In the next few years, the Hastings City Council has the opportunity to take care of public projects that might normally get overlooked in the shakeout of the city's annual budget: curb repairs, aesthetic improvements to neighborhoods, cleanup of old properties and other small but important needs.
After a lengthy discussion at its work session Tuesday, the council decided to focus grant funding toward sidewalk improvements, continuing the energy surrounding the city's Complete Streets policy.
"We have a chance to be leaders in our Complete Streets plan," said Councilwoman Kathy Peterson. "Sidewalks are a unique and different creature that can be huge for the safety of children and pedestrians. They are a mess now. We have the chance to refurbish or connect them. I think we should take that opportunity."
The city is in line for $900,000 in CDBG funding from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development under the category of Comprehensive Revitalization, which allows the city to fund improvements in areas of low to moderate income or specific need.