Hays City Commission approves 2022 budget

BY CORIE LYNN

The Hays City Commission met Thursday to discuss the City’s 2022 budget.

Presented by Assistant City Manager Collin Bielser, this budget outlined general fund, levied fund, utilities and miscellaneous fund.

The budget he presented was balanced and saw the mills rate remaining flat for the 13th consecutive year.

The budget also included a change established by a Senate bill passed earlier in the year.

“It eliminated the tax lid and introduced the ‘Revenue Neutral Rate’ and adjusted the budget approval timeline,” Bielser said.

The commissioners passed the budget, and each complimented the City of Hays staff for their work on putting together a clear budget.

“Kudos to the City,” Commissioner Ron Mellick said. “We’ve worked hard, we’ve planned hard and that’s why we’re at where we are today.”

In addition to the presentation of the budget, the commissioners heard from Sarah Wasinger, president and CEO of the Hays Chamber.

Wasinger spoke that evening to inform the commissioners that the Chamber is aware of the lack of childcare services affecting Ellis County.

“There was a point-in-time survey conducted this year that indicated that we’ve lost 16 childcare facilities in Ellis County since 2019,” she said.

According to Wasinger, quality childcare services will allow more people to join the workforce, aiding businesses. She and the Chamber are working to create a taskforce to address the issue.

Following Wasinger, City of Hays Project Manager John Braun presented an update on the North Vine Street Corridor Project.

The construction project is in its fourth and final phase as the construction crew install center islands and splitter medians. Braun projects the roadwork to be completed in November.

“The last piece of the construction puzzle,” he said, “will be to go back to 35th and Vine St. there by Hickcock’s and Arby’s and to construct the median island, the splitter that will convert that intersection into a three-quarter intersection[.]”

To complete the evening’s agenda, the commissioners passed an award of bid for the Parks Department parking lot resurfacing, the 2021 Uniform Public Offense Code and Standard Traffic Ordinances and the rezoning of 210 W 13th.

The Hays City Commission will reconvene Sep. 23.

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