By Ben Rodgers
HOBART – The village of Hobart would like to remind everyone that water conservation measures in Centennial Centre are being taken not due a crisis.
“I think it’s safe to say we are not using terms like ‘crisis,’ ‘emergency’ or ‘the sky is falling’ or in this case ‘the water is not coming out of the faucet,’” said Aaron Kramer, village administrator. “The bottom line is the water system is showing some signs of high-capacity demand. We are trying to get out in front of any future major problems, especially as we get out to the hot, dry part of summer.”
On June 19, the Hobart village board learned pumps are near capacity in Centennial Centre.
At that meeting it was learned that the pumps have already reached 154 gallons per minute multiple times this year, with capacity being 160 gallons per minute.
In order to try and curb the issue before it becomes a problem, the village is asking residents voluntarily to cut back on the water of lawns and gardens, or water at a different time than their neighbors.
The village sent out a brochure with the water bill for residents in that area to offer different ways to conserve water.
Kramer noted the village board would take a look at the village ordinance that pertains to water restriction at the Tuesday, July 3 meeting, which falls after The Press print deadline for the holiday week.
“It doesn’t have a penalty clause,” Kramer said. “Again, that is the last thing we want to have to implement is any punitive action. We’re optimistic that folks stepping up and doing some voluntary water restrictions will help us get through this.”
Any change to the ordinance would likely take multiple meetings, he said.
“We don’t want to get draconian, we don’t want to get big brotherish, we’re simply stepping out in front,” Kramer said.
Construction of a new water tower in Centennial Centre will be completed in 2019 or 2020 and will eliminate any future potential problems, he said.
In other news, the board held a special meeting to determine the staffing of the director of neighborhood services position held currently by Allyn Dannhoff, who is leaving on July 13.
“Allyn is taking a position with Kimberly and we wish him well,” Kramer said. “He has served the village and the residents for almost a decade. We wish him nothing but the best of luck. He has decided to make that change in his professional career and we’re fully supportive of it.”
The board decided to split his position into two new ones, due to the growth in the community.
“I think that this change addresses the growth and the needs of our community and the complexity of the public works angle itself between the roads, the water and the sewer,” Kramer said. “This year we took an aggressive approach to fixing our roads and the infrastructure, and obviously that adds to the workload for just that component.”
One of the new positions will handle the building and code compliance in the village. The other will handle the public works component.
“From an efficiency standpoint, it makes sense at this point to divide it into two positions,” Kramer said.
Applications from the statewide search will be due on July 17. Kramer said he hopes to have the position staffed by late July into early August.
He said the village is exploring options to fill the position temporarily.
Finally, the recent food truck rally held on June 24 in Centennial Centre was a resounding success, he said.
“The food truck rally exceeded all of our wildest exceptions,” he said. “I think the term ‘overwhelmed’ in terms of the response would be an understatement.”
The village has two more food truck rallies planned from 3-8 p.m. on July 22 and Aug. 12.
“From talking to staff, the organizers and the crowd that was there, it seems the turnout was wildly higher than we anticipated,” Kramer said. “I think it shows there is a desire to see some sort of food component in that region.”
For the upcoming rallies, he encourages people to get there early if they want to have first crack at the variety of food options.