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City Council: Water, park improvements and the preliminary levy

The Hastings City Council will hold its first meeting of September at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at City Hall. City offices are closed Monday for Labor Day.

On the agenda is a public hearing regarding a change to the city's storm water management. The proposed change bans the discharge of any pollutants or water containing pollutants other than storm water into the sewer system or surface water system. There are exceptions, including runoff from residential car washes, some swimming pool discharges, irrigation water, foundation drains, water from crawl space pumps, water line flushing, fire fighting activities, and others. The change is part of a storm water pollution prevention plan the city is required to administer as part of its permit to discharge storm water into receiving water bodies.

The council will also consider drilling a monitoring well at Wallin Park. The city's water supply comprehensive plan has identified a need for two new wells by 2023 and recommended identifying to future well locations by 2011. The DNR requires the city to install two monitoring wells before it will grant approval for construction of a permanent well. The proposed boring would be located in the east end of the park. The cost is estimated at $40,000 for the boring and water testing.

More improvements will be discussed for Cari and Westwood parks. Since the cost of new play structures in both parks came in under budget, thanks to volunteer installation, there is still money available for improvements. Some improvements being considered for Cari park are repairing trail segments, re-grading the center of the park and installing a border around the play equipment. At Westwood park, additional improvements could include repairs to the basketball court, a new access trail from 19th and Maple streets, and a border around the play equipment. Costs for these projects would not exceed $8,000 for Cari Park and $9,000 for Westwood Park.

The council will be presented with the proposed 2012 preliminary budget and tax levy Tuesday. If approved, this will be the maximum budget and levy the city can approve at final adoption Dec. 19. The proposed budget is about $387,000 greater than the 2011 budget, with a $557,000 increase in the tax levy. Factors in the proposed budget include vehicle and equipment acquisition; new programs, expenses and projects; reductions and changes from 2011; and revenue sources.

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