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City Council: Budget, bridge and a synthetic drug ordinance

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The Hastings City Council will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, in the council chambers at City Hall. The meeting is moved back one day due to the Labor Day holiday.

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At the meeting, the council will consider approving a resolution to adopt the preliminary 2011 city budget and set the preliminary 2011 tax levy. The preliminary levy is set at $11,264,000, with the understanding that the council hopes to adopt a lower final levy. The preliminary levy is $317,000 lower than last year's $11,581,000 budget.

The city still has some work to do to balance the 2011 budget. The preliminary budget will be set at $125,761,519, but adjustments to the tune of $1,359,134 have yet to be completed before the council approves the final budget in December.

The council will also set the date for its truth in taxation public hearing. The proposed date is Dec. 20.

Also at the meeting, members from MnDOT and the bridge's Visual Quality Team will present an update on the status on the Visual Quality Team meetings and discussions.

Stacy Huberty will address the council with a request to consider a synthetic drug ordinance in Hastings. Staff has recommended the issue be put before the public safety commission for discussion. If the council decides to pursue the matter, the commission would provide a recommendation for further action at a future meeting.

The city will hold a public hearing regarding on the revised Wellhead Protection Plan. The plan is mandated by the state, and identifies areas where spills on the ground could infiltrate the aquifer. The council will formally adopt the plan after a 60-day comment period and also after the Minnesota Department of Health approves it.

With $3 million bonded for street and utility projects in 2011, the city's engineering department is proposing to reconstruct a number of neighborhood streets. The largest section of road on the list is 14th Street between Pleasant Drive and Pine Street. Many adjacent streets are also included, along with selected streets in other neighborhoods. The city will conduct a feasibility study, which includes surveying the streets, preparing preliminary plans and cost estimates and hiring an appraiser to estimate increased property values along the streets.

Other items are also on the agenda. To see the full agenda, as well as details on each item, click here.

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Katrina Styx
Katrina Styx has been a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette since 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.
(651) 319-4501
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