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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Short month, short meeting

The February Commissioners meeting was delayed several days from its originally scheduled date and started 15 minutes earlier than usual. It had a short agenda and was exceptionally short.

Near the beginning of the meeting, the commissioners signed the paper work for Community Crossroads Matching Grants, the grants that help fund road resurfacing. The signing was moved to the beginning of the meeting so they could be submitted that day.

The Commissioners committed to having tire recycling the next time that the Solid Waste District has their hazardous waste pickup at the County Garage. There will be a limit on the number of tires a person can bring in and the Garage will be accepting tires during the week before the scheduled date.

NIPSCO wanted the Commissioners endorsement for an amendment to an old bond ordinance. The Council signed off on the same thing a couple weeks ago. The Commissioners updated the County's Fair Housing Ordinance to bring it in line with Federal changes since the original ordinance. This was done to help with a grant proposal that they then signed. The proposal is seeking $500,000 from OCRA for a new Wheatfield Township fire station; townships cannot submit grant proposals for OCRA grants, so the County is doing it for them.

The Sheriff received permission to fill an open position for a 911 operator. The position will be filled by someone who is now part-time, so the Commissioners also granted him permission to fill the part-time position that will result. The Sheriff noted that the jail had had its annual state inspection and except for staffing levels, had passed with flying colors. The inspectors did nick them for the way the monthly fire extinguisher inspections were done and changes have been made. The annual in-house jail report was finished. The average length of stay is 26 days, with many bookings bailing out quickly but some incarcerations much longer, such as three who have been in there for almost two years waiting for trial. Over 89,000 meals were served in 2017.

Honeywell reported on some preliminary things and suggested a committee of Commissioners and Council members to decide priorities and which items would be funded. Several appointments to boards were made, training and conference requests approved, and other items of a routine nature were handled.

Five minutes after the end of the Commissioners meeting, the Drainage Board met. It had approved some bids. The oddest thing it handled was a variance. A chiropractor near Wheatfield wants to expand his office and the most logical way to expand would take it onto the 75 foot easement for a county drainage ditch. The Board allowed the variance provided he clean the ditch, sign a hold-harmless agreement that means he cannot sue the County if his property is damaged from work on the ditch, and that he continue to maintain the ditch.

Across the street from the Court House, work is progressing on converting the old fire station into a police station. Only one of the bay doors will be retained.

Work on the back side seems to be further along.
 The thirteen derailed tank cars are gone and all that remained on Friday afternoon was a small pile of scrap metal.
 On Friday the temperatures rose enough to make snowmen.
The weather forecast for this week is for warmer weather. Perhaps by the end of the week the only snow remaining will be in the parking-lot piles.

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