By KAREN LA PIERRE

klapierre@dailynews.net

In a short meeting chaired by Vice Mayor Eber Phelps in the absence of Mayor Henry Schwaller IV, city commissioners heard a report from Sara Bloom, the new executive director of Downtown Hays Development Corp.

"I am excited to be the new director of DHDC," Bloom said. "I am excited and blessed to be able to take the position."

Several new events and some old events will be in downtown Hays this year, Bloom told commissioners.

The Taste, April 17 and in October, will include not only tasty eating, but fashion shows and demonstrations at an event that will become biannual. The last event was in 2012.

The tickets cost $12 and will be limited to 300.

"It will be a great event," she said.

The Fire on the Frontier BBQ Classic will be June 12 to 13. It will be the seventh annual barbecue.

Bargain on the Bricks will be in July.

A new business is coming to Hays called Turquoise Ranch, which will be located downtown. They have an existing business in Greensburg.

"We want to make sure the downtown business owners know who we are and that we are there to be of service in any way," she said.

In other business, commissioners discussed a bid for street, storm sewer, water and sanitary sewer improvements at the 46th Street, second addition.

J Corp. has submitted the low bid for $399,453 using concrete pavement.

This project is a continuation of an existing development that is in its final phase of development, covering the north of 41st Street and west of Hall Street.

The sanitary sewer has been oversized to 12 inches in diameter. The city at large will pay the cost to oversize the sanitary sewer. The cost is $32,883.

Finally, Finance Director Kim Rupp reported the city's credit rating from Standard and Poor has been raised from AA- to AA. This will allow the city to get better interest rates for bonds.