Hobart sewer work to close Main Street for 2 months
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent November 7, 2012 11:04PM
HOBART — The Board of Public Works on Wednesday agreed to close a portion of Main Street for about two months this spring as workers replace the sewer line under the Norfolk and Southern Railroad crossing next to City Hall.
City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said the Sanitary Board earlier Wednesday had closed on a $4.5 million bond, a portion of which would be used to pay for the sewer line project.
He said the pipe is severely deteriorated.
“Workers will bore a hole under the tracks. There is a lot of concern for collapse possibility,” DeBonis said.
He said to keep Main Street open during the work would require special signaling and a flagman, which could mean an additional $60,000 to $70,000 expense.
He said vehicles would be detoured down 3rd Street to Center Street. Trucks would have a different detour route.
In other matters, the board approved the purchase of 10 Dodge Chargers for the police department, one Dodge Durango for the fire department and two used garbage trucks with the new “automated arm” feature.
The police and fire vehicles cost $257,592, which will be paid over four years, Police Chief Jeff White said. He said some seizure funds will be used to make the first year’s payments.
Fire Chief Brian Taylor said some money will be coming out of his department to pay for the new vehicle, which he will drive.
Mayor Brian Snedecor said the new garbage trucks cost $144,000 each, compared to $300,000 new. They, too, will be paid for over four years.
“This will drastically reduce worker’s compensation injuries, which in the end is a cost savings,” Snedecor said.
The board also approved a three-year contract with Civic Plus to redesign the city’s web site, and do training and maintenance at a cost of $29,640.
Council President Dave Vinzant, D-4th, said the new web site will allow residents to pay bills with a credit card online.
The new web site should go online in six to seven months, Snedecor said.
The board also received a progress update from resident Robert Berndt and his son on cleanup efforts at his house and farm, both on Grand Boulevard.
Robert Berndt Jr. said they are sealing areas of the house where rodents had gotten in and want to paint outside trim and do other outside work, then move to the interior of the house where more debris will be removed, mold would be remediated and the furnace repaired. He said the well also needs to be repaired.
Snedecor said they need to provide the city with a timeline for both the house and the farm, where fencing is needed to keep Berndt’s cows out of neighbors’ yards and potentially from wandering onto Grand, which is Indiana 51.
Snedecor also asked for clarification about whether Berndt Sr. could continue to let his cows graze on neighboring property. Berndt Sr. said he had been paying some neighbors to allow the cows to use their land, but White said some neighbors told him they had terminated the agreement.