The Hastings City Council held the first reading of its revised dog ordinance Monday, corrected some wording, and heard speakers say they approve of the city taking over operation of the popular attraction.
The original ordinance identified the pit bull breed as dangerous dogs; that language has been removed and other conditions clarified by Hastings Police Chief Jeff Pratt and Attorney Stephanie Fekkes. The council will have a second reading and then act on the matter at its next meeting.
City Manager Jeff Mansfield asked anyone who donated items to the park to contact the city in writing and let them know what they would like to see happen to their gifts to the park.
The Hastings Dog Park Companions are planning to construct another dog park in the city and would like to use some of the items, Mansfield said. After they learn the donor’s wishes, the city and the HDPC will meet and discuss the future use of the items, he said. Nothing will be moved until that is decided.
The contract between the city and the HDPC was terminated by the city Jan. 16; the city’s Department of Public Services is maintaining the park.
Mansfield said that will continue for a while until everything is settled and suggested the city then look into forming an advisory committee like the one for Riverside Cemetery.
In other business Monday, the council and the audience got a demonstration of American signing, when April Davidson interpreted what was being said to and from Hastings resident Matthew Hall, who is hearing impaired.
They were there to raise awareness of the rights of the deaf and to urge better communication between the deaf community and law enforcement.
Davidson said if pulled over by a policeman, the deaf have the right to have a signer provided for them; if there is miscommunication, “things happen.”
In simple interactions with law enforcement, writing notes back and forth could work, she said. Communication is a barrier, she said, and asked for better awareness in the police community.
For those interested in American signing, classes are available at the Hastings Public Library the first Monday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. starting Monday, Feb. 5.