By BECKY KISER
The city of Hays' share of the Ellis County sales tax would be used to help finance two projects that will be discussed during Thursday's city commission work session.
Bids have been solicited for installation of synthetic Astroturf at the Bickle-Schmidt Sports Complex.
Jeff Boyle, parks director, is recommending the low bid of $1.5 million from Mid-America Sports Construction, the same company that installed the turf at Larks Park and Hays High School.
Staff is also requesting an additional $20,000 contingency for unknowns and $50,000 to address the bullpens bringing the total cost of the project to $1,627,557.
The Hays Recreation Commission will put $700,000 toward the project and city commission capital reserves will kick in another $927,000.
"Along with alternates, the project would replace all of the current infields with synthetic turf and allow for slightly enlarged infields for different base configurations on fields 5, 6 and 8," said Collin Bielser, asst. city manager. "This will allow for more hosting of baseball tournaments for athletes ages 13 and younger."
The city is also resuming discussion of constructing a second fire station in Hays, which would be funded with the additional sales tax revenue.
The proposed location is at 41st and Post Road, the site of a city water well on approximately four acres owned by the city.
The new station would become headquarters for the fire department.
"Obviously, Hays has grown on both the east and west sides but the west side growth has been a little more aggressive. Plus we have the addition of more commercial opportunities occurring in the northwest part of Hays with the [Interstate 70] Exit 157 [improvement]," Bielser said.
Construction of a truck stop and retail plaza is underway just north of the intersection.
The second fire station would be positioned alongside an arterial street.
"It provides fast access to the bypass, or up to Hall and over to Vine, where those commercial businesses are located."
Other agenda items for discussion include:
* Petitions to vacate portions of west Vine Street frontage road by Hays Chevrolet and Pheasant Inn restaurant as part of the North Vine Street Corridor Improvement Project
* Review of the Rural Housing Improvement District policy. The state has made changes to the economic development tool.
The entire May 6 agenda is available here.
The work session begins at 6:30 p.m. in Hays City Hall, 1507 Main.