1225 Progress Dr., Hastings, MN 55033 p:651-480-6185 f:651-437-5006
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Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQ's)

What should I do if my water meter is making noise?
I bought a new water softener, what information do I need to set it?
I need to perform digging in my yard, do I call the city?
Someone has come to my residence stating they are from the city and need to get in and look at my water meter, is this necessary?
I am moving and need to change my water/sewer billing account information, who do I contact?
Does the city chlorinate the city water?
How do I find out about contaminants in the water?
What should I do if I notice a street light is out or on all of the time?
How do I know when a snow emergency is in effect?
My car was towed during the last snow storm, who do I contact to get it back?
Why hasn’t a snow plow been by my street yet, I always seem like the last street to be plowed?
I noticed a sidewalk that is not being cleared of snow, will the city clear it?
I had a lot of branches fall into my yard during the last storm, does the city pick these up?
I have a tree in my yard and the branches are hanging over into the street, who takes care of that?
Where do I report potholes?
What do I do if I want to place a fence, sprinkler system, or plant shrubs, etc. in my yard adjacent to the street?
What can I do to get a traffic sign installed?

Can I get a "Children at Play" traffic sign on my street?

Why can't stop signs be placed on more residential streets to slow down speeding drivers?
What can be done to address excessive vehicle speeds in residential areas?
My property is adjacent to a storm water pond and I don’t like all the tall grass and wildflowers surrounding it. Can I mow it down and do my own landscaping?
Is it OK to dig in my yard to plant trees and shrubs?
I just moved into a newly-built home and there is standing water in my yard. Who is responsible for fixing it?
What is the City's policy on erosion control?
Part of my yard has been painted with different colors. What work is being done?
What is a drainage and utility easement?
Why is a street lower/higher than it was before construction began?

Utilities
What should I do if my water meter is making noise?
Contact Public Works at (651) 480-6185.  We will send someone out to repair or replace it at no charge to you.

I bought a new water softener, what information do I need to set it?
The water hardness in Hastings is 16 grains, and the iron is less than 3/10 of a part per million, so it does not factor in.

I need to perform digging in my yard, do I call the city?
You need utilities located before any excavation, contact Gopher State One Call at (651) 454-0002 at least two days in advance.  They will notify all utility companies to come out and locate lines at no charge to you.  This excludes any private lines which the homeowner is responsible for (i.e. sprinkler systems)

Someone has come to my residence stating they are from the city and need to get in and look at my water meter, is this necessary?
Yes, the Utility Dept. will occasionally leave cards on your door stating the need to get in to change a battery out of the electronic transmitter or check your water meter for any mal-functions.  They also leave cards if you have unusually high or low consumption quarters. 

I am moving and need to change my water/sewer billing account information, who do I contact?
Please call City Hall at (651) 480-2350, they will take down the information & make the necessary changes.  For any other billing questions call city hall and ask for utility billing.

Does the city chlorinate the city water?
No, currently there is no need to add chlorine because there is not a bacteria problem in Hastings, at present time we only add fluoride to the city’s water.

How do I find out about contaminants in the water?
The city does sampling and sends in various samples monthly to independent labs and the Minnesota Dept of Health.  We currently meet or exceed all of the sampling and testing requirements set forth by the MNDOH.  We annually send out a Consumer Confidence Report( located inside the City Newsletter) to all residents by July 1st each year.

Streets
What should I do if I notice a street light is out or on all of the time?
Contact the Public Works Dept. at (651) 480-6185 and we will call it in to either Dakota Electric or Xcel Energy depending on the location of the pole.

How do I know when a snow emergency is in effect?
A snow emergency automatically goes into effect when 2 or more inches of snow has fallen.  You can also check on KDWA 1460AM or on the homepage of the City’s website.

My car was towed during the last snow storm, who do I contact to get it back?
South East Towing does all of the city’s towing.  They are located in the Industrial Park, phone # (651) 437-2446.

Why hasn’t a snow plow been by my street yet, I always seem like the last street to be plowed?
City crew’s start plowing all emergency vehicle and higher volume routes as a first priority, local residential plowing and cul-de-sac clean up are then commenced and all operations are repeated as necessary.  It usually takes around 8-10 hours to clear the entire city streets.  The city strives to conduct operations consistently to increase efficiency.

