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City, developer continue truck talks


In his report to commissioners at Thursday's Hays City Commission meeting, City Manager Toby Dougherty gave an update on a developer who wants to put a heavy truck dealership in the county. Dougherty said the developer, Kenneth Doonan, Wichita, wants to put a Peterbilt dealership near Exit 157 of Interstate 70. Doonan has approached both the city and county to see what, if any, contributions they could make to the development.

Dougherty gave an estimate of what it would cost to bring water and sewer to that parcel of land. Proposed developer cost would be $726,00 for water and $203,000 for sewer. The up-sizing cost to the city would be $300,000 for water and $191,000 for sewer.

"We were very candid with the developer early on in the process that from the city staff's standpoint, we couldn't support the over-sizing of this," Dougherty said. "Quite simply, I don't have the money."

If the city were to spend money on the developer's project, other projects wouldn't be funded, Dougherty said.

"To spend almost $500,000 for over-sizing of infrastructure means that we might have to cut a project that we're doing to replace an existing water line in an existing part of town -- older water lines in an existing part of town," he said. "Or maybe cut back on our sewer program."

Dougherty said the developer has talked about other development in the area, such as a hotel, restaurant and a truck stop. But Dougherty hasn't seen anything on paper yet. If Doonan were to get something in writing, the city might take another look at the proposed development.

"The ball, quite frankly, is in his court now," Dougherty said.