The Hays City Commission on Thursday unanimously approved this year’s street maintenance program, which calls for a variety of repairs to roads in several residential and commercial areas.

The total cost for repairs will be approximately $1.15 million, approximately $50,000 under budget. Bids came in lower than expected, which allowed the city to add additional roads to the maintenance schedule.

“I’m very proud of our roads and the way we maintain them here, and how nice they are to drive on. They’re not like that in all cities,” Commissioner Lance Jones said. “If you drive around Kansas, most cities don’t have roads as nice as we do in Hays. We should be very proud of the road maintenance program that we do have and continue to improve on that.”

A significant portion of this year’s program will be repairs to many residential neighborhoods northwest of Vine Street.

Other highlights include significant work to restore an access road to Bickle-Schmidt Sports Complex and adjacent Fort Hays State University athletic facilities. The road has been deteriorating rapidly, in part due to heavy construction traffic from the nearby FHSU track and field facility.

The road’s base is in need of repair, and it also will be covered with a prime coat and double-chip seal at a total cost of $108,670. FHSU will reimburse the city for 20 percent of the cost, or approximately $21,700.

The 20-percent obligation stems from an original construction agreement between the city and university when the facilities were built. Commissioners expressed appreciation for FHSU’s ongoing cooperation, but questioned whether that amount should be revisited since the college now has two facilities in the area.

“Hopefully going forward we can have a conversation with them to where they can help us out a little bit more,” Mayor Shaun Musil said. “The (city) complex (during) the last few years, we’ve had the best numbers we’ve ever had. So we’ve got to take care of it if we want to continue to grow.”

A fuel road at Hays Regional Airport and a few access roads at West Frontier Park also will be repaired.

An addition to the proposed maintenance schedule was approved by the commission Thursday. Lincoln Drive will undergo concrete patch repairs between 20th and 23rd streets. The addition is possible because bids came in significantly below budget, Public Works Director Greg Sund said.

“Hopefully we can continue this,” Musil said of the city’s street maintenance funding. “I know there are a lot of streets in dire need, but I think we’re doing a good job. We’re doing the best we can with it.”

Sund noted a recent study of the city’s roads shows the overall street condition is improving, meaning the city is gaining on the problem.

“We are winning the battle to some extent, and that’s because the money is getting invested in streets,” he said.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved refurbishing three children’s play features in the Hays Aquatic Park zero-depth entry pool. The possibility of adding more equipment will be discussed at a later time.

• Approved annexation of Lot One, Block Three of North Hays Addition.