HOBART | New training grounds for the Hobart Police Department could be operational by this summer.
The city's Board of Public Works on Wednesday unanimously approved an agreement that would allow the Police Department to use two parcels of property owned by the Hobart Sanitary District to create the training facility on U.S. 6.
One parcel would be for the training area and the other is needed for an access road.
Mayor Brian Snedecor said firearms and tactical training are among the activities that would occur at the site.
Establishing the facility is necessary because officers currently have to travel to Lowell for training.
"That's not acceptable," Snedecor said.
Having a training facility in the city also would give officers the ability to train more frequently.
Snedecor said the creation of the training facility is a "work in progress," and Torrenga Engineering is involved in the project.
Through the agreement, the Police Department will pay the Sanitary District $1,000 annually for use of the parcels.
Before the project can proceed, a use variance must be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals and the City Council.
In another matter, the Board of Public Works also approved the purchase of a state-of-the-art compressed natural gas garbage truck.
Compressed natural gas burns cleaner than diesel and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The city obtained two grants that will cover the majority of the cost of vehicle.
Hobart received about $114,000 from a BP grant and about $71,000 from a Indiana Department of Environmental Management grant for the new truck.
The city will pay about $99,000 to purchase the vehicle, which Hobart will have in about 150 days.
Snedecor said purchasing the truck is part of the city's ongoing efforts to become more environmentally friendly.
"I think this is a wonderful, wonderful project," said Thomas Ehrhardt, a Board of Public Works member.