Hastings City Manager Jerry Czarnecki’s first meeting in the position Monday went smoothly, with the City Council handling matters to do with running the city.
The council approved the Hastings Fire Department getting new rescue equipment and new asphalt in the parking lot. Replacement extrication equipment from MI Rescue Resources for $30,846.50 includes a Genesis C236 EForce Cutter, a Genesis EFORCE 2.0 Spreader, a 10 Genesis EFORCE Ram, a 12-inch ram extender and a Beluga Glass Cutter. Fire Chief Roger Caris said they receive just one bid and got $1,000 trade-in on an old set of hydraulic tools.
A-1 Asphalt was the only bidder for removing and replacing the asphalt in the parking lot for $25,622. The company will rotomill and remove 1.5 inches of asphalt, fill low areas where needed and install 1.5 inches of premium base asphalt and stripe seven stalls in latex traffic yellow paint. The bids on both projects are within the budgeted amounts for the fiscal year.
Deputy Police Chief Dale Boulter’s request was approved for the purchase of two 2020 Ford police interceptor utility AWD patrol cars for $73,724 ($36,862 each) from Signature Ford/Lincoln in Owasso, through MIDeal and also $10,018 for the changeover of patrol vehicles with new equipment and installation from C-Com of Kalamazoo. The vehicles and changeovers are in the 2019/2020 budget.
Matt Gergen, new director of the Department of Public Services, was not at the meeting because of a water main break on Market Street, but filed a report, Czarnecki said. The report said the plan for the city’s compost area on West State Road until fall is to supervise the gate into the area on Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.to 11 a.m. The entrance gate has been vandalized twice since it was installed.
Czarnecki recommended and council approved a new position of Utility Billing Clerk. The AR-clerk is responsible the billing, reporting, and tracking of the water and sewer data, works with the DPS to schedule appointments for meter changes, creates shutoff lists and answers calls from customers regarding the water and sewer. The Utility Billing Clerk will monitor progress of readings, create the re-read list, and verify the hours worked by the meter reader, as well as monitor reading efficiency. There are two AR clerks.
Recently, directly supervising the meter reader was added to the position held by AR Clerk Kris Slagel. The position is given a new title, job description and a pay range of $14 to $19.50 to reflect the additional responsibility. Slagel, who will get no pay raise because she is already in that pay range, was appointed to the new position; her AR-clerk position will be eliminated.
The council also approved Czarnecki’s request for a joint workshop with the city planning commission July 22 at 6 p.m. with Attorney Jeff Sluggett for his advice on what should be changed or added to the city ordinance on DAS/small cell antenna in the city’s rights-of-way. Sluggett originally advised the city on the writing of its ordinance. Czarnecki asked the planning commission be at the meeting to better coordinate the needed changes or additions with the council.
In her Legislative Director’s report Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange said state regulators have come up with emergency rules regarding the licensing for recreational marijuana. “The rules are good for six months and can be extended an additional six months. That’s to get everything started so communities know… what rules they will be under when they finally get things settled,” she said. Licenses will not be issued before Nov. 1.