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Dog park group sniffs out success




With more money to play with, a group that wants a park for dogs to play in hopes to move from its first goal to its second.

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With more money to play with, a group that wants a park for dogs to play in hopes to move from its first goal to its second.

Kim Perez, president of Friends of the Hays Dog Park, came before city commissioners at Thursday's work session at city hall. The group, which earlier this year received approval from commissioners to develop a dog park in three phases, has raised enough money to complete the first phase.

"We received all the bids for Phase 1 of the dog park," Parks Superintendent Travis Haines said. "They're here asking permission to proceed with construction of it."

The estimate was the initial phase for the park, to be located at Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex, would cost $33,000. However, after the bid process, the cost will be $24,000. With the additional savings, the group is eyeing Phase 2.

"We're not that far away," Perez said. "That was the second request. The first request, obviously, was to come to you to ask permission to build Phase 1.

"With the money we have already raised, and with the projected bids, the projection for Phase 2 was $42,269. However, based upon the bids we got, it's only going to cost about $32,000. With the money that we've raised ... we're only about $7,000 short of Phase 2."

The first phase will be 1.5 acres, and the next phase will be a 5-acre area. Once completed, the smaller area will be for smaller dogs, and the bigger area for larger dogs.

The city of Hays will not make any monetary contributions to the construction of the park, except those involved in providing the site and staff involvement.

Commissioners will consider giving a green light to Phase 1 at next week's meeting.

In other business:

* Commissioners approved putting on the agenda for next week's meeting the purchase of a utility truck. The winning bid was from Bob Moore Ford in Oklahoma City for $40,493, edging out Lewis Ford Lincoln of Hays by $400.

Commissioner Shaun Musil wondered if the commission should give the bid to the local dealer, in this instance.

"I just think we should consider the local dealership," Musil said.

Commissioner Henry Schwaller IV said past commissioners have expressed the same sentiment, but added the commission's goal is to get the best possible bid and go with it.

"It's our duty to get the very best product at the lowest price, so we don't have to pass on higher prices to the taxpayer," Schwaller said.

City Manager Toby Dougherty said he has discussed with the commission in the past whether to have a local preference option in the process.

There was concern expressed that if the city were to do that, out-of-town bids would dry up.

The matter will go before commissioners at next week's meeting.

* Commissioners were given a proposal by city staff to replace an older section of water line along Fort Street and 26th Street, as well as to replace a section of sewer line along U.S. Highway 183 Bypass.

* The city has received a request from Hays USD 489 to add a school zone in the area of 12th and Walnut, by Rockwell Administration Center. Alternative school students attend class there.