The final budget for renovation of the historic Hastings City Hall dome and other city hall upgrades totals $3,396,842. Photo submitted
News
City passes final budget for City Hall dome restoration project

By John McLoone

The City of Hastings will contribute a total of $1,184,655 to the City Hall dome renovation project.

Some preliminary work on the project has been done by the city in preparation for dome roof replacement work to get underway this year.

Total project cost is $3,396,842. The bulk of the money from the project came from a $2 million contribution from the Minnesota Legislature, which included the project in its bonding bill in 2020. The historic City Hall was originally built from 18691871 as the Dakota County Courthouse. It was designed by A.M. Radcliff, one of Minnesota’s first architects. The building was one of the inspirations for design of the Minnesota State Capitol building.

The City Council on Monday night approved a resolution for the final budget for the project as part of its unanimous consent agenda.

The city also received a $212,187 Historical Society grant to pay for the project. To date, the city has spent $307,991 for masonry work and design of the project. The remaining city contribution $877,000 – will come from American Rescue Plan Act funds the city received. Total funding from ARPA to the city was expected to be $2.6 million from the coronavirus economic stimulus bill.

Repairs on the roof of the dome have a 100year lifespan, preserving the historic site for generations. Repairs are necessary because the

See CITY NEWS, Page 5 roof underlayment is original and in poor condition. Ornamental architecture details and painted galvanized metal of the dome are corroding.

Also included are HVAC improvements.

The project budget included in with the resolution lists revenue and expenses as follows: Funds: State bond funds $2 million Historical Society grant $212,187 City revenue spent in 201819 $282,555 City Revenues spent in 202021 $25,436 City contribution from ARPA funds $ 876,664.

Expenses: Masonry restoration $494,742 Predesign and design costs $103,100 Construction $2,799,000. Additional funding necessary to complete the project would come from the city general fund budget. The resolution states, “The City has the financial capability to provide any required funds necessary to fund any cash shortfalls in this project and that the source of City’s funds for this purpose shall be the City's general revenue funds.”

Among other items approved at the meeting: Fourth of July parade and fireworks – A Fourth of July Parade and fireworks were approved.

“The Hastings Golf Club is requesting to hold a Fourth of July Parade starting at 6:30 p.m. on 15th Street from west of General Sieben to Westview Drive and fireworks at 10 p.m. at Hastings Golf Club. This is a free event and open to the public. Hastings Golf Club expects 2,000 attendees for the event,” a memo from Paige Marschall Bigler, Recreation Program Specialist, to the council states.

As part of the plan, parade staging will take place at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 2035 15th St. W. to make sure the impact on General Sieben traffic is minimal.

The Hastings Golf Course has hosted fireworks annually, sponsored by Vermillion State Bank.

Event organizers need to provide a traffic control plan for the events and obtain necessary permits.

HEDRA appointment – The council approved the appointment of Ben Anderson to the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority. Anderson will service the remaining term of outgoing HEDRA Commissioner Martha Sullivan, which ends Dec. 31, 2023.

“Two candidates were interviewed by HEDRA Commissioners Bruce Goblirsch, Lori Braucks, Mark Vaughan, City Administrator Dan Wietecha and Community Development Director John Hinzman. Ben was the unanimous recommendation of the interview committee,” Hinzman told the council.

In his application to be considered for HEDRA membership, Anderson wrote, “I would like to join a city commission to help move this city forward and continue its longstanding tradition of history and progress.”

Anderson is employed as a financial analyst at Anderson Windows and Doors.

MN Green Corps Member – The city council approved a host site agreement with Ameri-Corps – MN GreenCorps.

The city’s Recreation Department’s application to host a Green Corps member for the 202223 program year to work on forestry activities was accepted. The GreenCorps member will start with the Parks and Recreation Department on Sept. 19. City Forester TJ Lucas told the council that work includes:

•Conduct tree inventory in parks and public lands, identifying, measuring, and assessing tree health. Using aerial photos, assess forest cover percentages and cover type.

•Learn about integrated pest management and assist the city forester in treating trees against Emerald Ash Borer.

•Improve public lands by working with a chainsaw and chemically treating invasive species including buckthorn, honeysuckle, and Amur Maple.

•Design and plan for gravel bed implementation.

He wrote, “As a host site, we will be providing a meaningful service experience and professional development opportunity to the MN GreenCorps Member, while improving the environment and strengthening our communities.”

Rivertown Days – A threeday liquor license was approved for the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce’s popular Rivertown Days event, which features entertainment, a carnival and community events and live music on stages throughout the downtown area. The event will be held July 1517.

“Rivertown Days has been a successful community event for over 40 years and the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau has made a request to have July 15 – 17 designated as a special event. The 2022 event layout is the same as 2021. Management Staff have been working with the Rivertown Days Committee and are supportive of the event,” said Marschall Bigler.

Overall attendance at the event is expected to be 9,000 throughout the festival.

Ebike rental business – Approval was given to Paul and Shanon Schmitz, 420 6th St. E for them to be able to run a business renting Ebikes from their home for five years.

“Last year the request was approved for the required oneyear probationary period. Initially staff received a comment from a neighbor regarding cars parking on the street for the business. Staff contacted the applicant who did not think any of his customers were parking on the street, but he was going to make certain that all patrons were directed to his ample offstreet parking. The proposal has been operating without issue or further comment for the past year. A full fiveyear license may still be revoked by hearing, if unresolved conflicts arise,” said City Planner Justin Fortney. “The applicant had intended to be located in their commercial location in The Confluence building by now, but that project is still in progress.”

The plan commission recommended approval of the business proposal at its May meeting.

June 8, 2022