HASTINGS, Fla. – Officials are considering dissolving the city government of Hastings and letting St. Johns County take over running the 108-year-old town, a move that could save money for the town's 600 residents.
According to St. Johns County, the monthly water bill for Hastings residents would decrease 56 percent from $63 to about $27.
Residents would also see a big reduction in their wastewater bills (from $63 to $36), and certain town taxes would vanish.
“I have my daughter, my husband and my family. Anything that would help us save money would be great,” Hastings resident Angela Lewis said.
Hastings was established in 1909 and had 604 residents in 2015.
The idea of dissolving the town's government is only in the beginning stages as officials learn what St. Johns County could do to improve the area and how the change could benefit residents.
The county said that if the town government is dissolved, the county would do everything it could to try to make sure those employed by the town remain employed.
Palatka resident Len Freeman said that should be a top priority.
“There are people who have worked here that have worked for the municipality for years, and so it would be great if they could find employment with the county,” Freeman said.
County officials said that if the town were dissolved, officials would work with residents and former officials for a smooth transition.
St. Johns County said it would also respect the town’s culture when considering modifications.