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Hastings mayoral candidates discuss local issues
You might not know it, but current Mayor Vern Powers is vying for reelection. The man looking to replace Powers is Emilio Llanes.
News 5's Katie Gauthier sat down with the candidates to discuss the issues.
Mayor Vern Powers is vying for re-election for the city of Hastings.
"I'm very optimistic about what's going on in the town right now," said Powers.
His opponent, Emilio Llanes.
"I believe Hastings has a lot of potential," Llanes said.
Remember those 11 green circles painted across downtown Hastings? The Environmental Protection Agency wanted to drill holes to test the groundwater for contaminants, specifically dry cleaning residue.
"They've taken so much money out of our town and made us do so many things a lot of cities don't have to do. I think we have to keep working on that. It's a big drain in our tax on our budget," said Powers.
"EPA has been on our back and I think it's time to do something positive and be ahead of the EPA. I don't know, there are so many questions, which is why I do believe I need to have somebody specialize in that area," Llanes said.
What are some of the biggest issues facing the city of Hastings?
"Our education level in Hastings is not quite where it needs to be if we want to attract a higher level of business, better paying business. That's always going to be a struggle. The tax money, I'm always very sensitive to tax money," Powers said.
"We have to work in so many areas, infrastructure, roads, and the image downtown. Downtown definitely needs a new facelift," said Llanes.
After new restaurants opened in town and even a new Sporting Goods store that opened a few days ago, how do each of the candidates feel about bringing more new businesses to the city of Hastings?
"The Imperial Mall has been empty for so many years. Grand Island offers a lot more retail stores. It's more diverse and I think Hastings has the potential. We need to revive Hastings," Llanes said.
"We always work on more businesses. The economic development of Hastings has a lot of things cooking right now, but nobody's signing the paper. But we're optimistic every day," said Powers. "Get out and vote."
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