Hobart Marsh plan may see minor changes
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent January 17, 2013 3:28PM
Updated: February 19, 2013 3:08PM
HOBART — The City Council has tabled action on the Hobart Marsh plan, saying some minor revisions need to be made before it would consider approval.
Sandy O’Brien, a member of the Friends of Robinson Lake, told the council on Wednesday she hopes there won’t be any major changes to the plan, but if there are, she hopes they will be made public before any action is taken by the council.
“I hope this isn’t watered down in any way,” O’Brien said.
She said the minor changes should have been done by the Plan Commission, which approved the plan.
The Friends group has vocally supported the Hobart Marsh plan, which would encompass a large span of acreage on the city’s west end and could include Robinson Lake Park as a hub.
The plan calls for corridors of biking and hiking trails and potential trailheads that would provide a means to connect the recreational property to some residential areas. Kayaking was also considered a possibility on some of the waterways.
Council President Jerry Herzog, D-1st, said there are no major changes planned and assured O’Brien the matter will have to be kept public.
Director of Development Denarie Kane said the council may decide the matter will need to go back to the Plan Commission first.
In other matters on Wednesday, the council approved the rezoning of a former bridal boutique at 912 Lillian St. back to residential.
Councilman Pete Mendez, D-2nd, asked what would be done about the large amount of pavement at the front of the building now that it won’t be used as a business, and the attorney for owner David Payne said he would seek a variance to keep all the pavement there.
The council also agreed to add Presidents Day as a city holiday, giving workers an extra paid day off since they haven’t received raises in the past few years.
Councilman Pete Mendez, D-2nd, asked how much it would cost the city in overtime pay and councilman Matthew Claussen, D, at-large, said it would be minimal as most employees working that day probably would seek compensatory time instead of extra pay.
City special events coordinator Raeann Trakas presented the Police Department’s K-9 officers with a check for $400, which was raised during Hobart’s first Santa Run/Walk last month.
“The main reason for the event was to raise money and most people wanted the K-9 unit to get the money,” Trakas said.
She said the inaugural run drew 85 participants.
Also, Dave Soderquist and Owen Stephens were named to the Contractors Licensing Board.