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City considers lawn permit regulations

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

In an effort to be responsive to local climate and water demands, Hays city commissioners will consider changes to newly seeded lawn permits during Thursday's regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.

Lawn permits now allow, at no charge, outdoor watering from noon to 7 p.m. between June 1 and Sept. 30. The permits can be obtained for any type of grass. City staff will recommend to commissioners no charge remain for a permit for warm season grass from June 1 to Aug. 1. For cool season grasses, permits would be available from Aug. 25 through Sept. 30 at a cost of $100.

The $100 fee would be used for the city to buy buffalo grass seed for the city's giveaway program, which encourages conversion from cool season to warm season grasses, said City Manager Toby Dougherty.

At last week's work session, Dougherty said the permit change is hoped to encourage individuals to plant the appropriate grass at the appropriate time.

"You shouldn't be planting cool season grass or sodding between June 1 and Aug. 25," he said. "The likelihood of success is low.

"You're going to take five times as much water to try to establish that seed or sod as you would if you planted it in the spring or fall, when it should be planted."

The permits will be valid for 10 days only and do not restrict the type of grass that can be planted.

"We're just saying if you want to water between noon and 7 p.m., you probably need to follow the restrictions," Dougherty said.

Other agenda items include:

* Worker's compensation insurance bid.

* Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course tournament fee increase request and addition of junior golf greens fees.

* Vehicle abatement at 700 Vine.

* Award of bid and material testing and inspection for Vine Street reconstruction project.