City has full-time maintenance worker

Published 3:28 pm Friday, May 28, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Niles Public Works Department recently hired its first-ever, full-time maintenance employee, Kim Hocker.
Niles Public Works Director Neil Coulston said with the expanding parks and recreation system in the City of Niles, the new positon was created in the current budget to handle the parks grounds maintenance duties.
Since being hired in March, Hocker has been responsible for overseeing and coordinating the parks' contracts for grounds maintenance, trash removal and portable toilets. His duties also include taking care of the repairs and maintenance of play structures, irrigation systems, benches, picnic tables and any other problems that may arise in the 13 parks and fields within the city.
Coulston said he and assistant director Joe Ray were previously responsible for all of the duties currently being done by Hocker. He said the maintenance duties were difficult to keep up with because of all of the other responsibilities of the Public Works Department.
And that is exactly what Hocker has been trying to do.
Hocker, a Buchanan High School graduate, lived in Niles for 18 years of his life and worked as the groundskeeper for the City of Niles from 1984 to 1990. After that, he worked as a golf course superintendent in South Bend, Ind.
He now lives in Granger, Ind. with his wife Katherine and their two children Karson, 9, and Kristine, 4.