The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on September 18, 2002 · Page 1
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 1

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Page 1
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TT THE HAYS DAIIYNEWS City Hall pot Santa Cruz city leaders help in marijuana handout. Page All. Get out the broom The Victoria prep volleyball team sweeps county rival Ellis. Page Bl. Wednesday September 18,2002 Hays, Kansas 50$ 'Genuine' Oktoberfest is this weekend By JOY LEIKER HAYS DAILY NEWS Leo Dorzweiler said he has always dreamed of an authentic German Oktoberfest celebration in Hays. This weekend, the thick-talking German man's wish will come true when the Midwest Deutsche Oktoberfest Association kicks off its first "genuine German Okto- berfest" at the Ellis County Fairgrounds. Dorzweiler is a longtime member of the Volga German Society and short-lived organizer of Hays' famed Oktoberfest held in conjunction with Fort Hays State University's homecoming weekend each fall. But after disputes with other organizers last year, he split from the long-running event to coordinate the new association and brand new Oktoberfest. The result of his efforts, along with those of about two dozen other association volunteers, will come to life this weekend. The Midwest Deutsche Oktoberfest begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and concludes at 6 p.m. Sunday. All events will be held at the fairgrounds west of U.S. Highway 183 Alternate and Interstate 70. He and John Smith have headed up a committee of volunteers to plan this year's inaugural event, which will feature at least 18 food vendors and three beer sellers. The Gold Building will serve as the stage for 16 craft vendors in addition to a booth sponsored by the Ellis County Historical Society. Area square dancers will call their moves on a dance floor inside the Gold Building as well. The Schenk Building next door will serve as the home base to most of the prime Oktoberfest events. Saturday's opening cere-, mony begins at 10 a.m., and four polka bands, all based in Ellis County, will rotate performances from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. The polka music will continue during the event's second day on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The last two hours of Sunday's music are -intended as a jam session involving the weekend's featured polka musicians as well as other area musi- cians who want to join them. The genuine German celebration also will include a glimpse of historical German traditions. Participants can watch corn shelling and wheat threshing demonstrations beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday Nolan Sump will portray an 1880 immigrant farmer with performances both days as well. Oktoberfest also will feature a weekend-long horseshoe tournament. Competition will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday with elimination rounds throughout the day. Final competitions will continue Sunday. An age-old goal of Oktoberfest, Dorzweiler said, has been to intertwine the local college community and youngest residents with the German traditions of the area's ancestors. Local "youngsters" are welcome to pitch tents at the fairgrounds overnight and participate in both days' activities, he said. • FEST / SEE PAGE Ae • A list of booths Is on page A2. Revealing work / STEVEN HAUSLER / Hays Dally News Allen Bukowski, left, and Mike Engstrom of Mid-Continental Restoration, Fort Scott, remove the brick facade from the old Opera House this morning at the corner of Ninth and Fort streets in Hays. The company is removing the brick to expose and restore the native stone that lies beneath. The Krueger Bros. Dry Goods store was built in 1877 and survived a devastating 1895 fire that destroyed much of downtown's buildings. The second floor of the building featured operas, plays and musical performances, and the third floor temporarily housed county offices when fire destroyed the first courthouse in 1896. The building is part of the Chestnut Street District downtown realization project. Russell aotel and contention center hits snag . 'V "• ' " - , " -: •"••,•:;•••-.' :-:.',•.• .'•.,•"','' ' '•' ' "' ' ".;.-•; •:•'... .:•.''•','..: .-,'v"' :'•'''' '"'•"•" ; '•' . ''. : •'' :-' "^ \J By JOY LEIKER HAYS DAILY NEWS RUSSELL — Only a week before investors plan to break ground at the site of the new Russell Americlnn, city council members learned Tuesday that without a loan from the city coffers to pay for additional parking, the 54-room motel and convention center-might not be built. In addition to funds awarded by the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing and the U.S! Department of Agriculture, the motel and, convention center financially is supported by a team of 19 investors. This week those investors told Sandra Wood^ director of Russell County Economic Development, that they do not have the money to pay for the center's expanded parking lot. The motel and convention center will be adjacent to Interstate 70 on U.S. Highway 281. The size of the parking lot has grown since the original plan not only to provide more parking stalls, as required by Russell city codes, but also to allow ample space for emergency vehicles to maneuver through the lot. when summoned to the center. The parking areas surrounding the Russell motel and convention center will differ from those at other Americlnns because of the location and layout of the local facility, Wood said. The investors do not have the money set aside for the expenditure, but insist that without funds to pay for the parking lot, plans for the center cannot continue. If the city provided funds for the parking lot, investors suggested they could ,make annual payments, perhaps in 10- percent increments, to repay the loan. Councilman Mick Allen was one of many to express his frustration with the situation. "If'we don't do this, the whole place goes away, and we might as well shut the gates," he said. Councilman, Paul Phillips said, "I know they need this parking lot. They're telling us if we don't do this parking lot, we're hot coming to your town." ..'';. Allen ••. said because the money loaned would be repaid to the city, he didn't object to.the idea, but fellow Councilman Larry'Daugherty added that if this arrangement was made. with Americlrin investors, other local businesses might make similar requests in the future. Americlnn will employ 11.5 people, .'accounting for a $197,000 annual payroll. Wood pointed out the facility will