.

On Monday the bridge construction crew was putting a new water main section into the bridge. By the end of the day it was totally in place.
Also on Monday, the Historical Society and the DAR had a small ceremony celebrating the placing of a marker on the grave of Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson in Weston Cemetery. She was author writing in the late 19th and early 20th century whose most famous book, GreyFriars Bobby, has been in print for over a century. Her ashes were placed in the family plot in 1943 and until a week or two ago, her grave was unmarked. The Rensselaer Republican had an article about the celebration in its Tuesday edition.

On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning we got about two and a half inches of rain according to my rain gauge.

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