Weather Forecast Office, Hastings, Nebraska

 

OFFICE DESCRIPTION: The office facility was constructed in 1989 and is approximately 4,000 square feet including an addition completed in 1999.

 

OFFICE ACTIVITIES: The office is a fully staffed WFO. NOAA Weather Radio service is provided through seven transmitters located near Giltner, Atlanta, Cambridge, Ord, Lexington, and Superior, Nebraska, and Kirwin, Kansas. Media service includes 36 radio stations, 4 television stations and 6 daily newspapers. The three larger cities served are Grand Island, Kearney and Hastings (often referred to as the Tri-Cities of South Central Nebraska). The WSR-88D radar tower is located 20 miles south of the office, just south of Blue Hill, Nebraska. The office includes a kitchen with refrigerator and microwave oven. There is a good selection of fast food and conventional restaurants in Hastings.

COMMUNITY DESCRIPTION:  The population of Hastings is 24,064 and the population of Adams County is 31,151.  Here are some statistics from the 2000 Census.

 

Housing Units

13,014

Homeownership Rate

66.8%

Households

12,141

Persons per Household

2.43

Median household money income

$35,771

 

Adequate shopping is available downtown, at Imperial Mall on the west side, and at a discount department store on the north edge of town. Small industry is the primary employer, with Armour Food Company, Thermo King Corp., Dutton-Lainson and Ingersoll-Rand Corp. among the larger ones.  Mary Lanning Hospital provides a full complement of health care with 195 beds and more than 200 nurses. Good Samaritan Village, a large retirement community with more than 1,000 residents, offers a comprehensive care setting for seniors of all abilities and health. The city is home to more than 50 medical doctors in nearly all specialties. There are 36 churches of most denominations within the city limits.

 

Hastings is a lively and progressive city located in the agricultural heartland of south-central Nebraska. Here you will find a wide variety of reasons to visit: Hastings College, one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the nation; the Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History (including a planetarium) and the Lied Giant Screen Theatre, showing films daily on a screen five stories tall and 70 feet wide.

 

CLIMATE: The climate is truly four seasonal. Summers are usually warm and fairly dry with occasional thunderstorms, and winters are cold with a few snowstorms and an infrequent blizzard. The majority of the rain falls in the spring, and tornadoes are an occasional threat. Annual average temperature is 49.8 degrees. July is the warmest month with daytime highs averaging 89 degrees and occasionally topping 100. January is coolest with highs averaging 34 and lows 12 degrees. The area averages 30 inches of snow annually and 27.80 inches of precipitation. Average length of the growing season is 163 days.

 

 


RECREATION:  Recreational facilities of most types are available. There are eighteen public parks including Lake Hastings on the city's north edge, a well-equipped YMCA with an indoor pool, and Champions, a fitness facility with indoor water slides.  The city has two movie theaters, a Symphony Orchestra, and many cultural, music, and art activities sponsored by Hastings College. Hastings is home to a $6 million dollar softball complex that hosts local leagues as well as regional, state and even national tournaments.  The Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame is co-located with the Smith Softball Complex.  A thoroughbred racing facility located at Fonner Park in Grand Island has live horse racing from February to May.  South Central Nebraska boasts some of the best waterfowl, gamebird and deer hunting in the nation. The Platte River around Grand Island is considered by the Audobon Society one of the prime birdwatching locations in the nation. It is located on the main flyway of many migrating birds. Thousands of Sandhill Cranes and even a few Whooping Cranes congregate on the Platte every March.  Harlan County Lake, 80 miles southwest of Hastings, offers opportunity for all types of water sports. 


Hastings abounds in recreational opportunities, from three golf courses (including a PGA certified course), 10 tennis courts, a miniature golf course, public go-kart track, midget car race track, and many other fine places to play.  A new multi-million dollar water park is currently being built and is scheduled to open in May 2004.

EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES: The community has a public school system composed of six elementary, two middle and two senior high schools. Church sponsored private schools include two elementary, a middle and a senior high school. Hastings College is a four-year private school (enrollment 1,100+), and Central Community College, a two-year facility, offers college preparatory, trade and technical curricula.

 

HOUSING: Housing in all price ranges is readily available in both Hastings and Grand Island. Prices are near or slightly higher than the average for homes in the plains states. The average price of homes is around $100,000. The price for a new home with 1500 square feet is approximately $150,000. Prices for a nice two-bedroom apartment average $500-$700 per month.

 

TRANSPORTATION: The rural office location requires employees to drive to work. There is no city bus service. There is no school bus service in the city, and none in some adjacent rural areas. Grand Island Regional Airport has three scheduled commuter airline flights per day with connections through Denver. Amtrak service is available at Hastings twice a day (one west and one east).

 

TAXES: A state and local state sales tax of 7.5 percent is charged on retail purchases except for food which is not taxed. State income tax rates range from 2.51 to 6.68 percent of the federal adjusted gross income minus deductions. Personal property and Real Estate Taxes for 2003 were $2.4074 per $100 of actual valuation. There is no city income tax.

 


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