Sewer line may lure new business
Publication date: 04/20/2003 – Source: The Times
By: Adele L. Makanos, Times Staff Writer
Article Title: 
City Officials believe new line critical for tapping U.S. 30 potential

HOBART – When workers begin installing a sanitary sewer line next year, city officials hope they’ll be paving the way for development of the virtually untapped stretch of U.S. 30 east of Clay Street.

That’s because construction in that area could bolster the city’s tax base, reducing the burden on homeowners and helping alleviate Hobart’s financial crisis. 

The $2.2 million first phase of the project will extend sewers along U.S. 30 from Clay Street to one-quarter mile west of Randolph Street, Merrillville Conservancy District chairman Paul Volk said Friday.

In addition to alleviating problems with failed septic systems that have plagued Gas City and the Albanese Candy Factory, extension of the sewer line is likely to prompt additional development in the area. 

“I’ve seen that lack of infrastructure stymie a developer’s plans,” said Hobart Plan

Commissioner and Councilwoman Maria Galka, D-2nd. “We’ve encouraged petitioners with smaller lots to contact those adjacent to work together on their plans to help move the infrastructure along U.S. 30.  I have seen several developments fall by the wayside, apparently due to the high cost of installation.

“The recent septic failures along U.S. 30 simply reinforce sanitary sewer lines along that corridor if that area is to develop to its full potential.”

Councilman Tom Ehrhardt, R-1st, agreed that without the project “future developers will continue to be scared away.

“We’re making our push toward promoting new commercial and light industry along that corridor, but we can’t successfully do it without adequate infrastructure,” Ehrhardt said.  “It’s integral in a lot of ways, but it’s most important because new development will generate revenue for our city.”

Councilwoman Becky Juzwicki, D-4th, said developers have been encouraged to make their own arrangements until necessary infrastructure is in place.

One business, the Lake Park Professional Center at Ind. 51 and U.S. 30, installed its own septic system and put money aside with the city to pay its share of the cost for future water and sanitary sewer installation, she said.

The installation of sanitary sewers isn’t the only reason development in the area is becoming more attractive, said David Lasser, president of Commercial In-Sites in Hobart.

Lasser said the recent addition of a Planned Business Zoning District to city zoning ordinances will give builders more flexibility as the area is developed.

“It will be vital to Hobart’s continued growth,” Lasser said.

The new district has a variety of permitted uses taken from several traditional zoning classifications.  It also is similar to a Planned Unit Development, but does not require a developer to submit the same type of detailed plan before work on a development begins.

City Engineer Steve Truchan said water service provided by Indiana-American Water Co. is available along U.S. 30 through a 12-inch water line that extends east to Deep River County Park.  Sanitary sewers, he said, are already in place along Clay Street.

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