Public input encouraged to address Hastings City Hall problems

With City Hall in desperate need of repairs, the City of Hastings is holding town halls and tours to discuss what should be the next steps.
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 6:44 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - With City Hall in desperate need of repairs, the City of Hastings is holding town halls and tours to discuss what should be the next steps.

Hastings Utilities Environmental Supervisor Marty Stange took Local4 on a tour of the facility this week, where he described some of the issues they face as the building continues to age and more problems arise.

Floors and walls are beginning to shift along with cracks forming along the walls. Ceilings are falling apart or being taken down because of large amounts of mold and asbestos. Floors are beginning to cave in due to the amount of weight it can’t hold anymore.

City Administrator Shawn Metcalf is driving the efforts to look at the future of Hastings City Hall.

”I think the only way to truly get to where we need to be, we have to have input from our residents,” he said. “Before anything else is done, we need to know what residents want because this is there city hall you know we need to know what they want.”

Metcalf, along with a committee, wants to hear from the community about what they care about when it comes to their city hall building.

Committee members include:

  • Trent Kelly, Director of Technology and Operations, Hastings Public Schools
  • Chris Wissing, Vice President of Johnson Imperial Homes
  • Dave Rippe, CEO of Queen City Development
  • Lee Vrooman, City Director of Engineering
  • Marty Stange, City Environmental Director
  • Kim Jacobitz, City Clerk

Meetings will be held Saturday, March 4 at 9 a.m. and Monday, March 6 at 6 p.m. Each event will begin with a city staff-guided tour of City Hall followed by the townhall discussion inside council chambers. The events are each scheduled to last 90 minutes.

“These meetings are for them and for them to communicate what they really think and want out of a city hall,” Metcalf said. “And then we can well take that information and communicate it with the city council members who will ultimately be decision makers.”

Beginning March 7, the city will open a survey asking members of the public what they value most about city hall and what they would most like to see in a new or renovated city hall. The survey will be open two weeks.

Committee members are looking at the current city building as well as other potential locations.

Metcalf added that the committee is split on what they think should be done with city hall. They will hear from the community and establish a list of pros and cons for different locations and eventually present options to the Hastings City Council.