Hastings city council approves budget, new city administrator

Local4 News at 5
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:36 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - It’s been well-reported by now that Adams County residents are seeing their property taxes go up 25% after the county board voted to approve the hike on Monday. Now, the city of Hastings is trying to help its residents.

The city council approved its new budget Tuesday, which included a cut to the tax levy to help counter-balance the rise in property taxes from the county.

“This is the first time that we’re cutting our levy since 2016, so we’re excited to be able to do that, and we’re excited to cut the taxes of our citizens,” said Hastings mayor Corey Stutte. “Obviously, the valuations continue to go up, and that’s something we can’t control, but we did cut our levy, so we’re still going to be able to operate. We’re doing the best that we can.”

As for how the spending will look, Stutte says to expect about what you saw over the past year.

“We are continuing to basically hold steady,” he said. “There are some minor increases in costs and things like that, but it’s mostly due to inflation and staffing level, so we’ve got a lot of positive things going on here at the city, and we’ve got a lot of great projects going on, so we’re excited to see those projects move forward.”

The city council also voted unanimously (8-0) to go forward with the hiring of Shawn Metcalf as the next Hastings city administrator. The city is now in the process of finalizing his contract, and when that’s done they’ll announce his official start date with the city.

“He’s got his Masters in public administration,” Stutte said. “He also has a good background in finance and HR. Having those backgrounds is going to make him very successful in this, and he’s got a very good communication style, so we’re really excited to bring him on board.”

Not only does his background meet expectations for the city, but Stutte said Metcalf checked a lot of other boxes during the recruiting process.

“We were looking for some very specific things when it came to our new city administrator,” Stutte said. “We wanted a good communicator, somebody who can build trust not only with the staff, but with the community and someone that was going to bring transparency to the position.”