The last regular meeting of 2017 for the Hastings City Council went into extra innings due to several items on the agenda and action requested on many of them. The final items addressed in the nearly 2 and 1/2 hour session dealt with the ongoing details concerning the transfer of the former Hudson Sprayer building to the owners of Confluence Development, represented on Monday evening by Pat Regan. Two items were discussed that addressed the building on the north side of 2nd Street and the former 1st national bank building across the street to the south. A presentation was given by community development director John Hinzman to bring the latest updates to the council who had received a thick packet of information just that afternoon. Resolutions were requested to authorize action on the Hudson building, and to authorize signature for the parking ramp use agreement, but the Mayor requested that both actions be tabled until the large volume of information could be properly processed by councilmembers.The Mayor then asked Regan to restate his company’s commitment to the project after language found in the information seemed to suggest that if deadlines were not met, the city might have the Hudson revert back to the city.
SHPO is the State Historic Preservation Office, on which much of the impass has been attributed due to specific criteria having to be met to ensure the restoration of the building does not distract from it’s historical significance. Preservation grants secured by the project have mandated practices constraining any changes in order to qualify for funding. Original materials that reflect authentic characteristics such as no insulation is just one requirement. It was not clear whether or not the project could relinquish those dollars and proceed on a different path at this late juncture.
Action was then continued until the January 2nd meeting. In upcoming newscasts we will examine the current status of the development, feature some of the questions put to the developer on continued committment to the project and reveal new target dates that may or may not be met.