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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

City Council 11-26-2018

Monday's City Council meeting lasted longer than I expected. First up in the Citizen's Comments section was Alice Smith who is involved in the Trunk or Treat program at Halloween. She wanted the Council to set the date for Trick or Treat for the next two years to be on the last Sunday of October. She said that otherwise she could not be sure that the Fairgrounds would be able to accommodate the event. After some discussion, the Council set the date for Trick or Treat 2019 on the last Sunday of October. Mark your calendars.

She also said that in the past revenue from the haunted house supported the event and that money is almost gone. So there will be fundraising next year.

The Council then passed a flood plain ordinance that FEMA requires if the City and its residents want to get any help from them. It passed.

The City's financial consultant was there to request an amendment to a past bond ordinance that is needed for the City to issue bonds. The amendment increased the amount by $125,000 (the total issue will be $3.5 million) and extended the maturity by one year to July 2039. This money will allow the City to get another connection for natural gas, this one near Pleasant Ridge. The financing should be in place before the end of the year. The expected interest rate is about 4%. Interest rates have been rising and that was a reason for getting this done now.

Following were some items that were fairly routine. There was a transfer of funds for the Police Department and opening of supply bids for gasoline, diesel, and tire repair. The bids were given to a committee to evaluate. The Council approved a quote for a pick-up truck for the Fire Department of $36,940 after trade in from Gutwein Motors. The Urban Forestry Council was given $2500 for shrubs to go above the big conduit leading from the high-rate plant to the river. That money will come from the Public Relations fund, as will $700 that the Council approved for two tables at the upcoming Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Awards Program.

There was a discussion of the old INDOT subdistrict lot on Maple Street. Someone from INDOT contacted the Mayor asking what stipulations the City would make before taking the lot. There have been discussions of this in the past and nothing has come of it. After some discussion, the Council authorized City Attorney Riley to write a letter saying that the first step would be a Phase 1 environmental study. One has been done in the past but it has hit its expiration date. The study should give the City some idea of what potential environment liabilities the site may have. (The site had gasoline tanks that leaked,) If that study comes back favorable, the City will want a protection letter that says that the state will share in any cleanup costs if they ever occur and that the site be donated without payment.

Then the Council had a heated exchange, something that almost never happens. Councilman Barton questioned what some past transfers were for. One was to purchase two police cars, which have been purchased. He noted that the Council never explicitly approved the purchase of those vehicles. After some discussion, Councilman Cover asked Police Chief Anderson to request the purchase of two vehicles, which he did. Cover than moved to approve the purchase of the two vehicles. The motion passed and the Council moved on.

The City's grant to the Community Crossings program was not accepted and it will reapply in January. The well house on Sparling is not yet in service and as of Monday neither was the new solar park.

In unrelated news, we missed a major snow storm on Sunday night and Monday morning. We got a bit of snow, but not the foot or so that some parts of northern Illinois received. The weather and the decorations remind us that Christmas is not too far away.
Also, Lafayette Bank and Trust will be changing its name to First Merchants Bank. Lafayette Bank and Trust has been part of First Merchants for 16 years but only now is changing its name. Other than the name change, there should be no other noticeable changes.

1 comment:

Judy Kanne said...

Didn’t anyone speak to the City Council against the Sunday night, non Halloween night event at the Fairgrounds?