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City Council: Electrical inspections, rain gardens and facility ads

The next Hastings City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, at City Hall. Here's a look at some of what's on the agenda.

The public will be invited to comment on a potential change to city code that would allow the city to contract its electrical inspections and permitting rather than sending all such processes through the state. Currently, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is the electrical inspection and permitting authority, and all field inspection work is performed by a licensed electrical inspector assigned to Hastings. Changes at the state level have led to concerns with customer service and inspection coordination, and the recent state shutdown delayed building projects. State law does allow cities to create their own electrical inspection program. The fee would be the same as the State Board of Electricity Free Schedule, with an additional $10 administrative fee that would go to the city.

The council will also consider a recommendation made by the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority to re-establish rain gardens in front of five Industrial Park businesses that mowed the gardens to the same height as their lawns despite receiving letters from the city explaining why the areas needed to be left alone. On July 14, HEDRA recommended that the damaged areas be re-established, at the cost of the property owners who continued to mow. The total project cost, including all materials and labor, is about $14,000. The cost per property varies depending on the size of the rain garden affected on their properties.

The Parks and Recreation Department is asking the council to review and approve a concept program for increased advertising in city recreational facilities. Firm prices for various advertising options have not been set yet; staff is requesting the concept be approved before finalizing fees.

To see the complete agenda, including more information on each item, click here.