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Local News

The rest of the story at Hastings City Council meeting

Reports on Hastings City Council center on action items and why the council voted they way it did. But, much more usually happens at a typical meeting. Often what goes unreported can impact citizens as much as what makes the news.

 

All of this happened at the July 25  council meeting:

 

*City Clerk Tom Emery reminded Hastings voters that they will be voting at the Hastings Baptist Church on Woodlawn Avenue at both the August primary and November general elections this year. The Hastings Middle School, where they normally vote, will be in the midst of reconstruction and unavailable.

 

* Police Chief Jeff Pratt said the department will provide a liaison officer at Hastings Schools one day a week, likely Fridays. He hopes to add more days, if things go well. Previously, the city and schools shared the cost for five day a week coverage, but when, “the economy went south,” liaison officers were cut to save money.

 

*The police department received a letter from a Hastings business owner praising Deputy Chief Dale Boulter for his professional handling of an investigation of a stolen handgun to a successful conclusion with a confession and an arrest, Pratt said.  He also noted that a 37-year-old woman’s life was saved by Hastings officers administering Narcan when she overdosed, and, the woman “is doing okay.”

 

Pratt said every organization has highs and lows, and right now police departments across the country are facing difficult challenges. “Our department is committed to protect and serve while building a strong relationship with the community,” he said.

 

*The council received a letter from a Gun Lake couple thanking the city staff for their prompt, courteous and professional response to their earlier letter pointing out the need for more parking at Thornapple Plaza events. More parking may be provided by the city leasing a small portion of Ace Hardware’s parking lot during events.

 

*Mayor Frank Campbell said the Baum Family Foundation is transferring Thornapple Plaza ownership to the city. The foundation contributed more than a million dollars to build the Plaza on city property and is now deeding it to the city. Campbell said if you see the Baums, thank them for their contributions to the community.

 

*Campbell also said Hastings is a Purple Heart City and he will try to get a monument honoring Purple Heart veterans similar to the one from the Blue Star Highway organization to add to the monuments at the new Veteran’s Monument at the Tyden Park entrance.

 

*Councilman Don Smith, coordinator of volunteers working on the veteran’s monument, is looking for more volunteers, including veterans, to help with the effort. Those interested in helping out can contact Smith through the city’s webpage or DPS director Lee Hays.

 

*City Manager Jeff Mansfield and the council recognized the efforts of the Reverend Randall Bertrand from Woodgrove Brethren Christian Parish, commending him for his help in building and mentoring the development of the Hastings Skate Park since it was built.

“Without this man, there would be no skate park,” Mansfield said.

Bertrand was honored by the city in 2014 for his dedication to the young people of the community. “I can’t believe I’ve been burning hot dogs for them every Wednesday for ten years,” Bertrand said.

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