City Commission Considering Big Changes (VIDEO)

The following items were some of the topics discussed at Thursday evening’s City Commission Work Session, and will be recommended for a vote at next Thursday’s City Commission Meeting. The entire packet of information is available by clicking here.

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The City Commission will make a decision on whether or not to adopt two ordinances that reflect the latest changes made by the Kansas Legislature. The ordinances include the following changes:

-An amendment to the law that will help law enforcement keep pace with modern technology by allowing drivers to show proof of insurance using their cell phones, tablets, or even laptops instead of traditional paper.

  • In 2012 the Hays Police Department issued 918 citations because drivers were unable to show proof of liability insurance at the time of the traffic stop. 800 of these tickets were dismissed when the driver was later able to provide the court a current insurance card.

-Removal of a switchblade knife from the list of weapons which are prohibited from being carried, concealed or unconcealed.

  • Sec. 10.1.1 also removes the dagger, dirk, dangerous knife, straight edge razor, and stiletto from the list of dangerous weapons which are prohibited from being carried concealed.

-An amendment to Sec. 6.1 – Theft should help to improve the safety of our community and our police officers. Previously, those accused of stealing guns were charged with a misdemeanor, unless the value of the gun was over $1,000.

  • Under the new law, anyone who steals a gun or possesses a stolen gun can be charged with a felony.  Both of these changes increase the possibility of a police officer coming in contact with a person armed with a lethal weapon. The City of Hays is prohibited from having an ordinance that further restricts the possession, carrying or use of a knife.


City staff recommends authorizing the City Manager to enter an agreement with CFS Engineers for the design of the on-street bike routes to be funded out of Capital Projects.

Assistant City Manager Paul Briseno explains the updates to the Bike Hays Plan:

Consideration of a contract with Wilson & Co to make repairs and improvements to the levee

-Hays’ latest rating is “minimally acceptable,” the lowest rating in which a levee sponsor can remain in the federal insurance program called Public Law 84-99.

  • Participation in this program is at no direct cost to the City of Hays and allows for federal reimbursement should the levee be damaged during a flood event. Repairs to damages caused by floods are made to the system with 80% of the costs picked up by the federal government.
  • Items such as poor sod cover, tree encroachment, minor erosion, a cracked swimming pool drain pipe, silt deposits and erosion near drains have led to this rating.
  • The engineering services agreement and surveying totals $49,500. This is to be paid from the Stormwater Utility project line item. Flood control improvements were budgeted for 2013 and sufficient funds are available for this design work.



  • Bob

    I’ll meet you half way and agree to the bike trail on the levee, but not on our city streets. $400,000 budgeted for this project is just outrageous! What percentage of our population bikes on a regular basis? What will the cost be to maintain these street trails? Safety? I feel if it’s a priority for bikers in Hays, then they can fund the project like those who are pushing for the dog park. I can guarantee you there are more dog owners than bike riders in this town, why should they be given preference and have their project paid for by the tax payer. Just to clarify I’m also opposed to the dog park. The city of Hays needs to quit wasting money on wants and start focusing on needs.

    • Chris

      A substantial percentage of our population is obese or overweight, so the biking/hiking/walking trails seem like a small price to pay when compared with the millions in future medical bills due to obesity related diseases.

      • Bob

        I agree with you Chris that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. However, those who are motivated to a healthy lifestyle are already doing so. Building a biking trail will not motivate those who currently do not.


    – Hays: Implementation of Phase 1 of the Bike Hays Master Plan. Via the Hays Post:

    On June 5, 2013, the City was notified of $430,185 in awarded funds for the $812,000 project. The construction and implementation of the system will begin soon with noticeable results by fall 2013/2014. The award of this funding and fruition of the project is evident of this CAN DO community/county to achieve the quality of life amenities it desires.

    • Cousin Johhny

      So who pays the other $400,000 the award did not cover?

    • Bob

      That’s right Cousin Johhny! In addition where does the GRANT money come from, thin air? NO, the tax payer!


      I’m thinking a river system would be great too, It could not only be for kayak enthusiasts like myself but also swimmers. Yeah, and since there are so many of us, the tax payers could foot the bill. It could double as drainage and then our city wouldn’t have to create a tax that would charge every home owner and business for water runoff. Just to think, our city (with our tax money) pays top dollar for studies that produce brilliant ideas such as this.

      • steve

        The funding is all taxpayers, fruition & your can do attitude would be nothing if you commissioners were using your own money. We can see the fruition & can do of downtown after 12 yrs. of taxpayer investment. WE ARE NOT BLIND!

  • Berty

    It seems 800K could be used much better elsewhere in Hays! Use some of the money to fix the horrid traffic mess on north Vine with the ridiculous access street access to Vine at number uncontrolled intersections. Also, the Asst. City Manager has, in public presentations, indicated that the street based bike paths will slow traffic, which he reported is a desired by product!