Plans help prioritize the future
By RANDY GONZALES
Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund and Hays City Manager Toby Dougherty both emphasize the recently completed comprehensive plans for the county and city are just guidelines.
They help shape the future, provide direction.
"The comprehensive plan is meant to be a guiding document for the next 10 to 15 years, however long until you do (the) next comprehensive plan," Dougherty said.
"The important part with a comprehensive plan is it's a living document," Sund said. "Just because you have one doesn't mean you have to follow it lockstep. It guides you, it gives you ideas, gives you things to think about.
"There's things the priorities will change during the term. Nothing's cut in stone when it comes to a comprehensive plan."
Sund said future bridge and road projects are part of the county's comprehensive plan.
"We're in the process of prioritizing all of our roads and bridge projects so that we can get a logical progression where to head in the future in terms of what projects should be done now, which ones should be done later," Sund said.
The county already has addressed the need for more office space, as well as expansion and renovation of the courthouse and county jail with a proposed $14.5 county sales tax.
Dougherty said Hays' housing situation is an area that needs to be addressed.
"Housing is one of the big issues going forward," he said.
The city also plans to add a bike trail, something that's been needed for years, Dougherty said.
"We've had a lot of positive feedback on the bike plan," Dougherty said.
Revitalization and redevelopment of certain areas of the city also are part of the comprehensive plan. A campus corridor between the downtown area and Fort Hays State University also is part of the comprehensive plan.
"It includes potential redevelopment of the old (train) depot area," Dougherty said.
The city's comprehensive plan also projects the population of Hays to reach 27,432 by 2030.
Before the current comprehensive plan, Dougherty believes the city of Hays last had one completed in the early 1990s.
The recently completed county plan was the first one adopted since zoning regulations went into effect in 2006.