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City Council: 18th Street project, union contracts and a Parks and Rec job description

The Hastings City Council will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. City offices are closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here's a quick look at what's on the agenda.

The public will be invited to speak about a proposed street project. The proposal would reconstruct about 1.2 miles of East 18th Street/Trunk Highway 291 from Vermillion Street to Ravenna Trail. The road is currently a Minnesota highway, but became a candidate for MnDOT's Municipal Turnback program. The city will assume ownership of the road, reconstruct it and maintain it into the future. MnDOT has set aside funding for the reconstruction. The work would include complete pavement replacement, curb and gutter work, changes to the width in various areas, replacement of the water main and residential water and sewer service replacement for those services in the right-of-way and drainage handling modifications. Construction is expected to begin as early as weather allows this spring and would finish in early fall. After the public hearing, the council will vote on ordering the project, approving project plans and authorizing staff to advertise for bids.

Bids for city bonds were held Tuesday morning, and the council will be asked to accept the winning bid. Bids were taken for the refinancing of three bonds: 2004B General Obligation Improvement, 2005A GO Improvement Bonds and 2006B Water Utility Bond. Refinancing is expected to save about $295,000 over the remaining life of the bonds.

The council will address filling a vacant administrative position. The Parks and Recreation Department has been without a director since Barry Bernstein resigned Dec. 14. The new job description has only minor changes. Staff is proposing opening recruitment Jan. 23, conducting interviews between Feb. 22 and March 4 and appointing a new director March 18.

Two labor union contracts are up for approval. Changes to the Teamsters Local #320 (Police Lieutenants) include a 2 percent wage adjustment, a change in the method in which police lieutenants are provided a uniform allowance, an agreement between the city and union to discuss alternative health insurance options and a provision identifying the expectation police lieutenants will be available by phone at all times, and a corresponding specialty pay of $150 per month. Changes to the Firefighters Labor Union Contract include a 2 percent wage adjustment, change in the timing for when firefighters receive their holiday paycheck, continuation of the MOU relating to overtime compensation and the Fair Labor Standards Act and an agreement between the city and union to discuss alternative health insurance options.

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