Spring start eyed for 69th Avenue project in Hobart

Dec 6, 2019

Work on reconstructing 69th Avenue is expected to begin in the spring now that the Hobart City Council has approved payment agreements for it and two other projects deemed vital for future development.

City engineer Phil Gralik said if reconstruction of 69th Avenue from Mississippi to Colorado, and construction of a roundabout at 69th and Colorado begins when the weather breaks, it should be completed a year from now.

The third project, construction of a railroad overpass over Colorado, will be undertaken by Indiana Department of Transportation with bids expected to be sought in January 2022, he said.

The 69th Avenue project involves widening the two lanes to meet commercial road standards, removing a couple of hills for sight reasons and burying utility lines, he said. The road will be closed during construction and detours will be provided.

“I can’t tell you how anxious I am that the 69th Avenue area will be improved,” Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

The city’s redevelopment authority has agreed to contribute $2.5 million toward the $7.6 million price tag for the road work. Indiana Becknell, developer of the NorthWind Crossings light industrial park at 61st and Marcella, is contributing about $860,000, and the rest is coming from the newly-created U.S. 30/69th Avenue tax increment financing district.

Both the city council and the board of public works and safety approved a development agreement with Becknell on Dec. 4 for the funding.

City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said Becknell has a prospective commercial client who wants to locate at 69th and Mississippi. Becknell would build to the client’s standards and lease the building, he said.

“It’s one of the main reasons why the city is contemplating the 69th Avenue work,” DeBonis said. “Becknell will make a fair share contribution.”

In other action, the city council approved a lease agreement between the redevelopment authority and redevelopment commission, which included the issuance of a bond not to exceed $12 million.

According to bond counsel Randy Rompola, money generated from the new TIF area will be sufficient to pay back the bonds, based on current developments in the district.

“We did not include future growth,” Rompola said.

The money will be used as the TIF’s portion of the cost of the road reconstruction, the roundabout at 69th and Colorado, and the railroad overpass.