Purchase photos

Levee project could be in future





Wilson & Co. engineers gave Hays city commissioners a rundown of the state of the Big Creek Levee during Thursday's work session.

The city's levee was constructed in 1952 with the intention that upgrades would be completed in the future. No upgrades to the levee have been done in the more than six decades since its construction.

Wilson & Co. recently conducted a field inspection of the 2.5-mile levee, which extends from approximately 650 feet north of 12th Street, south and east 1.9 miles to U.S. Highway 183 Bypass along Big Creek.

Cost estimates for the 20 recommendations by Wilson & Co. have not yet been developed. Some of the company's recommendations include providing necessary materials for closure and storage at gap locations, repairing the end of the swimming pool drain and developing a detailed operation plan.

"One of the things that we have to do now as a staff is take this information and put it with the stormwater master plan information and try to figure out how to prioritize," City Manager Toby Dougherty told commissioners after the presentation. "We'll be bringing back to you guys a detailed plan of action on how we think we need to spend the money.

"Just talking internally, with interest rates being what they are, we may be coming back with some pretty aggressive projects, taking advantage of low interest rates."

In other business, commissioners:

* Received an update on the progress of the ITC Great Plains KETA project from Kim Goodnight and Christine Schmidt of ITC Great Plains.

* Discussed purchase of a snow blower for Hays Regional Airport. A vote on whether to submit an application for federal assistance for purchase of the snow blower will be taken next week.

* Considered a request for rezoning property south of 41st Street east of Home Depot, the proposed Luecke Addition, from agriculture district to general commercial and service district. Another request for nearby property was discussed that would rezone it from agricultural to two-family dwelling district. Commissioners requested more details regarding the rezoning and will discuss the issue at a later work session.

* Were presented information regarding a bid for lining of metal storm sewers by Stormwater Superintendent Nick Willis. Commissioners will vote at next week's meeting on whether to accept a bid of $175,735 from Utility Solutions LLC for lining 1,459 linear feet of existing corrugated metal storm sewer pipe.