Hastings City Council approves budget on third reading

The budget was approved from a 5 - 3 vote.
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 5:19 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The City of Hastings has approved the $214 million budget on the third and final reading of the city’s proposal.

The City of Hastings was three days away from their deadline on Sept. 30 with the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

In the last two sessions, the council voted in favor of the budget, 5-3. However, Wednesday night, they just needed a majority.

City Administrator Shawn Metcalf said one side didn’t want to see a rise in taxes, but it’s not all hinging on that.

”On the flip side there is certain things when you look at what residents are asking for,” Metcalf said. “For example is the maintenance division that I have talked to people about a lot because of our lack of maintenance. That to me was such a clear thing we need to do better, so if we are using money into it unfortunately it costs money.”

Steve Huntley as a college student did votes on the city budget back in the 90s. Now, years later he voted again. Huntley is one of the members voting against the budget for a variety of reasons.

”Isn’t it time for Hastings to cut their budget? Another reason I am not happy with the budget is, there is a lot of detail left out,” Huntley said. “There is just an amount in the budget, but we don’t know what we are buying out of that amount. That’s the concern.”

He would like to have each department re-evaluate their budget and see what they can cut.

On the flip side, Matt Fong voted for the budget and ensured the community that tax dollars will be used wisely.

“I do hope and to ensure that those dollars are used wisely on behalf of our citizens for today, but also for the betterment of the community in the future.” Fong said.

Metcalf informed Local4 about a few city projects that are funded for the next fiscal year. Which includes city hall renovations, quiet crossing project, updating the Kool-Aid exhibit inside the museum and other community plans.