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Editorial: Timing of midnight music deadline is poor

There appear to be good reasons for the city of Hastings to force local bars to stop their outdoor music at midnight during Rivertown Days.

Many local bars are in residential areas, and hearing a rock band play outside at 12:30 a.m. doesn't sit well with those neighbors.

But talk about bad timing.

In years past, bars were able to have bands play in tents until 1 a.m.

There was no indication this year would be any different.

So in June, owners from Dugarel's and Tubby's submitted their requests to have music and alcohol outside until 1 a.m. and 1:40 a.m., respectively.

They were surprised to learn their requests would not be granted. Rather, they would be required to stop their music at midnight.

Again, we'll listen to the argument that midnight is plenty late. But if 1 a.m. was the standard in years past, June is too late to tell businesses that this year is going to be different.

Sure, the businesses could have applied for their permits earlier. But they had no idea this year would be any different than previous years.

If the city aims to set a midnight deadline for future years, they should come out and say it now so the businesses can plan ahead.

And we hope that next time around, the businesses approach the city earlier.