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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Miscellany 11/09/2017

Next week the Washington Street bridge is scheduled to reopen. I think the last of the concrete has been poured but the paving at the ends of the bridge still has not been done. That is probably the last major item left. On Thursday workers were removing the ramps on the outside of the bridge that they had been using for access.
 I will miss my daily visit to see the changes.

Reflections had its official ribbon cutting on Thursday. The store has been open since early September. It is located next to the alley across Van Rensselaer from the Court House.
 There is a dumpster on Washington Street. I suspect it is for remodeling the building that was Landmark Realty.
 Superior Sales and Service is moving. They are building on North McKinley, south of John Deere. It appears that they are adding onto the existing building that was previously RPJ Truck and Equipment Sales and before that MacAllister Machinery.
 A bit further north the site of Prouty Motor Sales is now empty. The building is for sale or lease and there will be an auction on November 18.
 The street widening on North Elza is finished as is the parking lot for the apartment building there.
A few days ago the classifieds in the Rensselaer Republican had the announcement about Franciscan Hospice Care Rensselaer. It seems that future management of local hospice care will be from Lafayette.

The previous post mentioned three items from the November 2017 Commissioners meeting and promised a follow-up.

There was a public hearing for a reduced speed limit on part of 1200N. The only person who spoke said that if it was as ineffective as the speed limit on Virgie Road, it was not worth doing. The Commissioners approved the reduction.
Soil and Water Conservation has lost one of its employees and in a future meeting the Commissioners will be asked to approve a replacement. Emcor gave the Commissioners handouts about energy savings at the jail and the Commissioners approved the energy savings report that must be submitted to the State. The Commissioners decided to stay with Havel for the jail maintenance contract rather than switching to Honeywell, which has been vying for the contract. Community Corrections reported that new state regulations will require that it add two new positions to be in compliance. Community Corrections will try to fund the positions with a state grant but noted that there are problems with that solution and there will be costs that the County will have to bear. The matter will be discussed further at the December meeting.

Key Benefits gave the Commissioners handouts with several options for health insurance. They decided on Option C, whatever that is. The Commissioners approved contracts with Lake and Porter Counties for juvenile detention on the same terms that were in this year's contract.

Parks for People gave a presentation of what they are trying to do. One item that I had not previously heard is the idea of replacing the kiddie pool at Brookside Park with a splash pad. It is not one of the higher priorities.

(The Parks for People Campaign has announced its naming opportunities. For a mere $150,000 you can name the splash pad. If that is not for you, there are many other things you can name with the proper donation.)

The Health Department said that Franciscan Rensselaer is no longer doing water testing and that future water testing will be done by a company in Valparaiso. The company wanted the Health Department to have a line of credit. The Commissioners approved something that should allow the program to proceed. The new director of JCEDO was introduced and spoke briefly. Planning and Development Office wanted permission to contract with a company so it could take credit card payments. Some other County offices already use this service. The Commissioners would like to delay until they can determine if there are other County departments that might benefit from credit card payments and would like to add them all to one contract. The company that has been working on putting the County ordinances on-line has mostly finished their work and the ordinances are somewhere online, but not connected to the County web page. The Commissioners will need to adopt an ordinance to make the online version official.
A citizen complained that a shooting range was still operating despite a court order that vacated the BZA ruling and he also was concerned with trees and bushes near some county roads that obstructed passage of grain trucks and combines.

The Commissioners then recessed briefly before they reassembled for an executive session.

In the afternoon the Drainage Board met. The first item was a public hearing on cleaning a ditch and its laterals and establishing a maintenance fund that lasted nearly an hour. The reason for much of the discussion was that people at the lower end of the ditch have cooperated with one another to keep the ditch in good shape but people on the upper reaches have not. The levy for the work affects all in the watershed, so those at the upper end will reap greater benefit than those at the lower end, although all are assessed equally per acre. Naturally those at the lower end thought this unfair--they will be subsidizing those at the upper end. This type of conflict is very common in drainage issues.

Another discussion that took some time was a proposal to create two ponds by digging sand. A neighbor to the property objected, saying that the ponds would attract many geese and that they would damage crops.

The other item that I thought interesting was a drainage plan for Feldhouse Ford, which is expanding by adding an additional dealership--I think it was Jeep/Chrysler.

Finally, the Park Board had a very short meeting on Monday evening. Main Street Rensselaer is considering trail head at Potawatomie Park for its 2018 project and wanted to know if the Park Board thought the idea was worth pursuing. The Fall Festival had an unexpectedly large turnout and slaughtered 80 pumpkins. The scheduling of the event at the start of the school fall break seemed to help attendance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can check out this cool resource recently uploaded to the internet by the Jasper County Public Library. It's an Eagle Scout project by Kyle Eenigenburg that lists all veterans buried in Jasper County. You can "search inside" and do keyword searches. It works best when you view it on a desktop or laptop rather than a mobile device.