Monday Hastings City Council meeting canceled

The Hastings city council meeting scheduled Monday night has been canceled.
The Hastings city council meeting scheduled Monday night has been canceled.(KSNB)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 3:19 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A special Hastings city council meeting at which a vote was scheduled on a $214,226,978.54 budget for the next fiscal year was canceled Monday afternoon about three hours before it was supposed to start.

A press release issued around 2:30 p.m. Monday indicated that the meeting was canceled “due to lack of quorum.” The council had been scheduled to vote on the city’s budget on second reading. The annual city budget requires three readings, which means the council has to vote on it three times. The budget passed on first reading at the council’s regular meeting Sept. 11.

The City’s budget must be submitted to the State of Nebraska by Sept. 30. There is one more regular City Council meeting, on Sept. 25, before that deadline.

City Clerk Kim Jacobitz is working with city council members to schedule another special meeting before the end of the month.

“Unfortunately we have people unable to attend tonight’s meeting and we want all eight members present to be able to vote on the budget,” Mayor Corey Stutte said.

Stutte told Local4 Monday afternoon that travel conflicts, illness and family matters prevented four members of the council from attending. He said city staff would be contacting council members to determine when another meeting could be held.

State law specifies that a quorum of a governing body consist of a majority of the elected members. In the case of the eight member Hastings city council, at least five members would need to be present for a quorum.

The council was also scheduled to take second reading votes on rates for water, electricity and natural gas for city customers. Those votes will have to be rescheduled as well.

The council typically meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Monday night’s special meeting was scheduled in order to get three votes in before the September 30 deadline for submitting the budget to the state.

The council had also scheduled a work session Monday night during which they were expected to discuss the remodeling of city hall. That work session was also canceled.

A special joint public hearing is scheduled Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Hastings High School auditorium. The City of Hastings, Hastings Public Schools and Silver Lake Public schools were required by state law to hold the hearing because their budgets included property tax requests that were above a certain amount.