Steve Reid and Steve Steward, with their families gathered in the Hastings City Council chambers, received official proclamations of heartfelt appreciation for their contributions to the City of Hastings.
Read by Mayor Dave Tossava, the proclamations centers on the music in both men’s lives.
Steward was commended for his willingness to make time to participate in community events, as an active member of the Summerfest Committee, working tirelessly for years to fill the stage at Summerfest every year with top-quality entertainment.
His father was band director at Hastings High School and figured music figured strongly in Steward’s life and is still important to him today, Tossava said.
“Music has always been a passion for Steve. He was a long-time member of “Echo,” an oldie tribute band. Many will remember them playing on the old library steps and as the main act on Saturday night during Summerfest with dancers in the street,” Tossava said.
Now retired, Steward has a true love for community and wants to see it prosper not only for his family, but for all who live and work in the City of Hastings; he is seen at many community events and continuously supporting what makes Hastings great, Tossava concluded.
Summerfest did not start out as Summerfest; it began as the Blue Gill Festival in 1978. Steve Reid and his wife Joyce moved back to Hastings in 1979. By 1980, Steve was bringing in groups to provide musical entertainment for the festivities. He remembers when three bands were each paid $53.50 for them to play.
Steve and Steward got together to book, promote and emcee multiple stages during the weekend of fun.
Terry Talbot (Mason Profitt), the Bryds, Dennis Yost and the Classic Four, Barry McQuire, and many other popular Beatle tribute bands, national touring and recording artists, as well as well-known regional and local entertainers filled out the lineup for the next 38 years under the current name of Summerfest.
Steve attends as may concerts as he can, and has kept a diary of music he has enjoyed since 1972. He hopes to continue in an advisory capacity serving the citizens of Hastings and the Summerfest Committee, Tossava said.
In other city business Monday, Clerk Jerry Czarnecki reported what he learned about a letter from AT&T asking to extend its lease and reduce the rate it pays for its equipment installed on a city water tower. Attorney Jeff Sluggett suggested Czarnecki talk to consultant Andrew Felde of Drew Wireless, Inc. Felde told him the letter was not from AT&T, but a company named MD7 that AT&T had hired to try to get lower lease rates for its cell towers.
“Andrew stated that if our lease rates were around $2,500, our rates are $2532.26, then they are at the going market rate,” Czarnecki said. Felde said AT&T was not going to remove their equipment since the cost to relocate it would not be worth the loss in savings to AT&T if the city did not lower its prices. Felde recommended the city “stay the course” with their tower lease with AT&T.
The council took no action on AT&T’s request.
The council also approved the Thornapple River Watershed Council holding the 23rd annual Thornapple River Clean-up on Sept.15 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.