Hobart sees population increase
At the Sept. 6 meeting of the Hobart Village Board, a report was presented regarding the village’s population growth.
“Based on the 2020 census, which put us at 10,211 residents, they estimate at the beginning of this year we were at 10,486,” said Village Administrator Aaron Kramer. “So a 2.7% increase from the census. It’s pretty much what we expected, it matches the housing units.”
The increase is expected to continue, Kramer said, as housing units continue to pop up around the village.
“Housing units are probably up because of the Arvada Apartments,” he said. “We will see a similar growth this year and then we also have anticipated growth next year with subdivisions going online.”
Kramer said one of the biggest impacts of the rise in population has been an increase in registered voters, which further proves the need for the village’s recently-added second polling location.
“We have now passed an estimated 8,000 in terms of registered voters,” he said. “So that just underscores the fact that we would have been very close to critical mass if we had not created that second polling location to handle 8,000 people, especially with some of the larger elections coming up.”
Exotic animal amendment approved
A proposed amendment to the village’s current municipal code pertaining to exotic animals underwent a second and final public reading Tuesday before the board approved it unanimously.
Previously, the only snakes allowed by the ordinance were nonvenemous snakes with an adult length of less than 3 feet.
Under the newly approved version of the ordinance, residents can obtain a permit to possess certain constricting snakes with an adult length between 3 and 6 feet.
Permits come with a $25 fee per snake, plus a $10 fee for annual renewal.
Police Captain Michael Renkas said the decision to require residents to obtain permits per snake instead of per household will help the village better keep track of the number of snakes that might be in a residence in case of emergency.
“The reason for that is to create a registry of what type and how many of these animals are in a particular residence,” he said. “So we have a good understanding of where they’re at. If it’s per household then we kind of lose track.”
Permits are also available for commercial breeding operations with a $100 fee for the whole operation plus a $50 annual renewal fee.
Penalty for failure to pay fines and forfeitures amended
The board unanimously approved an ordinance to amend Section 3 (Penalties) of Article II (General Penalty) of Chapter 1 (General Provisions) as it relates to the imprisonment of anyone who has an unpaid fine or forfeiture.
Prior to the amendment, the municipal code indicated that anyone with an unpaid fine or forfeiture should be imprisoned – a consequence which the new amendment eliminates.
Village Administrator Aaron Kramer said that jail time has hardly been used by the village in the event someone fails to pay a fine.
“I don’t know, the last time it was utilized,” he said. “We have other options available to induce people to pay their fines and forfeiture.”
Village Clerk-Treasure Erica Berger said other options are also more cost-effective.
“Working with State Debt Collection is much more fiscally responsible for the village,” she said. “Whereas jail time costs us $50 a day.”