Hobart farmer's unsafe house closer to livable, board says

2013-08-23T19:21:00Z 2013-09-20T14:40:05Z Hobart farmer's unsafe house closer to livable, board saysDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The Hobart Board of Works is pleased with the cleanup progress at Robert Berndt's house.

The board had declared the debris-littered property uninhabitable.

But the board decided Wednesday Berndt's cleanup issues will be removed from future agendas because of the significant progress made at his house in the 6800 block of Grand Boulevard.

Building Official Mike Hannigan said future matters dealing with occupancy of that house could now be dealt with by the Hobart Building Department. The board of works agreed.

Berndt must still replace a well and install a furnace before an occupancy permit is issued.

City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said the the city would pay for the approximately $3,000 in repairs to Berndt's well.

Hannigan and Code Enforcement Officer Ken Gagliardi believe city officials may have damaged the well during cleanup of the property, DeBonis said.

"We're in the process of obtaining estimates to repair the well," DeBonis said.

Berndt, who thanked the city for paying for his well, said once the house can be occupied again it will be his son-in-law, Jim Selby, and his daughter, Lisa Selby, who will be living there.

Jim Selby, who has done most of the cleanup work, said he hopes the house may be move-in ready by as early as next month.

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