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Plaques on city agenda

9/25/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Hays city commissioners will consider a policy concerning placement of recognition plaques at their 6:30 p.m. meeting Thursday at city hall.

In a work session last month, Commissioner Ron Mellick first expressed concern regarding placement of such plaques at Larks Park, noting one had been attached to the grandstand at the baseball field, which was constructed in 1940. The plaque was put up by Fort Hays State University's athletic department, in recognition of contributions for improvements to the park.

At last week's work session, city staff outlined a policy for plaques and other structures on city property, bit-fixed and non-fixed.

"My concern was not donors or the institutions," Mellick said. "It was the historic integrity of Larks Park and the stadium itself. I was concerned about holes begin drilled in it, plaques and names and everything else being put on there."

The proposed policy states no plaques will be attached to the main structure of Larks Park without city commission approval.

"I talked with (FHSU Athletic Director) Curtis Hammeke about this," City Manager Toby Dougherty said. "He's fine with this. He's actually got some ideas about creating a wall of plaques there."

Also, a plaque for any other fixed structure on city property must first receive city commission approval. For non-fixed city structures, such as trees or benches, approval must be received from the city manager.

The city's financial assistance, if provided, must be noted on any recognition plaque located on city property, according to the proposed policy.

"My concerns are fully addressed with this," Mellick said of the proposed policy at last week's work session. "I'm happy with it."

Mayor Kent Steward had a different view.

"I don't think I'm in favor of it. ... If somebody wants to make a significant contribution to the community, and the only price we have to pay is hang a little plaque somewhere, seems to me the cost benefit in that is pretty obvious," he said. "To me, this is kind of a solution looking for a problem. But I don't think it hurts anything, just some more rules."

In other business:

* Commissioners will consider a proposed ordinance for motor vehicles and mobile equipment, as well as proposed rules and regulations, for Hays Regional Airport.

* Commissioners will consider transfer of $1.5 million from Financial Policy Projects to Capital Projects to pay for 13th Street reconstruction and engineering from Main to Milner.

* City Manager Toby Dougherty will give a report.