By Ben Rodgers
HOBART – The village board Tuesday, Aug. 7, gave itself a tool to fight wasteful water consumption that it hopes to never use.
An ordinance to amend the village code by adding penalties regarding the outdoor use of water was passed by the board unanimously.
The penalty could be as little or $20 or as high as $10,000, said Aaron Kramer, village administrator, after the meeting.
“I can assure you the penalty will be on the low end, and ultimately our hope is we never have to apply this penalty,” Kramer said.
This summer the village put in a water usage suggestion in the Centennial Centre area after pumps neared capacity during the arid parts of early summer.
Kramer said people responded well and no restrictions were needed.
“If we put water restrictions in place, we didn’t this summer, they were suggestions, but if we had to go to the next step and put in restrictions, it (enforcement) would be done through neighborhood checks, neighbors notifying us about the violations,” he said. “We’re not going to be hiring water police. For the most part, people are cooperative when these water situations arise. We saw that this summer.”
The village has a new water tower currently being constructed that is tentatively set to go online in late 2019.
In other water-related news, coming out of closed session the board approved the purchase of a 2.6-acre vacant lot in northern Hobart from the Beverly Borg Trust for $50,000.
“Our intent for the property is to construct a new inline booster pump for the water service in the northern section of the village, and eventually, within the next five to eight years, construct a one-million-gallon underwater reservoir.”
This project is directly tied to the new water tower and will increase water capacity and fire protection capacity.
The board also dealt with a throng of public hearings at the meeting regarding various topics.
A conditional use permit for a semi-tractor and trailer repair, and welding fabrication shop on West Mason Street was revoked.
“Our previous director of neighborhood services had several contacts with the property owner over the last five years requesting the site be cleaned up, junk removed, etc.” Kramer said. “Compliance was slow if not non-existent, and the board took his recommendations passed them and gave the owner of the site 90 days to clean it up, and revoked the conditional use permit.”
Two CUPs for estate fencing on Fonda Fields and Choctaw Court, a CUP to allow storage warehousing on Camber Court in southern Hobart, and a rezoning on Green Acres Court all had public hearings and passed the board.
Finally, the board approved a resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of $1,015,000 of taxable promissory notes.
“This is a taxable bond issued by TIF No. 1,” Kramer said. “It is going to be paid back through tax incremental revenue and possible loans to developers.”
The bonds will be paid back over a period of a decade. The winning bidder was Robert W. Baird out of Milwaukee at 3.39 percent.
The money will be used to spur development in northern Hobart.
“There’s no impact on the general fund,” Kramer said.