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In the summer of 2018, the Public Works Department collected roughly 6,000 data points of the city’s sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, trails and parking lots, assessing their condition and compliance with the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The project will cost $4.7 million, and will take up to 30 years to complete.

Getting council adoption of the project was the last step to be completed before the ADA Transition Plan can be approved.

Interactive maps of the city and more information are available on at www.hastingsmn.gov/ADA.

Subdivision and ordinance variance

The Hastings City Council approved the creation of a minor subdivision and a variance in city code, that allowed roughly 13,000 square feet of a 2.5-acre lot to be split off for a new home.

City Code Chapter 155.5 states that the required minimum lot frontage width is 75 feet.

The proposed lot on the property would be 30 feet in width for the front 143 feet. Everything after that meets the minimum requirements.

Staff recommended that the ordinance variance be allowed due to the fact that the lot met the requirements past the first 143 feet.

Consent agenda process

City Council voted 5-2 to change language regarding the consent agenda process outlined in the Council Procedure Ordinance Section 31.03.

The ordinance originally stated that both council members and citizens could pull items from the agenda for discussion. City Attorney Dan Fluegel asked council members to consider changing the ordinance to not allow citizens to remove consent agenda items.

A motion was made by Councilmember Joe Balsanek to change the wording of the ordinance to not allow citizens to pull consent agenda items.

After more discussion, Councilmember Tina Folch proposed an amendment, stating that citizens should be invited to ask the council to pull items from the consent agenda during the “Comments from the Audience” portion of the meeting. The amendment was passed in a 5-2 vote.

Council members Balsanek and Mark Vaughan voted against the amendment and the final motion.

Solar subscription opportunities

The council voted to refer a review of solar subscription opportunities to the Utilities Committee so that a recommendation could be brought to the council.

The request, brought forward by Folch, originally requested that the opportunities be reviewed by the Planning Commission.

A solar subscription would have the city pay a fee to a solar garden. The developer of the solar garden would then give electricity to Xcel Energy, then Xcel Energy would give monthly bill credits to the city of Hastings. The solar subscription contract would last 25 years.

After discussion, an amendment was proposed by Councilmember Lisa Leifeld stating that it would be more appropriate for the Utilities Committee to review the opportunities and provide a recommendation.

Folch approached the council about the issue in 2017, but it was voted down after the Utilities Committee, along with the city’s financial planner, felt the venture was too risky.

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