The Hastings City Council Monday voted 6 to 3 to solicit proposals for the redevelopment of the former Hastings Moose building rather than demolishing it. The majority of the council said they would rather get proposals for redevelopment and keep the building at Michigan Avenue and Apple Street on the tax rolls, if possible. If it didn’t work out, they agreed they could always demolish the building later.
The city has had prospects look at the building which would require extensive work, but no bids.
Marvin Helder, owner of Helder Construction, specializes in residential development and redevelopment. He came to the Jan. 9 council meeting to say he was interested in redeveloping the building, following one of the council’s original ideas; demolishing the back portion of the building to replace city parking lot 3 spaces that will be lost with the building of a new emergency services building, have a retail business on the side fronting Michigan Avenue and apartments on the second floor.
“I would like to partner with the city in order to see another beautiful downtown building redeveloped rather than demolished,” Helder said at that meeting. It is expected that he will offer a proposal.
In other business, the council:
*approved the WBCH-sponsored Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for Friday, March 17 at 4 p.m. The parade route will be the same as past years for the biggest little community parade.
* awarded a contract to Slagel Construction for $8,200 to replace a section of the Riverwalk Trail sidewalk which will be moved 10 to 15 feet to accomodate the new Veterans monument. The work will be paid for by donations.
* awarded a contract to the only bidder, Pure Fence, Battle Creek, for $5,850 to install 500 feet of black vinyl coated four foot high chain link fencing that will mark the northern border of Riverside Cemetery.
* approved the YMCA, SCMYB and the Hastings Area Church Softball League to use the city's ball fields again this year, with staff working with the groups to resolve a few conflicting dates.
* formally approved the city’s Goals and Objectives for 2017-2018 budget development. Councilman Don Smith asked Mansfield to keep track of the work on the goals with monthly updates, “to make sure we are on track.”
* set a workshop on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. to discuss the Municipal Employees Retirement System pension and health care. A representative of MERS will attend.