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

Friday, February 1, 2019

It's already February

This week the weather has dominated the Rensselaer news. The City and County largely shut down on Wednesday and Thursday because of the bitter cold. For about two days the temperature did not get above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The Rensselaer Schools did not have classes from Monday through Thursday and had a two hour delay on Friday. There was no mail delivery on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday not only saw very low temperatures but also strong winds, giving us wind-chill readings that were in the minus 40 degree range. Most people stayed home. I suspect some of them stayed home because their cars would not start.

Making this deep freeze scary on Wednesday morning was a power outage for parts of Rensselaer and much of northern Jasper County. My power was off for about an hour and I was very relieved when it came back on. I have hot water heat so a long loss of either electricity or gas during an event like this could be a disaster.

I stopped by Save-A-Lot on Thursday morning and they had only two bananas for sale. They obviously had not received their normal deliveries. On Friday I stopped by the Library and commented to a worker that this polar-vortex event had not had the same dire consequences as the one in January, 2014. Perhaps the damage from this latest bout of bitter cold will be lessened because of changes people made as a result of what happened in 2014. (The Library was not taking chances this year. The Library was closed for two days but they were checking daily and they kept water running.)

It easy to get pictures of big snows but hard to get pictures that capture the bitter cold. Even with the subzero weather, parts of the Iroquois remained open. Below is the river on Friday from the bowstring bridge looking to the Washington Street bridge. Notice the ice rings on some of the trees--the river partially froze when the water level was higher.
Further downstream where the river is deeper and the current slower, it did freeze over. Below is the river by Weston Cemetery showing a tree that has fallen across the river.

On Thursday I watched a squirrel in my yard dig up a nut from under the snow. How did it know where to dig?

I attended a couple of meetings on Friday morning. PTABOA (Peta Boa AKA Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals) had a short meeting that approved minutes, elected officers, and briefly discussed NIPSCO's presentation at the task force meeting in January. Not mentioned was NIPSCO's announcement that it was buying power from three wind farms that are soon to be built in White, Benton/Warren, and Montgomery Counties. (See here or here.) NIPSCO wants to go largely renewable in the next few years, but that will require battery storage and I have yet to hear anything about their plans for batteries.

The Tourism Commission also met on Friday morning. They also elected officers, keeping the same as they had at the end of last year. They discussed an application to help fund Amber Waves for next year. They had agreed to help fund the 2018 event but had to backtrack because Fenwick Farms, the sponsor, is a private business. In 2019 the Rotary will co-sponsor it and, as a non-profit, will be able to receive Tourism funds. Because a preliminary meeting for information had to be postponed, the request was tabled for the next Commission meeting.

The Jasper/Newton Foundation has the possibility of tapping into large amounts of Lilly money next year, but to be eligible it needs to conduct a rather expensive community assessment. It will be asking Jasper and Newton County governments as well as Jasper and Newton County towns and cities to help fund the assessment. Their request to the Tourism Board was for $10,000. The Commission decided that it needed this kind of input but could not afford to do it on its own, so was happy to have the opportunity to piggyback on a larger study. They agreed to pay the money.

There was mention of the cancelation of Remington's Water Tower Days but no discussion of it. Remington would like to build an amphitheater and may be approaching the Tourism Commission for help in a future meeting. DeMotte is planning a Community Center and it also may ask for some help. An idea still in its infancy is to get more murals in Jasper County.

1 comment:

Grey Friar said...

Did you really mean that Save-a-Lot had sold its entire stock of fresh and canned food, plus all the other products they normally stock EXCEPT for "two bananas" by the time they closed Wednesday night when you wrote: "I stopped by Save-A-Lot on Thursday morning and they had only two bananas for sale." or were they not selling any of their other items?