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Overland Property Group wants support to build near HaysMed

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

Overland Property Group, in the hope of developing a 32-unit apartment complex near Hays Medical Center, asked for Hays City Commission support at Thursday night's work session.

A similar resolution of support was sought by the developing company last year for development of 16 units. Although commissioners granted the support last year, OPG was not awarded tax credits by the state to move forward with the project.

"We feel that our ability to get the tax credits this year is probably the best it's been since we've been coming to you guys," Matt Gillam of OPG told commissioners Tuesday night. "So we feel pretty confident that we stand a good shot of getting those tax credits this year to fund this development."

The 32-unit development proposed by OPG would include two- and three-bedroom income restricted units with rents from $425 to $600 per month.

OPG's request of support from the city is similar to the support given for the Stonepost Apartment developments in south Hays. However, an additional request to establish a Rural Housing Incentive District was put before commissioners Tuesday night.

The request to establish an RHID stems from a shrinking level of available tax credits. With funding gaps increasing, OPG has used grants to fill the void. As those gaps have increased, OPG has used other methods, including RHID programs in Dodge City and Garden City.

Similarly, Hays city staff members have explored the option of creating an RHID due to a housing and renter unit shortage, which was outlined in a recent housing study and comprehensive plan.

An RHID captures 100 percent of incremental real property taxes created by a housing development project for up to 15 years. To establish an RHID, a city must demonstrate shortage of quality housing, which is considered to deter future economic growth.

"From city staff's standpoint, we actually have no problem with the RHID itself," said City Manager Toby Dougherty. "We would want to bring back a policy for the city commission to consider -- an RHID policy that would govern future uses."

Commissioners will vote at next week's meeting on a resolution of support for OPG's development. Dougherty said a letter will be drafted by staff for commission consideration stating the city will pursue an RHID.

In other business, commissioners:

* Considered bids for the city's 2013 street maintenance projects. Street projects include: chip seal, seal coat, polypatch, diamond grind, curb and brick repair and preservative seal at a total cost of $376,310. Commissioners will vote on the bids at next week's meeting.

* Discussed a request for a business license at Hays Regional Airport from Aces High Aircraft Refinishing. They will vote on the request next week.

* Were presented with bids for replacement of roofs on the city's sand filter building and main control building. The final bids for both buildings, which will be voted on next week, is $15,000 less than budgeted at $50,100.

* Considered Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant. Staff recommended award of the project to R.E. Pedrotti for $74,635. A vote on the measure will be next week.

* Tabled discussions about outside agency funding and consideration of an exchange visit to a sister city in China until a later meeting.

* Commissioner Henry Schaller IV and Mayor Troy Hickman were absent.