HASTINGS – At Monday’s worksession, the Hastings City Council discussed the city budget and the overall budget wasn’t as negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic as originally predicted. Mayor Corey Stutte said that the City of Hastings was fortunate with sales tax collections.
When the pandemic hit back in 2020, we were anticipating a possible twenty percent downturn in retail sales. Luckily, that never came to fruition. So we’ve been pretty lucky here when it comes to that. And moving forward, I think the bottom line is we are not increasing our levy. And when it comes to utility rates, electric rate is going up one percent, gas three percent, and water and sewer are staying the same. So not any major increases there either. Those have been slated the last couple years based on a cost of service study.
The American Rescue Plan will be giving the city four million dollars over the next couple of years. Stutte said this is the first time the Federal Government has given money directly to municipalities and local governments. They are awaiting the formative treasury to write the rules on that but Stutte said that, broadly speaking, they will be focusing on using that money for water, wastewater infrastructure, and public health issues.