Hoarder, children give Hobart panel cleanup update

2012-11-11T20:10:00Z 2013-04-12T16:05:04Z Hoarder, children give Hobart panel cleanup updateDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Mold will have to be removed before interior cleanup of a Hobart hoarders' house can proceed.

The Hobart Board of Public Works asked Robert Berndt II and his sister, Debra Karrke, to give an update on the house and farm owned by their father, Robert Berndt.

Berndt, 80, who last month was placed in a handicap accessible trailer by his children, also attended the meeting.

"Do you see now why we had concern for your public safety?" Mayor Brian Snedecor asked Berndt.

"I'm thankful to be here," the elder Berndt said.

Berndt said he had been sleeping in the basement of his house until the past May and in his car or his brother's house most recently.

The  board in September ordered cleanup of Berndt's debris-littered, unsafe house and farm in the 6800 block of Grand Boulevard.

Berndt's son on Wednesday said the house will be sealed at some access points where raccoons have entered.

Plans are to go forward with exterior improvements and to get the furnace repaired by Jan. 1, Berndt's son said.

In addition, a company that handles removal of hazardous materials has been contacted, Berndt's son said.

Board member Richard Lain asked what plans had been made for containment of cattle that graze on the farm west of the house. 

"It's a safety issue if they get on the road," Lain said.

Although both Berndts confirmed the cattle don't have access to Grand Boulevard, Police Chief White said a report from the city's code enforcement officer says otherwise.

The board told Berndt and his two children that when they come back on Dec. 5 they must provide a containment plan and legal documents specifying which adjacent landowners have allowed the cows to graze.

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