Over the past several months, I have had many Hastings Ward 1 residents contact me about three issues in southeastern Hastings: potential impacts of the Highway 316 road improvements; new ownership of the Three Rivers Mobile Home Park; and requests for a Glendale Heights’ neighborhood park. Here is a quick update.

Highway 316 final design open house

One more open house meeting is scheduled to share final design information for the Highway 316 Safety Improvements Project. The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Hastings’ staff will host a forum 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 at City Hall. A presentation will be provided at the beginning of the meeting which will be geared more specifically to the residents along the highway with properties that are being affected. It is hoped that MnDOT will have met with individual property owners who are directly impacted before this time. In addition, I have scheduled a listening session 11 a.m. to noon Sunday, Nov. 3 at the Country Inn’s events center for those who would like to discuss their concerns with me in advance of the open house.

Three Rivers Mobile Home Park

As issues have been arising with new ownership of the Three Rivers Park, I have shared them with city staff to understand the history of the neighborhood and answer questions. As the park site was approved in 2001 for a total of 355 lots, at this time the city is monitoring activity. In looking for renter resources, I found a nonprofit entity that is able to provide legal assistance to low-income residents who may have problems with their lease. Renters may contact Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services by calling 651-222-4731 or emailing attorney Lisa Hollingsworth, at lisa.hollingsworth@smrls.org. Otherwise known as SMRLS, they provide free, high-quality legal help in critical civil matters. They asked that I pass on their contact information.

Glendale Heights request for park

While visiting door-to-door in the Glendale Heights neighborhood, residents expressed concern about the lack of places for children to play. Although the Hastings’ Park and Recreation Commission did make a recommendation for a park along Spiral Boulevard in 2018, it was not brought forward to City Council. For the past year, I have been lobbying at each opportunity I could for this high-density neighborhood to receive at least a small park as an additional apartment complex is being completed. Unfortunately, the council voted down consideration of a park as staff recommended the playground at Veterans Park was within proximity guidelines.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me by text or call at 651-304-0652 or email at tfolch@hastingsmn.gov. It is my privilege to serve you.