I noticed a sidewalk that is not being cleared of snow, will the city clear it?
If it has been 48 hours or longer after a snow fall call Public Works (651) 480-6185 and report it. We will then send the homeowner a notice to perform the work or we will have to come out and charge them for the removal.

I had a lot of branches fall into my yard during the last storm, does the city pick these up?
No, unfortunately we do not pick up branches on private property or take any at our location.  You can contact Tennis Sanitationt, they have a drop off site in the Industrial Park and will take bundled branches, call for details - phone #(651) 459-1887.

I have a tree in my yard and the branches are hanging over into the street, who takes care of that?
We do tree trimming on any branches that overhang and interfere w/ our snow removal or street sweeping fleet.  Call (651) 480-6185 to report it.  For any other tree issues call the City Forester at the Parks Dept. (651) 480-6175

Where do I report potholes?
Residents are encouraged to text the location of a pot hole on Hastings streets or routes by using the City’s TIP411 account.  Simply text the keyword Hastings and the location of the pot hole to 847411 (TIP411).  Your pot hole location will be added to the crew assignments to be repaired as soon as possible.  Residents without text messaging capabilities may call Public Works at 651-480-6185 or send the information online at http://www.citizenobserver.com/cov6/app/webTipForm.html?id=6615   Each spring, Hastings Public Works crews repair hundreds of pot holes throughout the City’s many miles of public streets.  While the goal of Public Works staff is to locate and fix all pot holes as quickly as possible, your assistance in locating them invaluable!

Engineering
What do I do if I want to place a fence, sprinkler system, or plant shrubs, etc. in my yard adjacent to the street?
Most City residential streets include a minimum of 60' of public right of way. If your street is 32' wide, (City Standard) this means that approximately 12-13' behind the curb is designated City Right of Way. This area is intended for underground utility installations and winter snow storage and should be kept clear of any item that may be damaged.  The City is not responsible for damage to sprinkler systems or other items located in the Right of Way. Permits for the installation of both fences and sprinkler systems are also required to be obtained prior to their installation.  Please contact the Building Department at (651) 480-2340 for questions regarding sprinkler systems, and the Planning Department at (651) 480-2350 for questions regarding fence installation.  Before any digging, be sure to contact Gopher State One at 651-454-0002

What can I do to get a traffic sign installed?
To get a traffic sign installed, a specific engineering criteria evaluation must be performed. Traffic signs and pavement markings are very specifically detailed as to their installation and regulations as identified in the MUTCD Manual (Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices). Details such as the number of cars on the intersecting streets traveling through an intersection, pedestrian crossings, delays to all vehicles, and the history of accidents must all be considered. Once concerns are recognized, the traffic conditions are reviewed through an engineering analysis. If warrants are met, consideration is given to install a traffic sign. Residents are encouraged to submit requests for installation of traffic signs in the form of a petition detailing the proposal and indicating support of potentially affected adjacent residents.

Can I get a "Children at Play" traffic sign on my street?
The City of Hastings places significant importance on the use of all of the street signs within the city. The use of “Children at Play” signs has been limited to areas directly adjacent to schools, parks and playgrounds, where the number of children is typically greatest. It is important that drivers understand they are driving next to a “special” area with the likelihood of children being present. The use of these signs in other areas will lessen the significance of the signs and give a false sense of security to children and parents.

Why can't stop signs be placed on more residential streets to slow down speeding drivers?
Studies show that drivers can easily distinguish stop signs that are not necessary to provide traffic control at intersections. If a stop sign is placed as a speed control device, drivers tend to be less observant when approaching it and often reduce their speed, but don't stop. In these instances, stop signs may create more of a traffic hazard than they prevent, since pedestrians and other drivers expect all cars to stop. It has also been shown through studies that motorists tend to increase their speeds after stopping at a “speed control” stop sign to make up for lost time or will increase speeds through other less direct residential areas to avoid improper stop signs. Essentially, stop signs placed inappropriately can create more safety problems than they solve. Petitions are required for stop sign requests and all requested stop signs are considered only after a careful traffic engineering study.

