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Hobart cracks whip on farmer’s code violations

Updated: May 19, 2013 7:40AM



HOBART — The Board of Works on Wednesday told 80-year-old farmer Robert Berndt he needs to appear at its May 17 meeting with family members and a written plan to fix remaining code violations at his home.

“I expect to see something on paper. I expect a plan in place,” said board member Rich Lain who, along with Building official Mike Hannigan, will meet with Berndt before the meeting.

Berndt’s home and farm, which are across the street from each other in the 6800 block of Grand Boulevard, have had numerous code violations over a number of years.

The board became more aggressive with Berndt in the past eight months, instructing him and his family to clean up the interior and exterior of his house, which they said needed a new roof, had wildlife living in it and was filled with debris.

At one time there were large garbage bags filled with trash strewn across the property, drawing more than 30 feral cats.

The city also demanded Berndt clean up trash on the farm property and fence in his cows.

Since then, the exterior of both properties have been cleaned and the fence installed. Berndt has been living in a trailer away from both properties.

Mayor Brian Snedecor said Berndt is “on the right road” to bringing his properties on Grand Boulevard up to city standards but added, “It’s just not there yet.”

He said Berndt and his family need to set benchmarks so they can continue on the right road.

Berndt said his son-in-law, Jim Selby, has removed all the refuse on the outside of the home, but Selby said there still are a couple code violations.

He said the steps are separating from the front porch, a problem he said can easily be fixed.

“The work will be completed soon, a lot sooner than they think. They can come in and see the house cleaned up and painted,” Selby said.



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