Utilities History

In 1886, the residents of Hastings voted to establish a municipally-owned water supply. Opponents noted that if the vote succeeded, sanitary sewer service was sure to follow (they were right). The site of the first municipal water well is still in use today. That site was chosen due to two factors. First, citizens wanted the noise and commotion of the water wagons a comfortable distance away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, where nearly everyone resided. Also, the site was the highest point in Hastings, which locals thought would make it easier to run the operation. The first deliveries of water were in barrels, until actual water transporting mains were put in at a later date. Some water mains still in use today in downtown Hastings are more than a century old.

The second service to be provided was sanitary sewer which began in 1890. Today, wastewater treatment is provided at the Pollution Control Center which began its operation in 1982.

Electricity, initially only for street lighting, was first provided in 1899. The first power plant was fueled by burning coal. Ironically, the main source of local power generation today, is the coal-fired Gerald T. Whelan Energy Center. The site of the first plant, the North Denver Station, is still used today. Several natural gas driven generators provide peaking and standby power. The first plant was placed on the same grounds as the municipal water works.

Through the years, until 1942, natural gas was distributed locally by privately held companies. In 1942, the local gas distribution network was purchased from a private company. In the 1950's, the natural gas department was brought under the auspices of the other three utility services and Hastings Utilities was formed.