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Hobart board extends city service contracts

HOBART — The Board of Public Works on Wednesday ended the year on a positive financial note, extending two service contracts at the same cost as this year and bartering for a third service.

The board approved an agreement with Ellenberger’s Maintenance Service, which does much of the city’s tree trimming and removal following storms, in which Ellenberger would receive two salt spreaders that did not sell at a public auction in exchange for $4,000 worth of tree service, which amounts to $2,000 worth of service for each spreader.

“There would be an ongoing tally. There would be no expense to the city for the tree service until the amount is met,” Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

Snedecor said city attorney Anthony DeBonis assured him the trade was legal since the city had tried to sell the spreaders at a public auction, but failed.

Clerk-Treasurer Deb Longer said no one had bid on the spreaders at the auction and the city would have gotten less money if it had scrapped them.

The board also approved a yearly materials contract for 2013 with Walsh & Kelly and renewed its contract with Tifffany Tolbert, of Indiana Landmarks, who has been working with the city to establish the downtown Historic District. Both agreed to keep their prices the same as last year.

“I’m quite pleased to learn that Walsh & Kelly is willing to honor another year of the contract considering the uncertainty in fuel prices. It was a pleasant surprise,” Snedecor said.

He said the city pays different unit prices for a number of materials, some of which Walsh & Kelly was the low bidder on and some of which Rieth-Riley won. He said by having unit prices, the city has some protection if the cost of fuel goes up. He added that if Rieth-Riley doesn’t follow suit, the city could choose to go to Walsh & Kelly for all its materials.

Tolbert is paid $4,000 a year. For that price, she attends the city’s Historic Preservation Committee meetings, does its agendas, provides guidance, meets with potential clients and with landowners.

“She’s the most important cog for getting the Historic District going,” city planner A. J. Bytnar said.

In other matters, resident Thomas Evans said he “got in over his head” with property he owns at 1230 Fleming St. and just wants to sell it at this point after the board questioned him about his plans for the property, which has several ongoing violations.

Building official Mike Hannigan said Evans was told he had to bring the house up to city code or demolish it; cut and trim bushes and mow the lawn; and have the raccoons on the property removed. He said the mowing was done.

Evans said he would contact a real estate agent to list the property and would contact someone about trapping the animals.

“I got in over my head and just want the house to go away,” he said.



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