What can be done to address excessive vehicle speeds in residential areas?
Residents are encouraged to contact the Hastings Police Department with concerns about excessive vehicle speeds on any City roadways. Sometimes other methods are used to control speeds including educational programs, pavement markings, and the City is currently exploring many “traffic calming” approaches under very specific conditions.

My property is adjacent to a storm water pond and I don’t like all the tall grass and wildflowers surrounding it. Can I mow it down and do my own landscaping?
The areas around storm water ponds are intended to have a natural landscape that serves several important purposes. This vegetation must remain in order for ponds to perform these functions.

  • The vegetation provides a layer of protection for the water, consuming harmful nutrients (such as fertilizer runoff) before they reach the water surface and contribute to algae formation.
  • The vegetation prevents erosion from compromising the slopes of the pond.
  • The vegetation creates a uniform landscape along the sides of the pond, providing an aesthetic amenity for the neighborhood.
  • The vegetation provides a natural habitat shelter for waterfowl.

The City also has a specific policy regarding the installation of landscaping features and fences in and near storm water ponds and easements.  Details can be found in the City’s Easement Fence and Landscaping Policy

Is it OK to dig in my yard to plant trees and shrubs?
Before you dig, call Gopher State One Call at 651-454-0002.  They will arrange for utility companies to mark the buried utility lines in your yard.  It’s a free call, and it could save your life.  Please call 48 hours in advance of digging.  Also, you should review your property survey to determine the location of easements on your property.  Depending on the type of easement, there may be restrictions on improvements that can be made in the easement.  Please see the City’s Easement Fence and Landscaping Policy for further information.

I just moved into a newly-built home and there is standing water in my yard. Who is responsible for fixing it?
Although a City representative performs a final grade inspection for each new home to ensure compliance with the approved grading plan for the development, the City is not responsible for landscaping or other changes made by the builder or homeowner after the inspection has been completed.  All grading issues should be directed to the home builder.

What is the City's policy on erosion control?
Each property owner in the City is responsible for making certain that soil is not washed from their property into the public street, drainage system, ponds or lakes. If the property has vegetation, erosion typically is not a problem. However, when sites are under construction, some erosion will occur.  The property owner is responsible for taking measures to contain sediment on their property. To report erosion control problems on private construction sites, call the Engineering Department at (651) 480-2334.

Part of my yard has been painted with different colors. What work is being done?
Utility companies have the right to work in the street right-of-way, and in the drainage and utility easement, to install or maintain their lines. Before work begins, the company calls Gopher State One Call who notifies other utilities of the work to be done.  Other utility owners then mark their existing lines in the area so that any digging is performed with enhanced awareness of what lies beneath the surface.  Gas lines are marked in yellow, telephone and cable TV in orange, electric in red, water in blue, and sewer in green. To find out what work is being done, please contact the private utility companies (Gas – CenterPoint Energy, Electrical – Xcel Energy or Dakota Electric, Telephone – Embarq (formerly Sprint), Cable TV – Comcast).

What is a drainage and utility easement?
A drainage and utility easement is a dedicated space within private property in which the City and the private utility companies have the legal right to install and maintain underground or aboveground utilities (water main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, telephone lines, gas lines, power lines, CATV lines) and overland drainage ways.  Easement widths are typically between five feet wide and can be more than 100 feet wide.  You can find the locations and dimensions of any existing easements on your property by referring to your property’s Certificate of Survey.

For information regarding the placement of landscaping, fences, and other structures, please see the City’s Easement Fence and Landscaping Policy.

Why is a street lower/higher than it was before construction began?
There are a number of factors that must be considered when determining the finished elevation of the new street surface.  The new street elevation needs to match the elevation of the existing cross streets. Also, the elevation of the street cannot be so high that it will allow drainage from the gutter to flow into driveways. Finally, all new streets must be built to allow water in the gutter to flow to low points where the water is collected in drainage structures.

In a perfect world, the design would include a high point located mid-block between cross streets with water flowing to the intersections.  However, the factors listed above do not, many times, allow for this scenario.  During design, all these factors are taken into account to determine the best possible scenario for the elevation of the new street.  In many cases, this means the street will be higher or lower than the old street was.

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Page Modified: March 14, 2014 12:27 PM

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