The Hastings City Council Monday held a public hearing to take comments and determine the necessity of a Special Assessment District (SAD) in the downtown area to pay for improvements and maintenance of city parking lots in 2018-2019. They approved the resolution calling for the district
Downtown Hastings merchants have paid the special assessments since parking meters were removed from the downtown. For the last five years or so, merchants have paid the same amount because the Downtown Development Authority picked up the tab for increases for materials and labor costs.
This year, the DDA asks the merchants to split the $3,000 increase that is due to inflation, City Manager Jeff Mansfield said.
Pete Schantz, of Al & Pete’s Sport Shop on South Jefferson Street, asked the council to consider making parking spaces wider, even if it means giving up a space or two. Most of his patrons drive pickup trucks, and the parallel parking spaces, “just aren’t long enough.”
Marv Helder, of Helder Construction, asked the panel to consider making certain areas eight hours parking for employees who will be at a business for six to eight hours a day to do away with “all car moving.”
He suggested a parking permit, possibly $50 for a year, for eight hour slots. The council has considered designating longer hours before, he said, and he asked them to consider it again.
A second public hearing to confirm the assessment roll will be set, with an explanation of the formula used to determine the amount each merchant pays, asked for by Councilman Don Smith.
A public hearing to hear comment and take action on the city budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 was set for May 14 at 7 p.m.