Brickyard playground

This rendering provided by Outdoor Recreation Products shows the proposed equipment for a new play structure at Brickyard Park.

Brickyard Park is slated to get new playground equipment next year after members of the Hastings City Council approved a $179,744.80 bid during their regular meeting Monday.

The bid came from Outdoor Recreation Products of Omaha for nature-inspired climbers, decks, enclosures and slides that fit a similar footprint to the existing playground.

The Brickyard playground is the second one to be replaced as part of the half-cent sales tax approved by Hastings voters in September 2017. The Heartwell Park playground equipment was replaced in summer 2019.

The current Brickyard playground was installed in 1984.

Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Hassenstab said in his comments during Monday’s meeting the existing playground served a purpose for many years but needs to be replaced because it doesn’t meet today’s safety standards.

The proposed playground is designed for ages 2 to 12. A grant in the amount of $15,000 was received from the Little Blue Natural Resources District to be applied to the nature-designed playground.

Installation is set for spring 2020.

The city was looking for the best possible collection of equipment from bidders for $175,000.

Council members thanked Hassenstab and the Parks and Recreation staff for their work on the project.

“I know you guys are working really hard to update and replace these kinds of things,” Councilman Scott Snell said. “It’s much needed, I know.”

The current equipment is antiquated.

“So not only is it aesthetically pleasing but it’s also a safety issue,” Snell said of the replacement.

Councilwoman Ginny Skutnik, who represents Ward 1 and south Hastings, where Brickyard Park is located, thanked Hastings voters for renewing the city’s half-cent sales tax, which is paying for new playground equipment, among other amenities.

Councilwoman Jeniffer Beahm, who also represents Ward 1, said she is looking forward to all of the improvements happening at Brickyard Park.

“I was so excited when I saw this in the agenda for this week,” she said. “I love the design, and the nature theme really fits with the area.”

The Brickyard Park amphitheater also is being renovated.

“Come springtime, it’s just going to be a wonderful place for people in the community to hold events and maybe draw a little more attention,” Beahm said. “There’s a lot of development going on on the north part of our city, but on the south side of town we’re just so proud of Brickyard Park. I hope to see a lot more people out there taking advantage of this.”

Councilman Chuck Rosenberg said he frequents the playground with his grandchildren.

“This will be a great improvement out there,” he said.

Mayor Corey Stutte, who grew up in Hastings, said he played on the existing Brickyard playground as a child. He is looking forward to taking his 2-year-old daughter to the new equipment.

“I’m really excited to see this project happen, and it’s going to be a great addition to the First Ward down there,” he said.

In other business, the council:

Unanimously recommended approval of the Class D liquor license application of Casey’s General Store for the location at 406 S. Elm Ave.

Unanimously recommended approval of the manager application of Tina Stone in connection with the Class D liquor license application of Casey’s General Store for 406 S. Elm Ave.

Unanimously approved Ordinance No. 4607 to amend city code to provide for the assignment of a zoning district in the area within the city’s extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction. The code amendment states the updated extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction will not prohibit, prevent, or interfere with the conduct of existing farming, livestock operations, businesses, or industry. The council also unanimously approved suspending the requirement to read an ordinance three times to pass it, so the ordinance’s approval now is final.

Unanimously approved awarding a contract to Southwestern Sales of Rogers, Arkansas, which bid $43,244, for an alternate daily cover tarp machine for the solid waste landfill.

Voted 6-2 to approve awarding a contract to Morbark LLC of Winn, Michigan, which bid $812,415, for a heavy-duty industrial horizontal wood waste grinder for the landfill department. Councilmen Rosenberg and Butch Eley dissented because there was only one bid.

Voted 5-3 to approve awarding a contract to NMC Cat of Doniphan, which bid $352,050, for a 2020 model tracked waste handler dozer for the landfill department. Rosenberg, Eley and Snell dissented because there was only one bid.

Unanimously approved Ordinance No. 4617 to amend city code to provide for the reinstatement of a person to a Civil Service position under certain circumstances. Council members also voted 7-1 to suspend the rules for ordinances, so the ordinance’s now approval is final. Eley dissented on the motion to suspend the rules.

Unanimously approved a resolution providing for the finance director/city treasurer and accounting manager as signatories on all city bank and financial accounts.

Unanimously approved a resolution providing for the manager of utilities, finance director/city treasurer, director of operations and accounting manager as signatories on all Hastings Utilities’ bank and financial accounts.

Unanimously approved Ordinance No. 4602 modifying the city’s extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction and modifying the boundary of the city’s comprehensive land use plan. This was the third reading of Ordinance No. 4602.

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