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Commission OKs raises, renews lease with NCK Tech (VIDEO)

By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
Hays Post

The Hays City Commission held two meetings Thursday night, the first a makeup of the canceled Dec. 26 meeting. In that meeting, the commission approved a resolution adopting the 2014 job classification and pay plan which includes a 1-percent increase in salaries for all city employees, union and non-union members:

Assistant City Manager Paul Briseno said through the budget process, earlier in the year, the commission had budgeted for the increase and all of the salaries but two are paid for out of the general fund, with the total increase of $80,000. The other two salaries are paid for through the levy fund.

The commission also the approved mayoral appointments of Dawne Leiker and Patricia Levy to the Sister Cities Advisory Board.

At the regularly scheduled work session meeting, Eric Burks, president of North Central Kansas Technical College, presented the commission with the annual report of the Big Creek Technical Training Center at 101 Main.

The city and NCK Tech have a five-year lease agreement for the building, set to expire in May. City staff and the college both recommended approving a two-year extension of the lease with a requirement that if either party decides to not renew the lease, they must give 12 months notice. The current agreement allows for six months.

With the current lease agreement, NCK Tech uses the facility for free, but it is responsible for maintenance, they must hire five full-time employees and they have to construct projects for the city every other year.

“I think this has been a great win-win situation for both of us, not only for Hays but the surrounding communities,” Commissioner Ron Mellick said.

Students already have completed a podium for the city commission chamber, and they are currently working with Nick Willis, stormwater/water conservation superintendent, on water conservation projects in a number of city building.

The commission approved sending the action to the next regular meeting, scheduled for Jan. 9.

An amendment to the city’s parking regulations also will be on the agenda for the next regular commission meeting after the commission heard a report from I.D. Creech, director of public works.

During the creation of the current comprehensive plan, parking has been labeled as an issue that needs to be addressed. Creech said city parking regulations tend to require more parking stalls than needed. Requirements are calculated on square footage rather than an occupancy number, he said.

Creech said the city should change the wording in the parking regulations to allow for an alternative method of calculating parking needs.

Creech said this would not be automatic. There would be an application process and documentation would have to be provided to the zoning administrator.

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  • Smoke & Mirrors

    According to HDN the total cost of the 1% merit raise/ bonus was $97,500… $61,850 paid with our sales tax & the remainder paid out of the Hays Airport Levy fund. The city employees also received their 3% yearly salary increases which were approved earlier last year. You can watch the whole video of the 01/02/2014 meeting on the city website. The vote had to be taken twice because of Briseno’s typing errors…it did not affect his merit raise! The merit raise according to Briseno mirrors other area cities similar to Hays…& has nothing to do with merit.

  • John Basso

    I think the raises are warranted. The city employees are hard workers and provide good service.

    • Uncle Thomas

      “The city employees are hard workers and provide good service.” How do you know this? Is there an evaluation system based on results the city quantifies? My shoot from the hip guess would be 25% are slackers because the supervisors do not have adequate training to supervise.

      • HS4

        I believe they’re hard workers too! I like their hard muscular bodies.