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Use More Water, Pay More $$

“It’s a serious issue,” says Hays City Commissioner Eber Phelps.

He and the other commissioners voted Thursday night to implement new Conservation Tier 2 billing structure beginning August 1.

The hope is the top 20% of residential water users, who consume 44% of the residential water, will cut back on their water usage:

water tier 2 impact

Conservation Tier 2 kicks in for all water usage exceeding the first 1,000 cubic feet in Conservation Tier 1.  Cost per  1,000 cubic feet will be $7.20; Conservation Tier 1, capped at 1,000 cubic feet, will change to $3.60 per 100 c.f.

Assistant City Manager Paul Briseno told commissioners that 83% of city water customers operate in the First Conservation Tier. The remaining 17% would not see a significant increase based on usage from July 2011-July 2012.

The top residential water user for 2012 used 139,000 cubic feet of water. The average household in Hays uses 8,000 c.f. annually.

In other business:

  • Commissioners approved the City Manager to renew the 2013/2014 Commercial Insurance Policy with Companion Commercial Insurance for the coverage presented, to be funded from the Intergovernmental Insurance and Surety line item.
  • Commissioners approved the authorization to enter a contract with APAC-Kansas, Inc. for the rehabilitation of 13th Street from Vine Street to Harvest Road including restriping from Milner to Harvest from four lanes to three lanes, with funding from the Financial Policy Projects line item.
  • Commissioners accepted the 2012 audit for the City of Hays as presented by Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball.
  • Commissioners heard an update from the City Manager in regard to concealed gun/knife legislation approving the authorization of the City Manager to send a letter to the Attorney General exempting City of Hays facilities from the provisions of the modified concealed carry law through January 1, 2014.
  • Commissioners implemented a 1 year moratorium while agreeing to limit water service request for properties outside the city limits of Hays.
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  • Good idea

    We’ve got to start somewhere, and this seems a reasonable approach.

  • Will Not Solve the Issue

    This is a short term help. It does not solve the problem that a city the size of Hays needs adequate water reserves. The City needs to begin the planning of the R9 pipeline immediately. We do not need another study. The City has spent tons of money on consultants and studies over the last 15 years — all to no avail. The time has come to preserve Hays’ future as a vibrant city. The only way to do that is to get more water.

    • Uncle Thomas

      This isn’t even a “short term help”…this is saving face! Nothing was done to conserve and/or limit outdoor watering! If you have the pocket book and want your blue or fescue lawn green not much difference in a water bill of $200 or $500!

  • Its about time

    Thank you thank you thank you! I am so tired of seeing those people who feel the need to water every day. Make them pay more for that.

  • Confused

    Maybe I missed something? So a household with a single individual that uses 500 c.f. of water will be ok (500 per person). But a household of husband, wife, and 3 kids that use 1,500 c.f. of water will be penalized? (300 per person) Doesn’t seem very fair.

    • hays sucks

      It seems fair to me., u were the one who decided to breed…you should pay…

      • ummm…

        “Breed”…Are you serious!?! Its too bad your parents did and i hope you never do!!

        • Hays

          I agree with Hays sucks…people with brats always expect special treatment.. at work, tax breaks.. etc..

          • Confused

            Where do you get that I asked for special treatment???? I just want it to be fair. I simply mentioned that my family could be really conserving water by only using 300 cf per person and be penalized. A single person living alone could use 500 cf and not pay any extra in fees and be using a lot more water per person then my family. Other than outside watering, the more people that live in a house, obviously the more water you will use. I just hope the city takes that in consideration in figuring my water bill.

  • Hays

    Great idea! Now those who feel the need to plant plush new fescue lawns and drought-intolerant plants can see the effects of these decisions on their pocket books. It’s about time. And I hope businesses are held to the same accountability. It infuriates me to drive by Midwest Energy in the mornings and see their sprinkler systems watering the gutters.

    • Uncle Thomas

      This is not a “great idea”… if you have deep pockets it will not impact you and you could still use an excess of water. This should be about conserving…not if you can afford it to use the water…the decision should have been about no outdoor watering.

  • http://www.hayspost.com Crazy

    I set behind the City of Hays street sweeper today and watched water run over onto the ground as it sat there…….I really don’t think the City is serious about this Water Conservation thing.
    Lead by example!!!!

    • get off your high horse

      Crazy is right. Oh brother.

