Mayor Stutte Addresses New Directed Health Measure; City Council Approves Second Opinion for 16th Street Viaduct

HASTINGS – Monday’s City Council Meeting began with Mayor Corey Stutte addressing the loosening of restrictions after Governor Pete Ricketts announced a revised Directed Health Measure for the South Heartland District Health Department’s counties on May 18. He talked about what the revised DHM means.

Restaurant dining rooms will be limited to fifty percent of maximum occupancy rating at a time. Beauty and nail salons, barbershops, massage therapy services, and tattoo studios will be open while maintaining the ten person rule with employees and customers wearing masks. Childcare facilities will be permitted to have up to 15 per room or space, which is an increase of five over the current requirements. But all other businesses will remain the same for now, at least through the 31st with our current Directed Health Measure.

Stutte also reminded people to still be careful and adhere to the guidelines that have been laid out. More information can be found at SouthHeartlandHealth.org.

The council approved Engineering Specialists, Inc. of Omaha to get a second opinion on what it would cost to repair the 16th Street Viaduct and how long the repairs would add to the lifespan of the viaduct. City Attorney Dave Ptak said it’s important to get a second look to make the ballot language more precise.

So far, all we’ve basically had is visual inspections of the viaduct. We need to find out, exactly, what it’s condition is so that we can accurately project what the cost will be, as far as the repair. I don’t want to have any ballot language that would be misleading or cause the public to think that it was going to cost more or less than it is what we have on the ballot. We need to know what it is going to cost. 

Ptak also mentioned that after speaking to some representatives from Union Pacific Railroad; they would only charge $50,000 a day as opposed to the earlier number of one million dollars. Councilman Chuck Rosenberg was the only one to vote against it citing the $95,000 it would cost to get the second look. After much discussion between the council members, the vote passed 7-1.

The council also approved funding for an engineering design of a new snow removal equipment building at the Hastings Airport.

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