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Home Care In Hastings, MN

Home Care Hastings, MN

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Finch Building gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Hastings, MN is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Hastings, MN

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I am a current client of this provider Always Best Care comes in to help my dad a shower at night. When the guy came out to interview, he was really good and helpful, but it was just hard to find someone to help with dad been a little bit bigger and heavier. They like the person that they had come out a couple of times. The caregiver is good.”


What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Hastings, MN?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Hastings, MN

Types of Elderly Care in Hastings, MN

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Hastings, MN
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Hastings, MN
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Old Mill Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Hastings, MN
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Lock & Dam Eatery or visit Old Mill Ruins, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Hastings, MN

Benefits of Home Care in Hastings, MN

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Hastings, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Hastings, MN

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MN's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Hastings, MN

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Hastings, MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Hastings, MN

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Hastings, MN

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Hastings Senior Health & Living-Apartments
  • Oak Ridge Assisted Living
  • Stepping Out Inc
  • Benedictine Living Community-Regina
  • Hastings Senior Health & Living Health Care Center
  • Henry Hagen Residence
Home Care Hastings, MN

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Hastings, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Hastings, MN 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Hastings, MN

Latest News in Hastings, MN

State fire marshal investigating massive blaze at Hastings Creamery

The state fire marshal is investigating what sparked a massive fire at the Hastings Creamery overnight.The century-old dairy processing plant closed just last month following repeated wastewater violations.According to the Hastings Fire Department, the fire started around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, with ammonia leaking from a vessel on the side of the building prompting shelter-in-p...

The state fire marshal is investigating what sparked a massive fire at the Hastings Creamery overnight.

The century-old dairy processing plant closed just last month following repeated wastewater violations.

According to the Hastings Fire Department, the fire started around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, with ammonia leaking from a vessel on the side of the building prompting shelter-in-place orders for neighbors.

“It seems kind of hard to understand why a fire would start when it’s not operating,” said Theresa Kusske, who lives nearby.

Sources confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives joined the investigation into the fire Thursday due to the size and scope of the scene.

“Mixed feelings there. I mean, you lose an iconic business, you lose a dairy processor, so it has all these ripple effects in the local economy, said Matt Lowe, who lives one block away from the creamery. “But also, from what I know, they haven’t exactly been the best neighbor.”

The Metropolitan Council shared photos with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS detailing seven violations at the business dating back to December, including a discharge of 10,000 gallons of whole milk and 5,000 gallons of cream into the sewer system this spring.

“As a result, effective June 4, 2023, we suspended the Creamery’s ability to discharge industrial waste for treatment at the Hastings Wastewater Treatment Plant for a minimum of 30 days,” the Met Council said in a statement. “The suspension order was issued because the creamery discharged a slug of concentrated product that caused interference and operational problems at Hastings Wastewater Treatment Plant in mid-May and other times before that… The release of prohibited materials put the wastewater treatment plant in imminent danger and could compromise the health and safety of the Hastings community.”

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked if Hastings Creamery ever had its permit reinstated, to which the Met Council replied:

“The Met Council spent several months partnering with the Creamery, the City of Hastings, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to find a solution that supports local milk producers while protecting community water supply. Unfortunately, those efforts ended when the company ceased operations several weeks ago.”

Former creamery employees tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they are puzzled by the turn of events.

“Now this? This just seems really kind of weird,” said Bruce Perry. “I worked there 28 years, and I retired just last year. It’s terrible and sad. A lot of people in this town are very sad.”

Hastings Fire Chief John Townsend told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they are still investigating what caused the fire and if it may be suspicious.

He noted the roof collapsed as a result of the fire, causing “significant” damage and leading to challenges in fighting the fire.

“It’s a larger commercial building, which makes it a little more complex,” Townsend said. “Just the building construction and number of additions make confined spaces difficult to access and even more difficult to access when we have unsafe conditions, with the building collapsing in the middle.”

He said crews had to tear down parts of the building Thursday afternoon in order to access hotspots and make sure they were put out.

The state fire marshal’s office told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it provided resources and guidance to the fire department about the demolition so that the integrity of their investigation would not be breached.

A spokesperson also said there is no specific timeframe on when the investigation will be complete or when an update will be available.

State says children and certain women shouldn’t eat fish from Mississippi near Hastings

State health officials announced on Monday that some people should avoid eating fish caught in the Mississippi River from St. Paul to Hastings and from Lake Rebecca — a popular shore fishing lake near Hastings — after 16 types of toxic man made chemicals were found in fish populations.But environmental scientists question whether health officials went far enough with their advisory in light of studies showing that even infrequent consumption can increase levels of the chemicals in human blood.The chemicals, whose st...

State health officials announced on Monday that some people should avoid eating fish caught in the Mississippi River from St. Paul to Hastings and from Lake Rebecca — a popular shore fishing lake near Hastings — after 16 types of toxic man made chemicals were found in fish populations.

But environmental scientists question whether health officials went far enough with their advisory in light of studies showing that even infrequent consumption can increase levels of the chemicals in human blood.

The chemicals, whose staying power in humans and the environment has earned them the nickname “forever chemicals,” are linked to a range of human health problems and were made by corporate giant 3M.

The Minnesota Department of Health said that children under 15; people who are or could become pregnant and people who are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed should avoid eating fish from Lake Rebecca and that stretch of the river.

Dana Vanderbosch, assistant commissioner for water policy and agriculture for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said the new guidance was prompted by a late June report by 3M that the department is still evaluating as part of a broader investigation.

The report found the fish had 16 types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a family of chemicals that repel water and oil and remain stable under nearly all conditions.

Maplewood-based 3M has made the chemicals in Minnesota since the 1950s, and they’ve since become ubiquitous, used in a broad array of retail, industrial and technology products from microprocessors to non-stick pans. They’ve spread all over the planet, can be found in the blood of nearly all people and have been linked to low fertility, birth defects, suppression of the immune system, thyroid disease and various cancers. 3M has said it will stop making the chemicals and using them in products by the end of 2025.

Among the chemicals found in fish in the Mississippi River and Lake Rebecca was HQ115, a battery electrolyte that 3M produces and says is widely used as an additive to enhance battery performance. It has been detected in surface and waste waters in and around manufacturing facilities. The EPA recently published a toxicity assessment of the chemical, whose carcinogenicity has not been studied.

A standard doesn’t yet exist for most PFAS found in water and fish, but the number and level of chemicals found in Minnesota prompted the state to update its consumption guidance.

Sarah Fossen Johnson, a manager for the health department’s environmental surveillance and assessment section, said the “sheer number” of chemicals — some of which the department has little to no toxicological data on — is concerning.

“We were quite surprised by what we saw in the data so we felt it was more important to help people reduce their exposures now, while we continue to examine the data that we do have,” she said.

Asked why the state waited until now to alert the public if officials have known since June, Fossen Johnson said officials needed time to review the data and consider a variety of factors, including the health benefits of eating fish. She said the type of PFAS seen in fish generally don’t present immediate health threats, so people won’t get sick from eating a few fish over time. But health officials thought it was important to alert people in “sensitive life stages” so they could begin reducing their exposure.

MDH Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff said the advisory only applies to higher-risk people and is based on long-term exposure, “not the kind of short-term exposure you might have from a few meals.”

Huff said fish are a source of low-fat protein, and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may promote heart and overall health, but there can be risks associated with eating certain amounts of fish from some lakes and waterways.

A study by the Environmental Working Group found consuming just a single serving of freshwater fish per year could be equal to a month of drinking water laced with a forever chemical called PFOS at high levels that may be harmful.

3M recently negotiated a $10.3 billion settlement over contaminated U.S. drinking water systems with chemicals it made.

A scientist with the Green Science Policy Institute, Ariana Spentzos, is not part of any of the high-risk groups, but said, “Personally, I wouldn’t eat those fish.”

“That would definitely give me pause,” she said.

She’s also surprised it took the department so long to warn the public.

“One would hope that it would certainly be a lot faster than that,” Spentzos said.

Tasha Stoiber, senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, said the level of PFAS in fish are “quite high” in that area of the Mississippi River, according to its map of water pollution in streams and rivers nationwide.

Anyone that consumes freshwater fish — especially those with higher levels of PFAS — can be impacted by just one or two meals, Stoiber said.

“This is quite a concern for everyone,” she said. State health officials previously recommended not eating certain types of fish in the lake and river due to PCBs and mercury, which have been detected in fish in Minnesota for decades.

DNR Regional Fisheries Manager Brian Nerbonne said people can still fish at Lake Rebecca and the river if they catch and release the fish.

This year, the Legislature passed what some have called the nation’s broadest limits on the chemicals, banning them from 13 products beginning in 2025, and all products in 2032. The new law requires manufacturers to disclose if the chemicals are in their products beginning in 2026. The Legislature also approved funding for more toxicologists and monitoring and research of the chemicals.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. AP and Getty images may not be republished. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of any other photos and graphics.

Hastings Creamery closes, leaving an uncertain future for employees and farmers

In June, The Metropolitan Council temporarily cut the creamery off from the sewer after it said it leaked thousands of gallons of milk and cream into the system.More VideosHASTINGS, Minn — On a hot day like this, Hastings Dairy Store is busy serving up ice cream and shakes.But manager Jamie Broskoff says it's more than heat bringing people in -- the 110-year-old Hastings Creamery shut down last week."They came to work last week, and were told, 'We're closing tomorrow,'" she said.In June, T...

In June, The Metropolitan Council temporarily cut the creamery off from the sewer after it said it leaked thousands of gallons of milk and cream into the system.

More Videos

HASTINGS, Minn — On a hot day like this, Hastings Dairy Store is busy serving up ice cream and shakes.

But manager Jamie Broskoff says it's more than heat bringing people in -- the 110-year-old Hastings Creamery shut down last week.

"They came to work last week, and were told, 'We're closing tomorrow,'" she said.

In June, The Metropolitan Council temporarily cut the creamery off from the sewer after it said it leaked thousands of gallons of milk and cream into the system.

"We were kind of been working with them for several months to try to find options to keep them going," said Thom Petersen, the commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Petersen thought the creamery was heading in the right direction after passing several inspections.

"The challenges just added up to too much," he said.

Petersen said he is hopeful a buyer would be interested in taking the plant over.

KARE 11 reached out to the owners to see what would happen with their employees and nearly 50 dairy farmers from Minnesota and Wisconsin who sold to them. They did not immediately respond.

"For the dairy farmers in Minnesota that I've been talking to, it's been a really rough three months," said Lucas Sjostrom, the executive director at Minnesota Milk Producers Association.

Sjostrom said it will be hard for farmers to get a buyer for their product.

"That's partially due to low prices, partially due to the processing capacity we've had in the Upper Midwest in recent months," he said.

Broskoff said while the dairy store's future is uncertain, one of the creamery's owners told her they will try to keep the doors of the shop open.

"We have kids to support, paying a mortgage and car payments and stuff," she said.

Stephanie Maus owns Stephy Jo's, a bakery in Prescott. She says she comes to the dairy store on a weekly basis because of the quality and affordability.

"It makes me sad," she said. "A lot of people come here for their milk. This is the only milk they'll drink."

David Roeller lives in Newport. He said he notices the taste in the milk and goes to the store which is out of his way.

"It brings people to the community," he said. "It's nice to know where your milk is coming from."

The Metropolitan Council said in a statement that it spent several months partnering with the creamery and other organizations and it will continue doing so to ensure the safety of the community and to support the business and its workers.

According to Petersen, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is helping workers find similar jobs.

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Crews battle large fire at former Hastings Creamery

Updated: 10:25 a.m.Crews from more than a half-dozen fire departments spent hours battling a large fire that started late Wednesday at the former Hastings Creamery in Hastings, Minn. — just weeks after the century-old business closed its doors.The fire in the building at 1701 Vermillion St. — U.S. Highway 61 — was reported just after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.Hastings first responders found flames and heavy smoke coming from the building when they arrived. Fire depart...

Updated: 10:25 a.m.

Crews from more than a half-dozen fire departments spent hours battling a large fire that started late Wednesday at the former Hastings Creamery in Hastings, Minn. — just weeks after the century-old business closed its doors.

The fire in the building at 1701 Vermillion St. — U.S. Highway 61 — was reported just after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Hastings first responders found flames and heavy smoke coming from the building when they arrived. Fire departments from nearby communities responded to a request for mutual aid to help battle the flames through the night.

KARE 11 reported that nearby residents had received alerts overnight to stay indoors and close windows amid concerns about ammonia leaking at the fire scene.

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In an update Thursday morning, the city of Hastings said “multiple air samples were taken around the community and were clear of harmful chemicals. … Community members can open their windows and turn on any air exchange systems at this time as there are no threats to the public.”

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said a stretch of Highway 61 through Hastings was back open by 8 a.m. after being closed for hours overnight as firefighters worked at the scene.

There were no reports of injuries. Local officials and the State Fire Marshal’s office are investigating the cause of the fire.

Hastings Creamery was founded in 1913 as a butter manufacturer and began bottling milk in 1920. It was owned by a group of local farmers.

It closed earlier this year, weeks after the Metropolitan Council cut off sewer service to the creamery after it leaked thousands of gallons of milk and cream into the city of Hastings’ sewer system, resulting in several permit violations.

Expecting new PFAS standards, Hastings officials wonder how they'll pay for water treatment project

Hastings officials are puzzling over how to fund a $62 million water treatment project to scrub "forever chemicals" from the city's water supply — and they're doing it without the millions of dollars from a 3M Co. settlement that other east metro cities have received.Three new treatment plants will likely be needed in Hastings when the state and federal government release more stringent drinking water standards for PFAS chemicals in the coming months, city officials said.Unlike 14 cities and townships in Washing...

Hastings officials are puzzling over how to fund a $62 million water treatment project to scrub "forever chemicals" from the city's water supply — and they're doing it without the millions of dollars from a 3M Co. settlement that other east metro cities have received.

Three new treatment plants will likely be needed in Hastings when the state and federal government release more stringent drinking water standards for PFAS chemicals in the coming months, city officials said.

Unlike 14 cities and townships in Washington County, Hastings — across the Mississippi River in Dakota County — so far hasn't received any money from an $850 million settlement 3M reached with the state in 2018 for polluting groundwater with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS.

"When the standards get lowered, we expect that we're going to need to have treatment for all six wells," said Hastings City Administrator Dan Wietecha. "We certainly think we're part of [the east metro] and believe we're eligible."

The city also hasn't received any funding from a 2007 consent decree between 3M and the state that has paid for water treatment projects in other cities, like Woodbury.

State officials say that's because they haven't yet been able to show a definitive connection between Hastings' water supply and a 3M disposal site in Oakdale or Woodbury, the company's Cottage Grove manufacturing facility or the Washington County landfill in Lake Elmo.

The newly-painted Hastings water tower, last week.

The site assessment process for Hastings is a "highly technical" one that each city receiving settlement funds has undergone, said Tom Higgins, the MPCA's Superfund section manager.

But Ryan Stempski, Hastings' city engineer and public works director, said city officials are convinced the polluted water reached the city through 3M's disposal sites.

"Where else would it be coming from?" he said.

PFAS — toxic chemicals pioneered by Maplewood-based 3M and used in products ranging from frying pans to firefighting foam — have been linked to liver damage, thyroid disruption and cancer.

Hastings officials said they have known about PFAS in their water for years, but the levels hovered just below the Minnesota Department of Health's drinking water standards.

"We're probably at the worst position you can be in because [our levels] are high enough to be just below their current index," Stempski said.

Hastings officials last month asked the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), co-trustees of the 3M settlement funds, to prioritize the funding of their water treatment project because it met all the necessary criteria.

The project's details are still being finalized, but it's expected to cost around $62 million and involve building three plants that would use granular activated carbon filter systems to remove PFAS, city officials said.

WSB, the Golden Valley-based engineering firm conducting a feasibility study and preliminary plans for the project, will share its recommendations with the city Aug. 7.

In a statement, 3M spokeswoman Carolyn LaViolette noted the company's national settlement last month for $10.5 billion — still awaiting court approval — that would help public water suppliers pay for PFAS treatment without the need for lawsuits or admission of liability. The company also has pledged to stop manufacturing PFAS by 2026.

Taking action

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in March released a "proposed rule" on standards for PFAS in drinking water, the first time it's regulated PFAS, said Todd Johnson, an engineering supervisor in the Health Department's drinking water program. He said the EPA hopes to have the draft document finalized by the end of the year, when the state would begin enforcing the standards.

The state is also re-evaluating its own standards, which are not legally enforceable but have "held a lot of weight" historically, he said. They're likely to be released this fall.

Five of Hastings' six wells exceed the draft EPA standards and will require treatment if the standards become final, he said.

"We have enough data to know it will impact Hastings," Johnson said. "They would need to take some sort of action."

Other options for cities with PFAS include hooking up to a neighboring community's unpolluted water supply or drilling into a deeper aquifer, he said.

Johnson said he believes every other east metro city affected by PFAS pollution has already received settlement money, adding that Hastings "is in a bit of a unique situation."

An MPCA report indicated that $675 million was in the 3M settlement fund at the end of 2022 to ensure clean drinking water for east metro residents.

Higgins said that even if it can't be proven that Hastings' PFAS problem stems from 3M, the MPCA and DNR are committed to helping the city solve its water issues. Several sources might help Hastings pay for its project, he said, including $25 million the Legislature dedicated this year to fixing drinking water systems affected by PFAS. There's also the Health Department's revolving fund, which offers low-interest loans for infrastructure improvements, as well as the possibility of federal money.

Without assistance, the water treatment project's price tag is "a budget buster" for Hastings, Wietecha said. The city would need to more than double its water rates to afford the construction, even with an interest-free 20-year loan. The city has submitted the project for inclusion in the 2024 bonding bill and is looking at other funding options, he said.

City Council Member Tina Folch said it's "really daunting" that the project's cost is millions of dollars higher than the city's annual budget.

"My whole takeaway is that it's really troubling that our local residents, our local taxpayers, are ... at this point looking at having to foot the bill by themselves," she said.

Erin Adler is a suburban reporter covering Dakota and Scott counties for the Star Tribune, working breaking news shifts on Sundays. She previously spent three years covering K-12 education in the south metro and five months covering Carver County.

[email protected] 612-673-1781


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