Hastings City Council approves contract for police, fire union

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - After months of negotiations, the Hastings City Council voted to approve contracts for the city's fire and police departments.

City leaders said the biggest change is adding Grand Island in the array for both the police and fire departments.

Officials from each group are happy the contracts were approved.

According to officials, the police union contract will run through 2020 and the 2017-18 wage for a police officer is $20.25 per hour for one year.

For firefighters, it's $13.94 per hour for six months and the fire union contract will run through 2021.

The police union president said having the contract approved, makes things easier.

"It helps us," Kyle Williamson, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9, said. "It bolsters our pay a little bit to help with recruiting." "Some people may choose Grand Island over Hastings just based on pay, so it helps us out some and recruiting it will definitely help out with," he adds.

The mayor said he thanks both the fire and police departments, for all of the work they are doing for the community.

Another item approved by the council is the CRA plan modification for the Block 27 Lofts project.

City leaders said the developers are looking to put $900,000 into the building and the plan modification will make it possible for CRA to contribute up to $80,000 for a number of things, including parking improvements.

The mayor said he is excited about moving forward and thinks all of the items approved will be great for the city.