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Local News

A proposed Urban Services and Economic Development Agreement for a Urban Services District (USD) between Hastings and Rutland Township is smaller than the original request in response to concerns at a Rutland Township public hearing on the expansion, City Manager Jeff Mansfield told the Hastings City Council  Monday.

 

The smaller USD now includes only parcels with, “fairly near term need for city services,” however, Mansfield said it still meets the terms and conditions for a USD in the Hastings Area Joint Future Land Use Plan. The council set a public hearing for May 9; if there is no referendum during the 30-day waiting period following the hearing, final action can be taken, Mansfield said.

 

The council also learned that the ISO rating for Hastings/Birch Fire Department is a four out of a possible 10, with the lower the rating the better. The ratings are considered by insurance companies when setting some premium rates in the department’s coverage area. Mansfield said in the past, areas within five miles of a fire departments distribution system, (fire hydrants) were given the same ratings as areas within the distribution area. Now, those areas are classified at six.

 

In other business,

* Williams & Works was awarded a $118,850 bid for engineering services for the Safe Routes to School project. Hays said the company helped secure the grant for the project, their price is competitive, and they have done good work on a great number of projects for the city over the years.  The funding, 16.5 percent of the overall cost, will come from major and local street funds.

 

When Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange asked why they did not take bids for the project, Mansfield said the city asked Williams and Works to help with the grant request, which resulted in obtaining a larger grant and also reduced its bid when told it was too high. “I’m very comfortable with Williams and Works,” he said. //

 

* A YMCA request for use of the ball field at Fish Hatchery Park for select days during the summer months was approved.

 

* A Relay for Life  Fat Man 5K, which a representative said is really a .1 K with a donut stand about half way through the course, was approved for July 16 at the Fish Hatchery Park soccer field  from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fun run will raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

 

* Following a required public hearing on the need for a special assessment district for maintenance and improvements of downtown parking lots, the council approved the resolution recognizing the need and set a public hearing for May 9 to take comments on the certified assessment roll.

 

* Mayor Frank Campbell read an official City of Hastings Proclamation observing  April 24 thorough May 3 as White Cane Week.

 

The Lions are dedicated to saving sight by eyeglasses an eye examinations for the needy and through its support of Welcome Home for the Blind, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Michigan Eye Bank, Bear Lake Camp for the Visually Impaired Youth and other worthy community projects, Campbell said.

 

The Lions sell White Canes to support its causes, and Campbell urged, “all citizens to become familiar with the meaning and purpose of the White Cane law and lend support to the Lions Club projects.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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