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City wants bike lanes on fast track

9/13/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

There will be a new-look 13th Street east of Vine once resurfacing is completed.

The Bike Hays Master Plan includes bike lanes in different parts of Hays, including that stretch of 13th east of Vine. Resurfacing of that part of 13th is scheduled to begin later this month, then the roadway will be striped.

"There will be a three-lane configuration, with two driving lanes and a turning lane," City Manager Toby Dougherty said at Thursday's city commission meeting at city hall, adding the outer lanes in each direction would be the bike lanes.

"There will be an identified lane in either direction on 13th Street," Dougherty said.

City staff has had talks with the state to see if that portion of the project could be sped up.

"It sure would be great to get that done, at least get a start on people realizing what we're doing," Mayor Kent Steward said.

The city in 2013 budgeted $400,000 for 25 miles of on-street bike lanes and a 1.5 mile multi-use path along the Big Creek levee. The city also was awarded a Transportation Enhancement Grant from the state for approximately $430,000.

In related business, the commission approved entering agreements with CFS Engineers for the on-street portion of the Bike Hays Master Plan, at a cost of $48,000, and with Wilson & Co. for engineering design services for the levee trail improvements for $49,000.

Commissioners voted 4-0 on both resolutions, with Commissioner Henry Schwaller IV abstaining.

In other business:

* Commissioners approved 5-0 to execute a contract with Wilson & Co. for levee engineering services in the amount of $49,500. In 2012, Wilson & Co. was hired to perform a safety inspection of the Hays levee system. Several items were found needing to be addressed. The agreement provides for surveying, engineering design and construction documents for repairs or improvements to most of the identified problems.

* Commissioners unanimously approved creation of a special benefit district for infrastructure improvements in the amount of $473,000 with Western Plains Service Corp. for the development of 18 lots within the Golden Belt Estates Fifth Addition.

* Commissioners also unanimously approved an engineering services agreement with Ruder Engineering & Surveying LLC for professional services related to improvements within Golden Belt Estates Fifth Addition in an amount not to exceed $28,200.

* Commissioners unanimously approved a 1-percent merit increase with the first payroll of 2014 and the city will continue current pay ranges. The city and SEIU Local 513 reached the agreement.

* Commissioners unanimously approved the early payoff of three city refuse trucks at a savings of $16,000 in interest.