Purchase photos

City commissioners considering inspection of levee system





Hays city commissioners will consider a safety inspection of the city's levee system when they meet for a work session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at city hall.

Built in the 1950s, the levee was intended as temporary protection of low lying areas in the south side of Hays following a severe flood in 1951, according to City Manager Toby Dougherty.

"To our knowledge, there's never been a comprehensive inspection of the levees since then," he said during a press conference Tuesday morning. "As we're embarking on a project to enhance stormwater projects, we went through a prioritization process, and we quickly identified the levee as one of the top priorities."

According to a meeting memo, significant safety issues exist for the levee, including lack of operation and maintenance plans, and inherent design flaws such as lack of redundant pipe closures and lack of proper closure for road and railroad crossing.

Cost of the initial levee safety inspection by Wilson & Company Engineers is estimated at $19,874.

Other agenda items include:

* Consideration of allowing Dave Gray, owner of Singers, to remove the roof from a building he purchased adjacent to his music venue at 116 E. 12th.

"The intent of that building was to create an outdoor courtyard area which I think is probably needed in that area," Dougherty said.

As the building is part of the Chestnut Street Historic District, approval of structural changes required review by the State Historic Preservation Office. Although the SHPO sent a letter to the city of Hays stating disapproval of the proposed changes, city commissioners have the authority to overturn the SHPO decision.

* Consideration of a final plat for the proposed King's Gate Second Addition, a continuation of an existing development initiated in 2010.

* Discussion of remediation of the former city of Hays shooting range. The city entered into an agreement detailing a plan of action for removal of lead from the site with Geotechnical Services Inc. The remediation action plan, now complete and approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, is ready for the commission's authorization for GSI to proceed with actual remediation efforts.