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Hobart board looks at five years worth of projects

By Ben Rodgers

HOBART – The Hobart village board looked at the proposed 2020-24 capital budget and projects it includes at its Tuesday, July 16, meeting.

The capital budget includes purchases and road projects the village plans to pursue in the next five years.

“It’s just a road map, no pun intended, so we know where we’re going,” said Aaron Kramer, village administrator.

Kramer said the projects will be funded without any additional borrowing as the village plans to continue to pay down its existing general fund debt schedule in anticipation of future large building needs.

Kramer said he also focused the document based on the village needing to maintain an aggressive focus on infrastructure repair and replacement as roads continue to age and see additional traffic.

Kramer said he also took into consideration how the village must begin to address long-term space needs in the next decade to meet demands of an increasing population and the service needs that come with that.

The total cost of the capital budget is projected at just under $4 million in today’s dollars, meaning costs could increase as projects down the road become closer to reality.

The majority of the total cost, $1.8 million, is slated for road and transportation projects, which include an upgrade to 6.9 miles of roads.

The second highest expense planned in the budget is $747,000 for public works and a major sanitary sewer lining project and several large equipment purchases.

The fire department is slated for $629,000, which will be used for new tender and breathing apparatuses.

The breathing apparatus purchase has a total cost of $162,000 and is planned in 2020.

The police department is slated a total of $496,000, which includes technology upgrades and the purchase of two new squad cars a year.

The paving of the Four Seasons Park parking lot and new playground equipment in the village has a projected cost of $108,000 over the course of five years.

Technology upgrades and a village reassessment are scheduled to cost the village $86,000 over the next five years.

For next year, the total anticipated cost of projects is budgeted at $850,000, with the majority coming from $337,000 for road reconstruction projects.

The projects listed in the document include work on Maplewood Court, Dream Lake Road, Acorn Court and Concord Way, road surfaces approaching 30 years in age.

“I know we get calls for Cyrus (Drive), I know we gets calls for Trout Creek (Road), but they’re such large items,” Kramer said. “They chew up everything for that year.”

Cyrus is expected to be completed in 2022 at a total cost of $367,000 and Trout Creek in 2023 as part of $601,000 in projected costs.

In other news, the village board heard from Mark Andrews of HOW Landscaping about $120,000 he claims he is owed for a 2018 street and road drainage project that was not yet finalized at the July 16 meeting.

The majority of the $122,627 Andrews requested comes from a project with Northeast Asphalt and MCC serving as the prime contractors. HOW Landscaping was a subcontractor of a subcontractor.

The discrepancy comes from a disagreement between Andrews and Paul Welter, senior project manager for Robert E. Lee & Associates, who claims the work Andrews completed was not required for the project.

“Nobody wins in court,” Andrews said. “That’s the next step for me. I already have a lawyer obtained, so that’s the next step if we have to go to litigation.”

Greg Grassman, project manager for Northeast Asphalt, told the board he will submit the invoice for the project in the near future, which will include a separate line item for the funds Andrews is requesting.

Kramer was directed by staff to pay for the contracted amount for the projects, while village staff will research options for Andrews, because he does not have a legal binding contract with the village for the work completed.

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