  • Fools Abound

    I have heard that it will take about 500 dollars to fill a pool. This kind of makes me angry. I don’t water my lawn, and for the last 2 years have let it go due to the drought, I fill a 13000 gallon pool 1 time a year. Now I will penalized for the 1 time a year I use water when EVERYONE on my block waters their lawn daily! The things that bothers me most is that they will be taking the average yur family uses only from the months of January through march, when guess what, you said it, you use the LEAST amount of water in your households. This is just another way for the city of Hays to make me pay out of the wazoo to live here. Just like the exhorbitant amount of sales tax I pay to live here, the enormous amounts of property tax I pay to live here, the large amount I already pay for water… Fix the darn water problem! If we can do a sales tax increase for a stupid ball park, why not solve our water problem instead! Let’s get our priorities straight people! Everyone has a hand in my pocket but no one wants to actually fix the darn problem, just blame the citizens. If I decide NOT to fill my pool next year, to avoid paying four hundred bucks…Then the liklihood is, I will be spending my weekends at the lake, buying beer there, buying food and fuel there and having my family visit me there, guess the City will lose out on all of those sales tax dollars. They will then just find another ” tax ” somewhere else to stick me with. Why can’t you resolution be something that doesn’t ALWAYS cost ME to live here. I think maybe I will retire in Florida, No property tax, no personal property tax, no tax on retirement income and all the water I could ever hope for! You keep asking why everyone keeps leaving Hays….THIS is why!!!!

    • get off your high horse

      Well said Brovo!

    • Toby Doughtry is a tool

      I think I luv u fools around..this is one of the worst towns in America.. unless u enjoy living with overbearing German creeps..

    • passin threw

      seems to me is they are working on solving the water problem. your complaint seems to be it’s at your expense….boo hoo

      • Toby Doughtry is a tool

        OK Toby…..thanks for your imput…

  • conserve first hays

    Fools Abound…. u live in Kansas and we have droughts. Get used to it. Water is precious and we only have so much. There are not a lot of new places in western Kansas to find it. As for the City of Hays leaders, you are fools to think that charging more money will make people use less water. Ban all outside use just like Russell has done for nearly a year. That will definitely reduce your daily use. But Hays is not serious about conservation. They just want to keep their water revenue coming in each month!

  • SICK

    What I think is crazy is that businesses like McDonald’s are on a sprinkler system that comes on regardless of whether it’s raining or not. Why do we waste our water on grass when it’s already raining out? People, this is grass. Yes, it’s pretty and nice to have green lawns, but seriously…4 months left? Where are our priorities?

  • Hmmmm…

    McDonalds is not the only one. Drive by The Bank of Hays sometime when it is raining out and they still have their automatic sprinklers on! The Board of Directors at this bank should know better. If the water problem could be solved by making a few calls, it would already be done! It is a precious resource, and until EVERYONE gets serious about conservation, it will remain to be a problem! Leaders of Hays—ban outside watering now so we can continue to take showers and have water in our homes for a longer period of time!

  • chris

    that new ball park had the sprinklers going and a good percentage of the water was landing in the gravel parking lot due to the wind…….at least the weeds in the rocks got a good drink.

    oh and since they had them sprinklers going I had my first opportunity to use that place, the kids had fun cooling off running through them sprinklers that were watering the gravel

    • passin threw

      chris you do realize they only use effluent water at the sports park right? i agree they should pay closer attention to this but that isn’t water that you would be drinking. hope you didn’t count that as the kids shower for the night.

      • Chris

        I need to pick a new name..too many chris’s running around now. Giving me a bad name with stupid comments and letting their children run around in waste water.

  • inkslinger

    BAN ALL OUTSIDE WATERING, FOR EVERYONE

  • Guie Le’Deuche

    Maybe everybody should start showering with a buddy?

  • R9

    And how long have we owned the R9 ranch? Only when a crisis comes up do we get serious about this. I’m guessing that if it would start raining tomorrow, the commissioners, Doughtry, Briseno et al would all stick their heads back in the sand.

    We need progressive leaders to solve this problem.

