Downtown Hays is vital to the economic health of the community, and the Downtown Hays Development Corp. would like to see it become a unified, cohesive destination. It has revamped a marketing plan called the Bricks in Downtown Hays, a plan originally drawn up by the Management Development Center at Fort Hays State University

DHDC wants to develop an identity similar to Mass Street in Lawrence or Aggieville in Manhattan, DHDC Executive Director Sara Bloom told the Hays City Commission at its work session Thursday. This would include the need to get people on the streets regularly.

“We really feel this marketing plan is something everyone can buy into,” she said. “We want people when they hear Bricks in downtown Hays, they know exactly where to go.”

She said occasional events such as gallery walks, Wines & Steins and Fire on the Frontier bring people downtown, but the plan needs to bring people there on a consistent basis.

Businesses are in full support, Bloom said. DHDC has adopted a logo with a simple look that is available for use by businesses.

“I think the marketing plan is awesome,” said Commissioner Shaun Musil. “It’s unique and sets us apart. I think you’ve done a great job.”

The plan will be rolled out Oct. 1.

A new project for DHDC will begin next spring with a craft beer festival. The festival will have beer from 15 microbreweries.

In other business, the commissioners discussed:

• An engineering study for Lincoln Draw for detention ponds to reduce flooding. After a request for proposals, the low bid came in from Olsson Associates Inc. for $109,365.

• The city’s wastewater treatment plant is in need of replacing due to changing water-quality standards for discharge. The estimated cost is $30 million. The commission discussed borrowing the money from the Kansas Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund.