City Council briefs: Utility fee increase OK'd
Increased utility fees
The Hastings City Council held a public hearing and unanimously passed an amendment of city code that increases utilities fees. The amendment will be effective for this month's billing and comes after a 2016 study of utility rates that suggested the city restructure them.
The first half of the rate increase was implemented in July 2017, and the financial statements for the year revealed that it was not enough for utility funds to sustain themselves.
With the new proposed rate increases, it is expected that the city's utility funds will even out or even create revenue.
Water consumption fees will increase 9 percent for all users.
City Hall Masonry Restoration Project
A contract was awarded to Innovative Masonry Restoration to carry out the City Hall Masonry Restoration Project.
The project will help with restoration of the historic Hastings City Hall building, as well as the attached annex.
The bid included three parts, a base bid along with two alternates.
The work done with the base bid included replacement of brick and stone; mortar repointing; repointing of limestone on the annex building; the repair of cracks; removal and reinstallation of gutters, downspouts and lights; cleaning of limestone and applying water sealant.
The first alternate, which was stated to be more for cosmetic appeal, includes cleaning the brick of vines and stains.
The second alternate would include excavating, repointing and waterproofing the foundation of the building.
Work that is expected to get done includes brick and stone replacement, filling of cracks, cleaning and applying water sealant to help preserve historic aspects of the exterior of the building.
Hastings was awarded roughly $212,000 from a Minnesota Historical Society State Capital Projects Grant. With the money the city is matching, the total budget for the project is nearly $450,000.
Although the lowest bid, IMR's bid was still over budget. After discussing the budget and funding of the project, the council agreed to award the contract on the base bid and the second alternative immediately, and the first alternative subject to the finding the funds to support it.
Great Rivers Landing amendment
The council approved an extension on the deadline for submission of construction and site plans to obtain a building permit for the Great Rivers Landing.
The purchase agreement between the city, Confluence and the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment authority originally states that the permits must be obtained this year by Aug. 1. The amendment pushes the timeline back to Dec. 1.
Confluence cited comments from the State Historic Preservation Office, one problem being interior insulation, on submitted documents as the reason for the new delay.
The Great Rivers Landing project is set to transform the Hudson Manufacturing building into both living and commercial spaces.
Although the timeline to submit construction plans to obtain a building permit is extended, the amendment will not change the overall completion of the project in December 2019.
— compiled by Kelsey Roy, staff writer