Discussions regarding possible reductions to a 3-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction controlled by the city of Hays for zoning purposes are likely to resume in early December. Ellis County commissioners during a Monday meeting said they will take the issue back up at their Dec. 5 regular business meeting.
The county commission proposed reducing the territory in May. A map has been proposed by city officials that would reduce the city’s control in some areas while seeking to maintain areas of likely municipal growth.
Before taking action on the proposal, county commissioners sought public input from realtors, developers and others who have an interest in the issue. The Ellis County Joint Planning Commission heard public feedback last month and presented its findings to the county commission Monday.
“The consensus of those that spoke was that the extraterritorial boundaries should be shrunk even more than what’s proposed,” said David McDaniel, chairman of the planning commission.
He noted only three people — all realtors — spoke about the issue during October’s public input meeting. Ellis County officials, who had contacted interested parties directly and published notice of the special meeting, expressed disappointment with the low turnout.
“I was amazed how many people called me after the meeting and asked when it was,” Commission Chairman Dean Haselhorst said.
Haselhorst and Commissioner Marcy McClelland indicated they want to discuss the issue further, but decided to wait until all three commissioners are present. Commissioner Barbara Wasinger was absent Monday.
“I think we all need to be here (for this discussion),” McClelland said.
In other business, commissioners canvassed provisional ballots cast in Tuesday’s general election and accepted official election results. Several individuals were appointed by the commission to serve as township officers in precincts that had no candidate filings. The appointments were made by randomly drawing names from among those who received write-in votes.
Those individuals will be notified and can choose to assume the office or resign. If they resign, the county commission will make appointments at a later time.
The following people were appointed Monday: Catherine Township treasurer, Tom Walters; Ellis Township trustee, Susan Rymph; Freedom Township trustee, Nathan Roth; Lookout Township trustee, Suzanne Klaus; Wheatland Township trustee, Amy Pfannenstiel; and Wheatland Township treasurer, Ernest Binder.