  • Uncle Thomas

    THE CITY COMMISSION HAS THROWN OUT A PACIFIER AND SOME HAVE BOUGHT IN TO IT…!!!
    The community has a severe water shortage…conservation, restrictions, enforcement! No we are going to allow those with deep pockets to continue doing what they are doing. Will this really impact water usage or will they pay at any price to keep their lawns “green and growing”?
    THE COMMUNITY NEEDS TO STOP WASTING WATER! STOP OUTSIDE WATERING, STOP ISSUING NEW LAWN PERMITS, STOP EXCESS AND WASTE…! ENFORCEMENT NEEDS TO BE QUADRUPLED…HIT THE VIOLATORS HARD WITH FINES! HAVE OFFICERS COMB THE COMMUNITY WHEN THEY ARE NOT RECEIVING A CALL. POLICE THE COMMUNITY BETWEEN 4:00AM AND 7:00AM FOR WATER VIOLATORS…RING THEIR DOORBELL, WAKE THEM UP AND CITE THEM. IF THEY DONT COMPLY CITE THEM FOR INTERFERRING LIKE YOU WOULD A COLLEGE STUDENT WHO TALKS BACK!!!!

  • Uncle Thomas

    “It’s a serious issue,” says Hays City Commissioner Eber Phelps.

    THEN STOP IMPLEMENTING….”TIER 2 BILLING” AND REALLY DO SOMETHING! WHAT A BUNCH OF SMOKE AND MIRRORS!

  • inkslinger

    I was on the 1700 block of Barclay around 11:45am Saturday and you guessed it someone was watering their lawn and it was running down the street, and on E 29th street at noon, are these people above the law or what?

  • Baffled

    This just really baffles me, if we are so damn worried about water shortage why the hell do we continue to allow people to keep building and building new homes. Sorry people but you guys had this worry well over ten years ago, if not longer and if you can’t see what really is affecting the water issue……..this really is a lost cause. Yes, I do agree that this is a serious time with the drought, but if you don’t really do something for the long term of hays, IT’S GOING TO BE TOO LATE!!!!

  • Uncle Thomas

    Okay Hays… turn on your taps…no water!

    I have 5 gallon jugs of Culligan water one for every household. Yes you all pay taxes and are all a member of the community however I am going to sell to the highest bidder. This is what the commission is doing with “our” water.

  • Uncle Thomas

    YES THE NEW BANK AT 22ND & VINE IS SODDING IN A NEW LAWN… NEXT COMES THE GALLONS OF WATER TO KEEP IT GREEN! COULD HAVE CHOSE ROCK, BUT INSTEAD HAVE NO CONCERN FOR THE CITIZENS WATER ISSUES…SMUG?

  • Countryboy

    I bought a building that is on it’s own well back in November I sent a request to tap into the city water line that is in the ditch in front of my business. I’ve asked every month what was going on getting a run around. Got letter today that since the new level of restriction that there is “NO NEW HOOK-UPS”. So does that mean all these new Homes going up are not going to have water hooked to them? I’m just wanting water for the Ice machine so my employees have fresh clean water for drinking. I guess lives are not worth as much as people’s lawns. Like I said I have a water well hooked to building and have had I tested the water is safe to drink but like all water around Hays it is “HARD”. If I cant have a “NEW HOOK-UP” than how are all these new homes going to get hooked up. Just Wondering

    • Uncle Thomas

      CountryBoy you are not important enough to have ice for your employees! Keep an eye on the new bank at 22nd & Vine they will be allowed to water the new sod set today! Keep an eye on the south entrance to the hospital and the Vo-tech directly east of them on 22nd street. Both are allowed to water the sidewalk, the street,etc.

      • countryboy

        I forgot green grass is more important than a persons life around here. Thanks Uncle Thomas I felt that way but I thought it was just me. I thought maybe I look at life the wrong way you know Green Yards First and people Second I thought you needed water to survive but made I’m wrong.

  • Countryboy

    ◾Commissioners implemented a 1 year moratorium while agreeing to limit water service request for properties outside the city limits of Hays. This was the reason I given as to why I could not get hooked up to city water

  • Uncle Thomas

    SORRY…don’t have time to comment further I am watching the water being wasted in the gutter at the new bank at 22nd and Vine.
    I called in to complain in hopes the city would issue a citation and cease this nonsense, but again the issue is second the dispatcher wanted every bit of information on me like I have committed a crime for calling in.

  • Uncle Thomas

    Apparently there is not a water shortage…only a scare! The city must need to raise revenue so they are going to charge more for water…ok I will turn my sprinklers/well back on at my Hays residence. Wont cost me but a few pennies for electricity! I was of the understanding the city was a critical do or die scenario for water. With the lack of enforcement and all the fine businesses e.g., banks, hospital, university, variety of offices wasting water I will to…!

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