HASTINGS, Neb. – After around 45 minutes of back and forth discussion on Monday night, the Hastings City Council needed the Mayor's tie-breaking vote to decide whether or not to expand the City Sanitary Landfill.

Needing more landfill space in the near future, the Hastings City Council has approved a purchase of 127 acres of land to expand the landfill, at a cost of $1.45 million.

The landfill will play for 1/3 of the cost, while Hastings Utilities will pick up the other 2/3 of the $1.45 million purchase.

The land is directly to the north of the current landfill, which provides several benefits.

"One is the property is adjacent to the landfill. There is no need for new public access, we can just use the existing access we got," said Utilities Director of Environmental Marty Stange. "There's no change in the scale house or any of the support buildings. We can keep running them, that avoids significant capital improvements if we had to go someplace off site."

The proposition drew pushback from council members in Wards 1 and 2, which are geographically the closest to the landfill.

"I also have to look out for the citizens that live east of this, who are going to be living near an expanding landfill," said Ward 1 Councilwoman Jeniffer Beahm. "Once you add to it and have filled in this whole other area, you have gridded off a whole section of this area in Ward 1. I don't think I can support this at this time."

The final vote between the eight council members was deadlocked 4-4. Mayor Corey Stutte cast his tie-breaking vote in favor of expanding the landfill.

Jeniffer Beahm, Steve Hartley of Ward 1, Brad Consbruck of Ward 2, and Marc Rowan of Ward 3 voted 'No'.

Butch Eley of Ward 2, Joy Huffaker of Ward 3, Shawn Hartman and Matt Fong of Ward 4 voted 'Yes'.

The city can now finalize the sale of the land with the state, and begin construction and development afterward.

Stange says the new addition could be used in as soon as 2-3 years from now if plans progress smoothly.