A couple of buried cable requests were approved. The Council questioned whether one of the newspapers designated as place for county legal announcements needs to be daily as the Rensselaer Republican starts the year as a twice-weekly paper. A bit later the County attorney said that the paper did not have to be a daily and the Commissioners designated the three County papers for legal notices.
Veteran's Affairs had a request to approve the purchase of a surplus Sheriff's vehicle by the Veterans Council, a not-for-profit organization. The vehicle would be used to transport veterans to area VA clinics and hospitals. The hangup on this discussion was whether the County was able to dispose of surplus property to a not-for-profit rather than auction it. The County attorney found that there were provisions in State law that allowed such a transfer. The vehicle is a 2007 Trail Blazer with over 100,000 miles.
The Commissioners approved some conferences and appointments to Boards as they waited for 9:00 when a bid opening was scheduled. The bids were for four roads funded by CCMG grants. There were four bidders and later in the meeting, after the highway engineer had examined them, the Commissioners approved the low bids, all from Town and Country. At 9:15 a series of other bids, for tires, stone, sand, hauling, and machine rental were opened. As is their custom, the Commissioners accepted all bids, which I think allows them to choose the best supplier for any particular project during the year.
Because of deadlines for submitting paper work for road funding, the Commissioners spent a lot of time signing a host of documents, all in the required blue ink. For some reason black ink is not acceptable.
The final bit of business before the Commissioners went into executive session to "conduct interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects relating to a proposed energy savings contract for maintenance and repairs of Jasper County Courthouse" was approving a contract to have County roads re-assessed. This is necessary in order to get Community Crossroads grants approved, and those grants are important in maintaining County roads.
The County Code is now on the County Website. You can find a link to it on the home page at www.jaspercountyin.gov/.
If you have a paper subscription to the Rensselaer Republican, you can now access their electronic edition. Go to their web page at http://www.newsbug.info/eedition/rensselaer_republican/. Click on the picture of the paper or the button that says subscribe, and you should get a form. Fill it out and follow the directions.
A couple of new things to start the year: a new judge and soon a new state senator. Russell Bailey was appointed to the Superior Court replacing James Ahler, who left to become a bankruptcy judge in Hammond, and soon a new state senator will replace Brant Hershman who resigned to join a law firm in Washington D.C. The State legislature starts its short session soon so for at least a while part of Jasper County will be without representation in the State Senate.
2018 should see a new business across the street from the Court House. I have heard it will be coffee related.
A couple weeks ago a new front was put on the new WIC office.
Let's end on a happy note--the days are getting longer. It is not really noticeable yet, but in a few weeks we might notice that sunset is a little bit later.