Planners OK more fill for Hobart site where 2 boys drowned
BY KAREN CAFFARINI Post-Tribune correspondent August 7, 2014 9:36PM
Updated: September 9, 2014 6:34AM
HOBART — Goldschmidt Construction Services LLC on Thursday received permission from city planners to bring in an additional 4,000 cubic yards of fill to finish bringing the property at 4060 Missouri St., where two boys drowned in June, to its natural grade and control erosion.
“He filled the pit (where the boys drowned) and now he proposes to fill the rest of the property,” City Engineer Phil Gralik said of Randy Goldschmidt, who owns the construction company.
The construction company is listed as the owner of the Missouri Street property.
Goldschmidt told Hobart Plan Commission members he also planned to use some of the fill on neighboring properties to control erosion on those parcels as well.
Goldschmidt needed Plan Commission approval for the fill because it far exceeded the city’s 500 cubic yards limit, Gralik said.
“We’re treating this as a minor site plan,” Gralik said.
He said this is the first time this type of request has come before the planners.
The commission’s approval was made with the stipulations that Goldschmidt was only to fill to the natural grade of the property, that the additional fill will not impede drainage and that he be given 12 months to complete the work.
Gralik determined Goldschmidt would not need a bond for the project because the work already was 90 percent completed.
Goldschmidt told the commission he will bring in clean fill and plans to finish filling in the neighbors’ properties first.
“I want to control the erosion. The land erodes too fast,” Goldschmidt told the commission.
He said he would seed the land once it’s filled and graded.
When some plan commission members expressed worry about wear and tear on the street with the potential of 150 trucks coming to the property in the year, Gralik said he didn’t think Goldschmidt would need to bring in anywhere near that number of trucks. He said the number more likely would be 10 to 12 trucks.
“Every time there’s been an issue, I’ve taken care of it,” Goldschmidt said.
Commission member Stuart Allen wondered if the commission should set a limit as to how much fill could be brought in at the site.
“I don’t want to see a 40-foot mountain there,” Allen said.
Goldschmidt said he couldn’t bring in that much dirt for water drainage purposes.
The incident surrounding the drownings of two Gary brothers, Donel Smith, 9, and Terrion Smith, 8, still is under police investigation. Goldschmidt took out fill permits for the two neighboring properties, but reportedly failed to take out permits to dig the pit that eventually filled with water.