City Manager Jeff Mansfield’s recommendation for Dan King as the city’s clerk/treasurer/finance director was unanimously approved by the Hastings City Council Monday. King is well known in the community for his many years of service in financial institutions and service on several committees and boards. “I believe Dan will do an absolutely fantastic job for the City of Hastings,” Mansfield said. King replaces Tom Emery, who retired earlier this month.
The council also approved retaining Rehmann as independent auditors for an additional year. A three-year contract with the company expired with the 2016 audit. Mansfield recommended extending the existing contract, noting that Rehmann has served in the capacity for a number of years, “is very familiar with the city’s financial processes and practices” and will provide stability as King takes over as clerk/treasurer.
The cost for the 2017 audit is $9,500, up $500 from 2016. If the city receives $750,000 in federal awards during the year, that requires a separate audit that would cost an additional $350.
In other business, Mead & Hunt has provided the required 30-day written notice that they are terminating its agreement for operation services at the city water and wastewater plants, City Manager Jeff Mansfield told the Hasting City Council Monday. They will provide service until Feb. 8.
“Unfortunately, the relationship was not working well for either party,” Mansfield said. “We have several options available for short and long term agreements with other organizations for operations services, and we are exploring these options at this time to see what makes the most sense,” he said. He likened the situation to a “marriage,” where the operator must maintain a good relationship with the staff, but it has been a continuing problematic arrangement for many years.
They are leaning toward a company that is open to what is in the best interest of Hastings, he said. “We expect to have a recommendation for interim services of an operator at the next council meeting.”
The city hall elevator failed several times in the past week and replacement of the obsolete door operator board and motor was initiated with a $5,626.42 emergency purchase order. However, since the repair exceeded the $5,000 limit on expenditures that can be authorized by staff, it was reported to comply with the city purchasing policy. The replacement parts are in and repairs are scheduled to begin Tuesday at 9 a.m. //
In other business, the council:
*approved adding a small section of Taffee Drive to Act 51 local streets. The section was inadvertently left off the official street inventory after its construction years ago.
*appointed Councilman Don Smith to the Joint Planning Alliance replacing Alan Klein.
*set a special meeting Monday, Jan 30 at 7 p.m. to discuss, among other things, the possible sale or demolition of the Moose building.
* heard Mansfield say there would be more special and work shop meetings in the coming year, with new council members and city staff, he said they want to make sure everyone is fully informed before making decisions.
After the regular meeting adjourned, the council returned to complete a work shop started at 6 p.m. on goals and policy issues to be considered in the budget preparation for 2017-2018 fiscal years.