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Local News

Brian Shumway, post historian, gave a presentation on the American Legion Centennial Weekend festivities at Monday night’s regular Hastings City Council meeting.  The Lawrence J. Bauer American Legion Post #45 in Hastings is hosting a celebration of its’ 100th anniversary this Friday evening, August 16th at Thornapple Plaza starting at 6pm that will include a  picnic for all with free hot dogs, chips, lemonade, cake and ice cream, followed by a concert at the plaza with the 338th Army Reserve Band. Saturday, the post will host an open house from 10 to 4 with tours, bingo, a cruise-in show by the American Legion Riders, and remarks from dignitaries recognizing the history, accomplishments, and ongoing service of Legion members.

 

The council received two letters of intent for development projects at 128 North Michigan Avenue in downtown Hastings, at the corner of Michigan and Apple:

 

One of the developers, A.J. Vaneklasen Inc., proposes a mixed-use project that would include a four story building with 27 two-bedroom market-rate apartments on the upper floors,  and retail, restaurant, or office space on the main floor. The project concept includes some on-premise parking below the main level.

 

The other developer, an investment group headed by Nathan Heyboer of Hudsonville, is interested in purchasing the parcel from the city for construction of a three-story building with 42 housing units. Kevin Moore of Moore & Company, a commercial real estate consulting firm, said that project would include a mix of barrier-free, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom affordable and market-rate apartments.  The project would require a special use permit to allow residential use on the ground floor and would not have on-premise parking, requiring a parking agreement with the city.

 

After discussion, the City Council directed staff to work with both developers to bring detailed proposals back before the next council meeting, and set a workshop an hour prior to their next meeting to consider the proposals. The council plans to select one of the projects at the August 26 meeting.

 

In other business:

 

-Council approved  extending the current  agreement with West Michigan Recreational Outfitters, which operates the U-Rent ‘Em Canoe Livery,  to continue use of city owned land next to the canoe and tube equipment rental business for the remainder of their current business season to allow additional parking for guests. Julie Fox, owner, told about her business activities as an asset to the community and answered questions regarding complaints over the parking situation. Fox said she is working toward long-term parking solutions to have in place before the 2020 season.

 

-The council approved a request from the Youth Advisory Council to hold their annual Roof Sit fundraiser on October 12.

 

-Gave the City’s approval for the Airport Commission to purchase a new lawnmower for use at the the airport.

 

-Authorized purchase of a Hot Patch trailer for $29,090 and a wood chipper for $37,164  as recommended by the Department of Public Services staff that were planned for in the 2019-20 budget. Both purchases will be made through the Mi-Deal program.

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