Local services available for new residents
Newcomers might find the chore of obtaining basic services somewhat daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Here's a list of everything you need to know.
Midwest Energy, at 1330 Canterbury Drive, provides electricity and natural gas service in the cities of Hays and Ellis. It also provides electricity to customers in Victoria and eastern Ellis County, and natural gas to most Ellis County residents.
A normal deposit for services will be the average bill for two months, but the deposit can be made in four monthly installments.
If a resident remains a customer and makes payments on time, the deposit will be returned with simple interest after 10 on-time payments in a year. No deposit is required if the resident has had Midwest Energy service, has a letter of credit from a former utility provider, or has a co-signer.
In cases of new construction, the contractor generally purchases a $50 nonrefundable temporary service fee. After a home is constructed, a "blower door" test is required before the city of Hays will issue a certificate of occupancy. Completed by Midwest Energy, the test makes sure the furnace has enough oxygen to operate correctly without distributing carbon monoxide into the home. The charge for residential is $50 and is on a case-by-case basis for businesses. This test also is available for existing homes.
Another available test is an infrared scan. This helps determine where air leaks are in a home in order to make the home more efficient. The cost is $75 for residences and on a case-by-case basis for businesses. Midwest Energy provides free energy efficiency walk-throughs for its customers.
An account can be established by calling (800) 222-3121. Once service is established, customers can sign up for e-billing, view their utility usage and current changes, and make their payments online at www.mwenergy.com.
Rural customers in the western half of the county can obtain electric service through Western Cooperative Electric Association, 635 S. 13th, WaKeeney, at (785) 743-5561 or (800) 456-6720.
A deposit or credit reference is required.
Water, sewer, trash
For Hays residents, a deposit of $100 is required of all new customers that is refundable with interest after 24 months. Service can be obtained at the city clerk's office in City Hall, 16th and Main.
In Ellis, a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $50 is required.
An application must be completed at City Hall, 815 Jefferson, (785) 726-4741. One trash cart is included in monthly charges and additional carts can be acquired for $6 per month. Residents also can be issued carts for grass clippings in the summer for $1 per month. For more information, call the city clerk's office at (785) 726-4812.
Victoria residents pay a one-time $40 connection fee, waived for first-time homeowners. An application can be completed at City Hall, 1005 Fourth; service can begin the same day.
Victoria also offers a senior discount for trash service of $1.50 per month with proof the resident is older than 65.
Rural residents of Ellis County have the option of connecting with rural water districts.
For a referral to the nearest water district, contact the Kansas Rural Water Association at (785) 336-3760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eagle Communications, 2703 Hall, Ste. 13, offers basic, digital and high-definition cable television packages including local news, Eagle exclusive community programming, multichannel movie packages, digital video recorders, pay-per-view and parental controls.
Eagle serves many locations including Hays, Munjor, Victoria and Ellis. For package options and prices, call (785) 625-5910 or (877) 613-2453.
Nex-Tech, 2418 Vine, offers TV service with many channels and features including whole-home DVR, high definition, on-demand, local programming and more. Call (785) 625-7070 for details. Nex-Tech television serves Hays and generally the eastern half of Ellis County.
Residents of Ellis, La Crosse, Schoenchen, Rush Center, Ness City and Otis can obtain service through Golden Belt Telephone, Rush Center, at (800) 432-7965.
Some of Ellis County is served by AT&T. Service can be established by calling (800) 222-0300.
The cities of Ellis and Hays and much of the western portion of Ellis County is served by Golden Belt Telephone, Rush Center, (800) 432-7965.
Most of eastern Ellis County, including Hays and Victoria, also can obtain local telephone and long-distance service through Rural Telephone Service Co., Lenora, and its subsidiary, Nex-Tech, Hays. Call (785) 625-7070.
Residents in eastern Ellis County can obtain local telephone service through Gorham Telephone Service, Gorham, (785) 637-5300.
Eagle Communications, 2703 Hall, Ste. 13, offers residential and business telephone service offering a wide variety of calling packages with free features. Service areas include Hays, Munjor, Ellis and Victoria. Call (785) 625-5910 or (877) 613-2453.
Nex-Tech, 2418 Vine, offers high-speed Internet with speeds up to 75 Mbps. Call (785) 625-7070 for details.
SBC offers high-speed access, (800) 792-4638.
Eagle Communications, 2703 Hall, Ste. 13, offers high-speed broadband Internet in Hays, Victoria, Munjor and Ellis and wireless Internet access in many rural areas throughout Ellis County. Call (785) 625-5910 or toll free at (877) 613-2453.
Local radio stations
KPRD, 88.9 FM, religious
KZLS, 107.9 FM, adult contemporary
KRMR, 105.7, FM, talk
KNNS, 1510 AM, sports
KAYS-AM, 1400 AM, information and music until 6 p.m., followed by ESPN Sports Radio
KFIX, 96.9 FM, classic rock
KHAZ, 99.5 FM, country
KJLS, 103.3 FM, adult contemporary
KKQY, 101.9 FM, country
KJIL, 88.5 FM, Christian
98.5 The Truth, 98.5 FM, Christian
DAVE, 93.5 FM, mixed genre
KISS, 104.7 FM, Top 40
KHYS, 89.7 FM, Christian
KVDM, 88.1 FM, religious
* Eagle Community TV broadcasts on cable channel 14 and 15.
* Nex-Tech broadcasts local news on channels 1 and 100.
* Fort Hays State University broadcasts on channel 17 on Eagle and on channel 102 on Nex-Tech.
The Hays Daily News, known as The Voice of the High Plains, publishes Monday through Friday afternoons and Sunday mornings and serves readers in 20 northwest Kansas counties.
The Hays Daily News also publishes on the Web at www.hdnews.net. Subscriptions are available for both the print and electronic version. For subscription information, call (800) 657-6017 or (785) 628-1081 or sign up online.