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White says more housing could be coming to Hays





Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development Executive Director Aaron White said new housing could be coming to Hays in Monday's meeting of the Ellis County Commission at the Ellis County Courthouse.

In his presentation asking for funding from the county, White told commissioners of a developer who is looking at adding apartments in Hays.

"A lot of employers have told us affordable housing is part of their problem with workforce development," White said. "We continue to look at opportunities to try to promote affordable housing.

"We've identified a developer in Wichita who's interested in potentially building apartments in Hays -- studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. We connected him with some property owners who are interested in partnering with him."

White said the developer could build as many as 196 apartments in Hays and potentially surrounding communities. The apartments would be intended for young families in the workforce.

"They're priced not to attract students, but to be attractive to workforce," White said.

White's request for funding was $87,550, an increase of $50 from this year.

Two other subsidized organizations made presentations at Monday's meeting. High Plains Mental Health requested $275,127. This year, it received $260,638. Hays Area Children's Center requested $154,000, an increase of $10,000 from 2014.

In other business:

* Commissioners tabled until next week's meeting filling open positions on the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission.

* Commissioners tabled until next week's meeting approving the construction contract for remodeling the new administrative center at 718 Main to Paul-Wertenberger Construction.

* Public Works Director Mike Graf informed commissioners of his plan to bid for a replacement landfill compactor.

* Commissioners tabled until next week's meeting to discuss proposals for a wage and benefit study.

* Commissioners discussed the two bids for a stormwater project at 601 Main. Both bids were significantly higher than the engineer's estimate. No action was taken.

* Commissioners discussed changes in the mortgage registration fee. Of the $3 filing fee, $1 now must be split equally into three technology funds, which will necessitate the creation of two new funds for deposits.