Hobart to consider stormwater fund ordinance revision
By Kevin Boneske
HOBART – The village board will consider final action Nov. 17 on a proposed ordinance to create a procedure governing the possible participation of Hobart’s stormwater fund to make improvements on private property.
The Hobart village board discussed the stormwater fund measure Tuesday, Oct. 20, after two weeks earlier having held a first reading with public input.
Based on discussions at the Oct. 6 meeting, Village Administrator Aaron Kramer said wording was added to recapture costs, not only on properties where improvements are made, but also on properties contributing to a stormwater issue.
Kramer said wording added to a provision related to the village paying 50 percent of any stormwater improvement project on private property, when dealing with multiple properties, calls for the remaining 50 percent to be allocated on a percentage basis based on the square footage of the parcels “affected by or contributing to stormwater improvement.”
In event there would be no cost-sharing agreement reached with the affected property owners, Kramer said the stormwater improvement project could be cancelled or special assessments to apply the costs of the proposed improvements could be implemented.
“There is a special assessment section in the stormwater code,” he said. “We already have it, but this just calls out that you can use it for this type of improvement.”
Kramer said the proposed ordinance’s wording makes it possible for private property owners to agree on what portions they should pay for stormwater improvements, instead of having to go ahead with the special assessment process.
“We have not gone through a full-blown special assessment hearing and application of special assessments, I believe, since 1999,” he said. “So, we’re optimistic, but under my plan, all it would take is one participant saying, ‘Nope.’”
Kramer said the only other scenario for Hobart not to include a special assessment option would be for the village to pay 100 percent of the stormwater improvements on private property.
“Your options get very narrowly defined at this point,” he said.
Kramer said the proposed stormwater fund ordinance “is a work in progress.”
“We had no model to work off of,” he said. “This is one where literally it comes out of the lab, and see if it works in the real world. I know people understand that as well.”
Kramer said an ordinance is necessary to be able to apply special assessments or to collect unpaid amounts.
Upon its passage, Public Works Director Jerry Lancelle said the village may have to “tweak” the ordinance in the future.
He said the biggest issue he can see is on multiple properties, such as if there are three properties with a stormwater problem and a fourth property in between them followed the grades, but needs to be altered to fix the problem.
“Do you assess (the fourth property)? But he did follow the grades that he was supposed to,” he said. “I don’t know the answer.”
Kramer said the proposed ordinance calls for a stormwater management plan to be developed by the public works director, the director of planning and code compliance and the village engineer.
“I think that allows them to put the narrative in there, saying, ‘Lot 4 may look geographically contributory to the problem, but it’s not causing the issue,” he said.
Kramer said an appeals process for a project plan is included in the proposed ordinance.
The board also set a public hearing for Nov. 17 on the proposed 2021 village budget.
Board members plan to review the budget at their next meeting Nov. 4, which is being scheduled on the first Wednesday of November because the first Tuesday is Election Day.
Another public hearing has been set by the board for Nov. 17 when it will consider a request for a conditional use permit to construct an approximately two-fifths-acre pond at 3792 Rolling Meadows Road.
After meeting in closed session, Kramer said the board approved the hiring of Sharon Diedrick as a police administrative assistant, effective Nov. 2.