Hastings City Building

The city of Hastings has agreed to purchase a 13,300-square-foot building from the Hastings Economic Development Corp. to provide more flexibility and service opportunities.

Members of the Hastings City Council voted 6-0-2 at their meeting Nov. 22 to approve a purchase agreement with HEDC to purchase the building located at 3505 Yost Ave. for $900,000.

Councilmen Shawn Hartmann and Matt Fong abstained.

Hartmann is the current president of the HEDC board of directors through his position as vice president of Hastings HVAC; Fong represents the council on HEDC’s board. Mayor Corey Stutte also serves on the HEDC board and abstained from discussion on the issue.

The property at 3505 Yost Ave., which was constructed in 2006, was formerly home to Corteva Agriscience. It includes 4,200 square feet of office space.

Members of the Hastings Utility Board recommended approval of the purchase at their Nov. 10 meeting.

“When this property became available, Dave (Ptak, city administrator) and I spoke pretty quick about it because Hastings Utilities has had a need for some time to expand our vehicle and equipment maintenance capability and footprint,” Utility Manager Kevin Johnson said. “We don’t have that ability at North Denver where we are right now. In addition, we also have a need in our warehouse and inventory management group to have more storage availability. This building provides an immediate opportunity for Hastings Utilities as well as the city.”

He said the building is a good value.

The utility department is in the process of constructing a substation garage adjacent to North Denver Station. The lowest, best bid for 6,000 square feet of construction was $800,000.

This is $900,000 for over 13,300 square feet.

Johnson said, pending decisions made around city hall, the building at 3505 Yost Ave. provides office relocation options for city hall staff. The utilities department isn’t currently planning to use the office space. The utility department is more interested in the nearly 10,000 square feet in the rear of the building.

“Those are immediate opportunities for us,” he said.

Future considerations include citywide fleet maintenance consolidation and citywide inventory management and consolidation.

Johnson said the building also provides the potential for fire response expansion into the north part of Hastings.

Money for the purchase will be taken out of available funds from the administrative budget, which is allocated to the rest of the utilities. The building will be used for fleet and equipment maintenance, servicing the utility department at large.

During the Nov. 10 Utility Board meeting, Johnson said planned improvements to the building including switching to LED lights, improving electrical service, adding a sprinkler system, adding heating to the rest of the warehouse area, adding security through the city’s information technology department, fencing, parking modifications and overhead doors in the back.

Many of those improvements would be done by utility staff.

In other business, the council:

  • Unanimously approved the contract between the city of Hastings and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development for a Community Development Block Grant.
  • Unanimously approved procurement procedures for CDBG programs.
  • Unanimously approved an agreement between the South Central Economic Development District and the city of Hastings for construction management services for the CDBG.
  • Unanimously approved moving City Council meetings and work sessions from the Hastings Public Library to the council chambers in the City Building, 220 N. Hastings Ave., beginning Jan. 10, 2022.
  • Unanimously approved a resolution to adopt the 2021 Little Blue Natural Resources District and Lower Big Blue Natural Resources District Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.
  • Unanimously approved Ordinance 4685 updating the list of emergency snow routes in the city code. Council members also unanimously suspended the requirement to vote on an ordinance three times to pass it.