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Hobart village board approves road, stormwater projects

By Ben Rodgers

HOBART – The Hobart village board approved more than $500,000 for capital improvement and stormwater projects at the Tuesday, March 5, village board meeting.

The main chunk of the work will be North Overland repavement, from Hickory to Centennial Centre Boulevard; Plane Site Boulevard reconstruction, from Packerland to Plane Park; and Lear Lane final surfacing, from Navigator to Packerland.

The total cost for those projects is more than $392,000.

The remaining $152,000 will be used for stormwater improvements along with the road work.

The village typically improves ditches and drains at the same time it completes road work.

However, this year will be the first of many where the village will replace more than 400 stormwater inlets.

“We’re about to undertake a massive replacement and repair of our stormwater inlets in the community,” said Village Administrator Aaron Kramer. “That number is slightly more than 400 and we’re starting out with the worst of the worst, and that is 14 of them this year, mainly in the Indian Trails and Thornberry Creek subdivisions.”

These inlets are what the water flows through in order to get into the stormwater system.

“In some of the cases, not only are the inlets starting to rust out and fail, but we’re starting to get depressions in the roads because they’re sinking,” Kramer said.

Kramer said it will take eight to 10 years to replace all the stormwater inlets in the village.

Road projects also came in about $60,000 under the budgeted amount, so the village board agreed to use the excess funds for a “snowy day fund.”

“One factor that was brought up is we have already extended our budget for sand and salt this year because of the harsh winter,” Kramer said. “So we advised the board to hold that money back for right now, just to give us sort of a budget cushion because we’ve had blizzards in April.”

Also relating to snow, the village passed a snow and emergency parking ordinance.

This will allow the village to declare no parking on village roads and streets because of a weather event.

If declared, plows will have an easier time moving around and village residents will not have to dig out their vehicles from large walls of snow created by plows.

The village board also approved an ordinance to ensure the continued functioning of the village government and the delivery of services, in the event of a man-made or natural disaster.

The board also approved an ordinance to ensure the continuation of day-to-day municipal operations in absence of the village president.

“When the president has been unavailable to sign legal documents, bills and invoices, a board member has done so in the past, without clear municipal code or statutory authority,” Kramer said. “The proposed changes to the existing ordinance would address these issues, and formally codify the procedures.”

Finally, the village board approved a one-year extension with St. Joseph’s Church to serve as a polling place.

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