The reconstruction of 8th Street between Milner and Vine streets is scheduled to begin about May 1.
City staff will conduct an informational meeting/open house about the project Mon., April 24 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, 1507 Main. The contractor, Morgan Brothers Construction of LaCrosse and the project engineer, Driggs Design Group, will also be on hand to answer questions and present the plan and time schedule.
The $1.5 million dollar project involves removing and replacing all concrete pavement with concrete, along with the curb and gutter, sidewalk, driveways, and includes waterline improvements at the intersection of 8th and Riley.
It has been on the city’s Capital Improvement Plan since 2011. The bid was awarded April 13 during the city commission meeting.
Vice-Mayor James Meier wants residents to understand the Morgan bid was $1 million dollars under budget and the city is paying cash for the work, something many other governmental entities are not able to do. In 2006, Hays implemented a “pay-as-you-go” policy for large capital projects.
“You want to make the right decision for the future…I’m not pointing to this current commission. We were set up to do that by prior commissions and mostly from city staff,” Meier acknowledged. “I can’t point to any other city in the state of Kansas that’s doing stuff like that.”
“The commission before us, and Commissioner Henry Schwaller was on it, was very proactive rather than being reactive in doing stuff,” Mayor Shaun Musil said. “And we as a group have continued to do that.
“Our city is in really good shape right now. We’re doing a lot of infrastructure projects that the state and a lot of cities aren’t doing. I’m very proud of that,” Musil added.
According to Meier, the Sedgwick County Commission in Wichita recently had a discussion about “what percentage of their budget they’re going to limit themselves to paying debt service over.”
“The discussion Hays is having is what type of infrastructure do we want to put in so we get the most bang for our buck, which we’re paying cash for,” Meier said. “Our discussion is 180 degrees from what everybody else is doing.”