At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the final draft of the Hays comprehensive plan, which is designed to cover at least the next 10 years, will be presented to the Hays City Commission for approval.
Recently, RDG Planning and Design's Amy Haase presented a summation of the beautifully prepared, picturesque, informational document of the dedicated work by at least eight members of her team from Omaha, Neb.
The document consists of 141 pages of seven plan chapters addressing: profile of Hays; land use profile of Hays; public facilities, parks, transportation, and infrastructure; a vision for Hays; the development vision; key districts; and implementation.
A volunteer steering committee of 12 Hays residents has been working diligently for the past 14 months addressing the needs, wants and desires for the future of our community.
Our committee was most ably assisted by our Hays City Commission, Hays city staff and the Hays Area Planning Commission.
Early on, I submitted an application to essentially represent the seniors of our fair city in whatever way I might be helpful as an advocate.
Several senior issues have surfaced in the plan. As our aging composition of total population changed during the past 10 years, we are seeing an increased number living to an older age. This change should necessitate the need for more low-cost senior housing, improved pedestrian and trails infrastructure preparation, and an expanded "life plan," with new concepts for a senior center.
In our discussions, the subject of "quality of life" has been mentioned many times. There has been some interest in possibly developing part of Hays as a "retirement community," because of the availability of expanding medical care, wellness and fitness programs, intellectual educational availability, arts, music and cultural activities, shopping, and business opportunities.
Hays could become a very desirable place in which to retire.
In our recent presentation, I don't believe I heard any specific mention of Hays' significant historical background. The limestone monuments are here. Historic Fort Hays sits ready to welcome travelers and visitors, adequate vacation signage is in place, the historical documentation and presentation is available, but we don't always think about how our city might become an historical icon in the long-range plan for Hays, Kansas.
Maybe these are some of the items that will take us into the next comprehensive plan for many years to come. Go Hays!
Harry Watts is an AARP community service volunteer.