The Hastings City Council approved the Hastings Rotary and Kiwanis clubs selling beer and wine again this year at Thornapple Plaza events. The request is now part of the food vending/ concession stand agreement approved by the council at its last meeting.
However, the selling of beer and wine was a request and not part of the agreement, and was amended to become part the legal agreement at the request of Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange.
Changes in the beer and wine sales from last year include selling beer and wine later during the entertainment and removing the two drink limit. Council members and Solmes say there have been no problems with alcohol consumption at any of the events.
The clubs will provide insurance coverage recommended by the city’s insurance carrier.
McNabb-Stange and Councilmen Bill Redman and Donald Bowers voted no. Redman cited a survey question in the Banner showing the majority of people who responded said it should not be sold and approving was “going against the public.” McNabb-Stange again objected to the non-legal drafting of the agreement and Bowers did not give a reason for his vote.
The council also approved a request from the Thornapple Arts Council to solicit donations at the Spray Plaza and the Thornapple Plaza during its 2019 entertainment events.
An announcement is made during performances and a donation can is passed around the crowd. “The amounts are not insignificant,” City Manager Jeff Mansfield said. “It’s more than I thought.” The money raised goes back into future programs.
Tom Thompson, from Professional Code Inspectors (PCI), gave the city building report; 88 permits issued worth $8,680,666 in 2018. In 2017, the numbers were 82 permits, valued at $5,414,617. PCI inspected 329 rental units. As of Dec. 31, 2018, there were 872 rental units registered in the city. Thompson also provided the names of the permit holders, the type of project and the cost.
Mansfield gave the council the year end city assessment report from Assessing Assistant KristaTietz. He confirmed that City Assessor Jackie Timmerman, who is recovering from an illness, has retired. It is possible she will come back later, he said.
Mansfield said he will meet with temporary City Assessor Dan Kirwin, to talk about extending his contract past March Board of Review. An independent contractor, Kirwin is well respected in the assessing community and has been filling in since the absence of Timmerman, who recommended him.
In other business:
*The 15th St. Patrick’s Day Parade which travels down South Jefferson Street, was approved for Saturday, March 16 at 1 p.m. as requested by Steve Radant from WBCH Radio.
*a revised joint Hastings Public Library Board agreement, making it more flexible, had the first reading. The Library Board will have representatives from the city and Rutland Township. Hastings Township voters turned down a millage request for library services; the agreement makes it easier for Hastings Township to come back in if they pass a millage in the future, Attorney Stephanie Fekkes said.
*Clerk Jane Saurman administered the Oath of Office to Councilman Don Smith, who was reelected to the Third Ward