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Hobart mayor tells taxpayers: ‘We’re being frugal’

HOBART — Mayor Brian Snedecor on Wednesday touted the city’s good fiscal management and ability to complete key projects despite tough economic times during his State of the City speech.

“We’re sending a message to our taxpayers that we’re being frugal, we’re being responsible,” Snedecor said during the City Council meeting.

Clerk-Treasurer Deborah Longer said the city has been taking in the same amount from the levy as it did five years ago and the assessed valuation has been decreasing each year since 2008.

“This is our reality,” she said.

Still, Snedecor said the city’s bond rating has remained a strong A-plus by Standard & Poor’s.

“That’s huge. We’re quite proud of that,” Snedecor said.

Snedecor said despite the tough economic times, the city had been able to secure federal funds through the state to complete both the Lake George Dam stabilization project and Beverly Boulevard Bridge project.

Beverly Bridge was removed and reconstructed with a 20-foot span at a cost of $438,576. The $1.7 million Lake George Dam project included the removal of trees, as well as pieces of brick and stone that were used as fill. They were replaced with better fill and the slopes were made all grass, all to stop erosion. New light poles and a concrete sidewalk were added.

The mayor said most of his goals for 2012 were completed, including sludge removal from the Nob Hill pond, expansion of the Summer Market on the Lake, approval of the Downtown Plan and the second phase of 61st Avenue improvements.

He said a revamped city website is almost complete and should go online in June.

More than $30 million in building projects took place in 2012, including the Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant and Winery in Westfield Southlake Mall. Economic developments projects included a third facility for Midwest Service Center and ITR headquarters. Midwest Service Center located in the former Isakson’s dealership at Indiana 51 and U.S. 6 and ITR is in the North Winds Crossing Industrial Park at Mississippi and U.S. 6.

Snedecor said three downtown restaurants took advantage of the new Riverfront liquor licenses, the automated trash and recycle programs continued to expand with the purchase of two fully automated trucks, upgrades were made to Festival Park and City Ball Park and membership at the Maria Reiner Senior Center peaked at 1,869.

The fire department distributed more than 2,000 Vial of Life information packets and police department detectives investigated more than 500 cases resulting in 200 arrests.



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