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Council to vote on community funds and hotel plans





Eight community groups will petition the Hays City Commission for money during its work session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday as the city begins the 2015 budget process.

The requests for money from three community funds total $445,755, according to the meeting's agenda. CARE Council's request for $166,000 was the largest proposed figure.

The money would aid such groups as ACCESS Transportation, First Call for Help of Ellis County, Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Inc. and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ellis County.

CARE also is lobbying for $60,000 from the special alcohol tax fund for programs aimed at preventing alcoholism and drug abuse and treatment.

Fort Hays State University wants $100,000 to support 125 scholarships. The Downtown Hays Development Corp. seeks $53,655 to assist with administrative and operations costs. Hays Arts Council is pursuing $12,000 for operations and programs.

Other groups soliciting support are Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development, Ellis County Historical Society, Wild West Festival and Hays Sister Cities Advisory Board.

In other business on the agenda:

* Mike Woofter, representing NWK Investments, will present a plan to develop a hotel and travel plaza at 230th and 55th. The group will pay for the infrastructure if the city does not annex the area for 10 years. The site's water requirements equal approximately 110 residential properties.

* Commissioners will debate allowing shipping containers as permanent units. Minimum lot size, setback distances, utility connections and existing containers might be the factors involved in the possible decision.

* The moratorium on water customers outside city limits will be reviewed.

* Commissioners will discuss a fine for residents who drain pools, hot tubs and water tanks into alleys. The practice can damage alley structure.