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City approves 2017 street project

This map shows the streets and alleys affected by this year's road construction project. (Image courtesy of the City of Hastings.)

Hastings road construction plans for 2017 are underway. On Monday, the Hastings City Council heard comments from residents regarding the work the city plans to do this summer.

The project that needs to be done, however, is too big for just one year.

"Our failing street section (in this neighborhood) is such a large area that we had a need to split this project into two years," said City Engineer Ryan Stempski at the council meeting.

This year's street project will completely reconstruct streets in the area roughly bounded by Sixth Street on the north side, Spring Street on the east, Highway 55 on the south and Pine Street on the west. Affected property owners have been contacted by the city, and an open house was held in February.

Construction would reconstruct the base material and pavement for affected streets and alleys, install and replace concrete curbs and gutters, replace sidewalks where they already exist and extend the sidewalk on the west side of Ashland Street between Eighth and Sixth streets and between Ninth Street and Highway 55. The project also includes storm sewer extensions, repairs and replacements.

Current conditions have been cause for concern for residents in the area, according to Ward 2 Councilmember Joe Balsanek.

"I have had residents literally pleading with me," he said. "... I am very pleased to see that we are moving forward on this."

Stempski highlighted some of the problems with the roads in the project area, including severe cracking, potholes and poor water drainage.

"They are beyond their useful life," he said.

The council approved the project plans unanimously after making brief inquiries about snowplowing in alleys, lighting the sidewalks near the Roadside Park tennis courts, replacement of fire hydrants and health of ash trees.

On Monday, April 3, the Hastings City Council will hear public comments regarding assessments.

This year's project, as planned, is estimated to cost a total of just over $2.1 million.

A little more than $314,000 is expected to come from property assessments. The rest of the funding would come from bonded debt and contributions from city water and sewer funds.

Those who wish to speak to the City Council specifically about assessments for this project will be given a chance to do so at the April 3 council meeting. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

The council may make a final vote to approve assessment rates April 3 after hearing any public comment.

Stempski told the council that he expects construction to begin in early- to mid-June and wrap up around late September.

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