Security upgrades approved for Hobart village facilities
By Kevin Boneske
HOBART – With up to $69,000 in surplus funds from last year’s village budget available to make safety improvements and address security concerns at the village hall, the Hobart village board approved the first phase of improvements.
Board members authorized Tuesday, July 21, to spend $15,521 for security upgrades at village hall, public works building and two fire stations from Barrier Security Systems of Neenah.
Village Administrator Aaron Kramer said the improvements include replacing the existing lock and key system with a key fob system.
Police Chief Randy Bani said part of the improvements will be installed with the remodeling of the front half of village hall.
“As far as the lock system goes, they’re ready to go whenever we are,” he said. “What we’ll probably do is put in what we can put in now, and then they hold off on the others until the other doors are installed, and then they come back and put the locks in.”
Bani said the touchscreen alarm system being installed will also be able to photograph the person who arms and disarms the system.
The board agreed to have Kramer draft an ordinance for consideration at its next meeting Aug. 4 to restructure the village’s boards and commissions.
The ordinance would abolish the Community Development Authority (CDA) and create a Park and Recreation Committee.
Kramer said the CDA could be eliminated because the duties and initiatives outlined in its enacting ordinance are currently being performed by the village administrator and the board.
He said a Park and Recreation Committee with five members and one alternate, none of whom would be on the village board, would act in an advisory capacity to consider park improvements, park acquisition, recreational programming and various other related village projects.
“They would meet on an as-needed basis, but I think at a minimum, you would probably want them to meet at least twice a year – at least so people know there’s going to be a meeting,” Kramer said.
He said the Hobart Fire Department is currently updating its bylaws, which will need to come the board for approval, so there will be no change to the village code related to the Board of Fire Commissioners until the process is completed.
Kramer last month mentioned the possibility of changing how village firefighters are hired.
He called the current practice of the fire chief instead of a commission doing the hiring “an odd duck.”
Capital projects plan
The board approved a capital projects plan for 2021-25 with the projects for the five-year period estimated at around $5.8 million.
The plan’s most expensive project is purchasing an aerial truck for the fire department in 2025 with an estimated cost of $1.3 million.
Kramer said buildings in Hobart are getting taller and bigger to make use of an aerial truck in fighting fires.
He also suggested the possibility of partnering with other communities to pay for an aerial truck.
The capital plan included a list of road improvement projects for 2021-30.
Closed session action
After meeting in closed session, Kramer said the board amended the development agreement with WSM-Shop LLC (Team 1848) to increase the final development payment to $92,138, with the initial development payment remaining at $50,000.
He said the board also amended the development agreement with Gigot Properties (Blackberry Ridge Subdivision) to extend the final payment from the sale of lots to the village from Dec. 31, 2025, to Dec. 31, 2026.