HASTINGS – Now that the primary election is over, the November general election is up next and one big decision that will be on the ballot is what to do with the 16th Street Viaduct. The City of Hastings is currently getting a second opinion on what it would cost to get the viaduct fixed and how long the repairs would last.
The decision was first made by the City Council to demolish it but after a petition drive, the city decided to let the voters choose whether to fix or repair the bridge. Ballot language should be released once the city knows how much it will cost and how long the repairs will last.
Mayor Corey Stutte says he doesn’t want to see a tax increase.
I personally think that people are not going to want to raise taxes. I don’t think that we should raise taxes and I never have. Whether or not this coronavirus pandemic hit our community or not, I just don’t think that’s a great way to do business.That being said, I think people are going to be even more wary to do that moving forward. We want to be smart with our money here, I really don’t want to spend any more money than we need to on this structure. But we respect the petitioners for going out and collecting signatures to put it on the ballot, and we’ll just see how it turns out in November.
The second look will be a more of a structural look at the bridge. That will include checking the rebar and iron and doing more of a forensic analysis of the viaduct.
Stutte says that this will allow them to hone in on a more accurate assessment of the costs and how long the repairs will last, making it easier to make accurate ballot language for the general election.