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

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April arrives

The first Monday of the month usually has three meetings: Commissioners meeting, Drainage Board, and Rensselaer Park Board. Maybe I have been to too many of them and have become jaded, but there was little of much interest at this months batch of meetings.

When I saw the agenda for the Commissioners meeting, I wondered why the Rezone Request / Hoek / S & S Farms was there because that had been on the March agenda. A day or two later I finally remembered that the Commissioners had asked for a hydrology study before they gave final approval of the rezone. They had received the report before Monday. It said that the water consumption of the facility would be equivalent to the use of 41 residences. The Commissioners sent the report to an engineering firm for review and that firm said that the numbers looked reasonable. Commissioner Kendall Culp then sent it to the DNR. The DNR was already familiar with the case because area residents had contacted them about the matter and a DNR employee had come out to measure their wells to provide a baseline measurement for any future problems. The DNR also said that the estimates were reasonable. The Commissioners then granted approval of the rezone.

I will try to write about the other items from these meetings later this week.

Over the weekend the annual Lions Easter Egg Hunt took place.
There seemed to be fewer participants this year than in past years. Perhaps the cool weather and the wind were a factor, or perhaps competition from other egg hunts being held at the same time contributed.
The weather did not deter the Easter Bunny.
On Monday we woke up to a dusting of snow. If you look carefully, you might see my crocuses in the picture below.
The water main project finished the Milroy stretch. The workers had some problems pulling the pipe but seemed to shut down on Thursday. On Monday they were filling the big hole at the west end of Milroy and had repositioned the directional driller south on Sparling.
While the big Milroy hole was open, a City utility truck made sure a utility pole did not topple.

A school bus driver told me that the Rensselaer Central Schools had received a federal grant for $40,000 for busses. Checking the Internet, I found that the Rensselaer Republican had already reported the grant (March 24, p 12) and that the grant had been mentioned in the School Board meeting in March. It appears that the grant is more to pay for the destruction of two busses (#19 & #20) than to pay for new busses. 

He also mentioned that work had begun on the solar farm north of town. I went by over the weekend and did not see much. I suspect that the first thing that they will do is relocate the tile the runs through the property.

There is a Coffee sign in the window of the tiny shop at 120 West Washington. Maybe it will soon open.
What had been Bub's BBQ was bought by Fenwick Farms Brewing and over the weekend that space was reopened. It currently requires patrons to be over 21 and may only be open sporadically, but at least the paper on the windows is gone.

Late last week I was on Airport Road when a helicopter landed at the airport, took off, landed again and repeated this several times. It appeared to be a training flight. It was fun watching it.
The Rensselaer Police Department posted on Facebook that Grace Street from the bridge to College Avenue will be closed from April 6 to May 18. Remington had a groundbreaking for their trails project. Work is progressing on the second of the Elza Street apartment buildings.

Finally, I found this page via the Pulaski County Community Development Facebook page. Here are its estimates of population change from 2010 to 2017 of area counties ranked from biggest winners to biggest losers:

Tippicanoe 17542 (10.1%)
Porter  +3864 (2.3%)
Jasper -46 (-0.1%)
Newton -109 (-0.8%)
Carroll  -158 (-0.8%)
LaPorte -1429 (-1.3%)
Starke -452 (-1.9%)
White -502 (-2.0%)
Lake -10,238 (-2.1%)
Benton  -250  (-2.8%)
Pulaski -794 (-6.0%)

Except for Lake County, the urban counties of Indiana tended to gain population. Most rural counties lost population. My guess is that the effects of the closure of Saint Joseph's College are not captured in these statistics.

Pulaski has the highest county income tax in the state, so its decline in population must really hurt its tax collections. Perhaps it also contributes to the decline.

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