Hobart board to hear update on property cleanup

2013-04-14T20:05:00Z 2013-05-03T15:43:04Z Hobart board to hear update on property cleanupDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The Hobart Board of Public Works will receive a progress update Wednesday on the property of farmer Robert Berndt.

"We do need an update on his progress because it's not been as much as we had thought," Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

The board told Building Official Michael Hannigan to return to the 4 p.m. Wednesday meeting with an update.

Depending on Hannigan's report, it may be time to request a family member to return to a board meeting, Snedecor said.

Hannigan had asked the board for direction, noting the matter had been in limbo for several months.

"A timeline was requested from him back on Oct. 10 and it's never been acquired," Hannigan said.

Snedecor said, "It's probably to the point where we need dialogue."

Board member Richard Lain said he'd like to be provided a work completion date in writing.

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

Berndt, 80, who was placed in a handicap-accessible trailer by his family, continued to provide monthly updates to the board through January.

Family members have been at his side during most of the meetings or spoken on his behalf.

City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said a tort claim filed against the city by Berndt was turned down.

Berndt had filed the tort claim citing monetary loss of property when city officials conducted a cleanup of his yard in September.

Berndt has complied with legal action taken against him by the city because of his cows roaming freely, Lain said.

The cattle were fenced in by late January, Lain said.

"It was handled," Lain said.

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