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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

First October meetings

After the opening preliminaries, the first item on the agenda of the Commissioners meeting was a presentation from a couple of Indianapolis lawyers who would like the county to join an upcoming lawsuit aimed at opioid manufacturers and distributors. Their contention will be that the opioid manufacturers and distributors created the opioid problems that Indiana is experiencing by promoting opioids as safe and downplaying their addictive properties. They said that the proper place for opioids is for end-of-life treatment. They will only be representing Indiana entities and the suit will be on a contingency basis, meaning that they will get paid from the winnings of the lawsuit, if any. The Commissioners wondered how much it would cost the County to comply with requests for information needed for the suit and then said that the matter needed to be discussed with the Council. The lawyers suggested that they may file the suit by the end of the month.

The Commissioners had intended to decide who would be awarded a maintenance contract for the jail's air handling and other controls but after some discussion, deferred the decision to November. They are not happy with the performance of the current contractor, a second did not show for the meeting, and the third was considerably higher in cost. Until then, the current contractor, Havel, will continue to do the work. The basic complaint is about availability of an IT guy--everything is computer controlled, so pretty much everything needs help from IT.

There were four bids for ambulance service for the center of the County. The winner will be decided at the November meeting.

Honeywell discussed the problems at Community Corrections--during hot weather, condensation is forming on ducts in the attic and then coming through the ceiling. A decision was made on what steps were needed next. Something called the guaranteed savings legislation allows projects to be approached in a way that they otherwise could not be.

The Sheriff wanted payments for employees made by direct deposit. When the issue was raised sometime in the past, most County employees did not want it, but apparently with time the sentiment has changed. The County Assessor wanted approval for aerial photography. It is done twice every six years and is used extensively in the Assessor's Office. The request was approved.

The Highway Department was given approval for repairs on the asphalt plant. There will be a public hearing on a speed limit change on a road in the DeMotte area in November or December. It was noted that this year most of the Community Crossings money went to cities and town, not counties. The County will continue recycling tires using it own manpower. The problem with stopping the program is that the tires then end up along side roads.

There will be a County auction on November 18. The meeting was continued until November 16 at 8:30 if needed.

On Monday evening the Rensselaer Park Board and Park Corporation met. Before they reviewed some plans for the upcoming Parks for People fundraiser and discussed some ongoing projects, they had to decide which one of three applicants for the vacant seat on the Park Corporation to accept. They thought any one of the three would be a valuable member but after looking at their individual strengths, made a decision. They hoped that they could find a way the other two could contribute to the park.

Harvest is underway.
Progress on the bridge reconstruction is evident day by day.
 The picture above resembles the picture below, which is from a 2006 or 2007 issue of Vintage Views, a publication of the Jasper County Historical Society.

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