Some 35 people attended the “Coffee with the Chief” Tuesday, talking to Hastings Police Chief Jeff Pratt about their concerns and meeting two of the latest additions to the city staff.
Major complaints were telemarketing and telephone scams (see related story).
Bob Zuniga, the new code compliance officer, started in March. He favors talking to a resident if there is a code violation, rather than leaving a note on a door. “So far, with personal contact, I have almost 100 percent compliance. I’ll give you some time; it may take longer, but it’s better. But, if you’re just not going to fix it, it’s a letter giving you five days to comply,” he said.
On junk cars, Zuniga said if a resident has an inoperative, unlicensed or untitled car, or cars, and they are housed out of sight in a garage, it is not a violation. Another part of the code says if such cars are screened from public view, it is permitted. “I can’t make a case if I can’t see it from the road,” he said.
New DPS Supervisor Jim James, who came to Hastings in November last year, called the city an “amazing, forward thinking community.” He said there is great communication between the DPS and the police department and they work well together.
The DPS crews work from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A resident can call 911 after hours for an emergency and the dispatcher will send someone out to help, James said.
Some of this summer’s projects are: East State Road, the Veteran’s Plaza, Clinton Street, the banks of Fall Creek, Fish Hatchery Park ponds, a large storm water outlet off Taffee Drive and applying 80,000 yards of chip seal on some streets.
“We have a lot of things going on this summer; The DPS crews take a lot of pride in the community. They are a great crew, they go above and beyond,” James said.