Resident Emily Jasperse asked the Hastings City Council to stop closing Green Street to traffic for several hours on Halloween while treat or treaters to visit houses asking for treats.
The council voted to keep the street closed to traffic for Halloween, 6-2 with Councilman Don Smith absent.
In a letter to the council, Jasperse said she has lived on Green Street for 39 years and handed out flags and Band aids to some 2,000 children every Halloween. She noted there has not been an accident on Green Street in the years she has lived there. ‘I don’t see a reason for it to be closed,” she said. “It’s not necessary.”
Some people on other streets feel the closing of Green Street creates an unfair advantage when it comes to the streets in their wards and diminishes their trick or treat visits, she added. Jasperse said the cost to taxpayers for city workers to provide barricades, with figures from Department of Public Services Director Lee Hays, at three hours for three staff is $50 x 9 man hours or $350, and three trucks for three hours at $25 x 9 man hours equals $225.
During discussion, Councilman Don Bowers asked since there were no accidents on the street in 37 years, “why are we legislating something that doesn’t need to be legislated?” Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange said other groups of residents were being shut out of the activities of the evening with the closing.
Asked for his opinion, Deputy Police Chief Dale Boulter said if he had a vote he would vote for it. “It’s safer to have it that way…we stick to the times,” but he would not support doing it in several areas of the city. McNabb Stange and Bowers were the two no votes.//
Also, the council approved a cemetery ordinance change that now reads: Only one person may be buried in a burial space except for a parent and infant or two minor children buried at the same time. Burial boxes or caskets over four feet in length will be classifies as adult size.
Two cremains, or one cremains and one casket/vault, may be buried in the same burial plot. City Manager Jeff Mansfield said the Riverside Cemetery Preservation Advisory Board will be taking a look at the overall cemetery ordinances and will likely amend other sections later.
Two other ordinances, both recommended by the planning commission, had first readings. Ordinance 558 would rezone a number of properties along East Thorn Street from D-1 or D-2 industrial to R-2 residential.
Ordinance 559 would change the zoning classification of a parcel in the northeast quadrant of the West Woodlawn Avenue - County Club Drive intersection from A-1 apartment to R-R rural residential. Action is taken at the second reading, usually the next council meeting.
Also, Larry Warren was appointed as an alternate member to the Zoning Board of Appeals, and also to the Nature Area Board, with both appointments partial terms ending in December 2020.
And, the council approved spending $48,830 for repairs on about three quarters of the fire station roof by Quality Roofing & Construction, recommended by Fire Chief Roger Caris.
Council members went into closed session to receive privileged attorney-client communication and strategy in connect with the Cleon Brown litigation.