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

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

It's October already

The October Commissioners meeting on Monday mostly was concerned with routine business. They did open bids for the Wheatfield Township Fire Station. That project received an OCRA grant that the Commissioners had sponsored because Townships were not eligible to submit applications. There were two bids. Hamstra had a base bid of $1,656,384 with an alternative of $67,250 for epoxy coating of the floor and $192,866 for concrete rather than asphalt. The other company was from Gary and I did not catch the name (it sounded like Herrick or Eric Construction). Their base bid was $1,62,500 with alternatives of $20,000 for epoxy and $300,000 for concrete. The bids were taken under advisement by the architect and township officials. From their reaction it appeared to me that the bids were higher than they had expected.

The Commissioners approved two contracts. One was for a company that supports the Clerk's office in collecting payments for something child related. It costs $650 a month. The other was a software contract for electronic poll pads. A discussion of that item had taken place at the previous meeting.

There were a number of job openings or potential job openings discussed and approved. Community Corrections will add a new position. It is in the budget and will get them closer to meeting state requirements for staffing. The Sheriff got permission to replace a dispatcher who is leaving for a better paying job and also to add a new student resource officer (SRO) for the KV school system. The presentation of that had taken place at the County Council meeting in August or September. Kara Fishburn, the only person running for County Clerk, said three people in that office would be retiring and she wanted approval to replace them when they did retire. The auditor said that one of her deputy auditors had taken a position with the court and she received permission to replace that position. Animal control has a part-time person probably leaving, and he received permission to fill that position when it opened. The head of planning and development has someone interested in doing inspections of building constructions and she and the Commissioners discussed what the best way of compensating the person for the work. Finally, the Commissioners have decided to fill the IT vacancy with a company called ARCEM Solutions from Lafayette. They will have a person on site 40 hours a week but he will be an ARCEM employee, not a County employee. The initial contract will be a one-year contract but if all works out, the County would like a longer term of open contract.

The Commissioners passed a change in the UDO that had passed the Planning Commission a week or two ago. It changes the frequency allowed for splits in subdivisions to one year from five years. No one was sure why the limit had been five years. The other things discussed were of even less interest to the general public than the items mentioned above.

The Drainage Board had a very short agenda and met before the Commissioners meeting rather than at 1:00 as it normally does.

When I got to the Court House, there were trucks unloading window glass. A contractor is replacing two pane windows that no longer are sealed and as a result, constantly fog up.
The high school held its Homecoming last week. I missed the parade but checked out the floats on Friday. I thought the Barbecue the Bison was the best theme.

I stopped by the Farmers Market on Saturday to see what they had. There was not much in garden vegetables. I guess my garden is not the only one that has been disappointing this year.

St. Augustine's had its Fall Fest on Saturday evening. They had a one-man band entertainer.
This week is Customer Appreciation Week for the Rensselaer utilities. Stop by City Hall and talk to them and enjoy a snack.

The lot of land north of the railroad tracks that once had a tank farm is for sale by on-line auction. They are selling without a reserve but I wonder if they will get any bids. The potential liability of land that might have had fuel leaking is substantial. The tanks were demolished in 2009.
Ayda's is applying for a liquor license and is working on remodeling the east end of the building, the part that is currently empty. It will be a banquet room.
Finally for those of you who read weather forecasts from caterpillars, I have seen quite a few on the roads lately. Here is a picture of one. What does this pattern forecast?

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