be an economic boost not only Russell but to other communities in the region. The convention center, can acco- modate 200 people, which would set it apart from many other facilities in northwest Kansas. Americlnn officials actually expect the motel's payroll to be about one-and one-half times the $197,000 amount — or $348,000. Once the facility is fully operational, its revenue is anticipated to exceed $2 million. Preliminary cost estimates for the facility's parking lot range from $60,000 to more than $110,000 depending on the materials used for its surface. Asphalt millings would be the most'cost-effective surface initially, although .maintenance costs typically are more expensive. • "If it's more maintenance down the road, so be it," Allen said, noting that at this stage, it's essential that the city make a deal. • RUSSELL / SEE PAGE A6 Bush to seek resolution approving 'all appropriate means' against Iraq WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress must authorize the use of military force against Iraq before the U.N. Security Council votes on the issue, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told Congress today. "No terrorist state poses a greater and more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq," Rumsfeld said hi written testimony prepared for the House Armed Services Committee. Rumsfeld's testimony was interrupted by protesters who gathered at the rear of the hearing room, chanting "Inspections, not war!" repeatedly, as the secretary and committee members listened patiently and then the demonstrators left. "As I listened to those comments, it struck me, what a wonderful thing free speech is," Rumsfeld observed, as he continued his statements on Saddam. Rumsfeld's testimony came shortly after President Bush said Saddam is "not going ' to fool anybody" with'his promise to admit weapons inspectors and predicted the United Nations will rally behind his Iraq policy despite signs of unease. In an Oval Office meeting with congressional leaders, Bush thanked Democrats and Republicans alike for their commitment to vote on a congressional resolution on Iraq before November's elections. "I think it's an important signal for the world to see that this country is united in its resolve," the president said. ' Making tracks . ., . A'grain truck turns toward town, crossing under the railroad track bridge Tuesday at Victoria.' ' ' • ,, - Gustafson discusses sales taxes By JEREMY SHAPIRO HAYS DAILY NEWS City Manager Randy Gustafson agrees an Ellis County sales tax to expand the Law Enforcement Center would help the city, but the city still plans to proceed with its own sales tax project that also targets LEG improvements. Gustafson called a Tuesday press conference to unofficially kick off an awareness campaign about the projects the city would tfund'jf voters passed a .half-cent, Ip-year city sales tax Nov. (5. : ' He also addressed a Monday decision by the county commission to proceed with its own half-cent, 10-year county sales tax question on the same ballot. Gustafson stressed the city is not opposed to the county's sales tax effort. Because the LEG houses the Hays Police Department and the Ellis County Sheriffs Department, an expansion would benefit everyone. "We are not opposed to the county's proposal," Gustafson said. "We have a number of issues to accomplish within the city, and we understand the ,. county's needs. Expanding it would help us as well because our police department would have more room to operate." In its tax package, the city allocated less than a million dollars for minor renovations hi the LEG. The county's entire $6.6 million tax package would go toward an addition to the LEG. Because each government has the same idea, Gustafson said they would try to work together to avoid duplicate plans. He talked with Sheriff Ed Harbin Tuesday to get a better idea of the expansion plans, which include a southward addition to provide much more room for the jail. "We might not do anything to the LEG for a year or two depending on the county's circumstances," Gustafson said. "We won't go and remodel it knowing the county has plans to renovate it, too. I expect this to work and us to cooperate." If the city plan passes, the city would receive an estimated $20 million hi sales tax revenue over 10 years, , If the county plan passes, the city of Hays would receive an estimated $11 million over 10 years, regardless of the results of its own question. City sales tax revenue only would go to Hays, but a county sales tax would raise money for the county, Hays, Victoria, Ellis and Schoenchen and would be allocated based on population. . Gustafson said a key aspect of the city package is it will not put the city in debt. Labeled a pay-as-you-gp tax, the city will not start any work until the money for that particular project is collected. That way, -the city will not need to borrow money and won't incur any debt, Gustafson said. One of the most popular parts of the package, and potentially a big selling point, is repairing residential streets. Gustafson said within the 10-year sfdes.fax, 90, r percent of the residential streets will be improved. By repairing aging streets now, the city will save millions -later on when the streets' reach a point where th'ey' 'need complete reconstruction, Gustafson s'aici; "The streets are 20, 30 or 40 years old,", he sjjid. "They are many signs, of deterioration.^ would tajke more money to reconstruct them later on than mauv ' tabling them now." v -The first round of street repairs probably would • begin In 2005, Gustafson, said, The order of street re-' "pairs -would be based upon pie' condition' of the-' "roads. The worst streets will be worked on first. " Storm water infrastructure implements will be" done before street repairs begin so that they won't have to later rip up a repaired' street to .work on; a storm water drain. t ' , '';/'" ' - *»'"* ' ,A-new fire station in the nbr4heast r ,se'qtldn,of', town is perhaps the '*--'"-' --'tax revenue, • TAXES / SEE PAGE Ae v.'JN 2 sections, 20 pages To subscribe call (785)628-108], 2 or (800) 667-6017 Inside today Kansas A3 Financial ,.A6 Opinion A4 Cofnlcs A12 •> Computers A5 Sports 81 Obituaries A6 Classifieds B4 Localforecast Tonight cloudy with a 50-percent chance of showers and thunder- ••• •< : ?torrns. Low In the Ibtyer 50s, -" v North 'winds 15 to l 25 m'ph. Thurs- y, with a 30-percent' , Stance .'of showers, Breezy, Highiln . th,e'>m'ja 6ps; Nbfth,winds 19 tp 254;; mph. Weather map, page A2. • • jV'V^TO 1 '™ , t ^tV>«?W%&?*f #'',,' ^^^^^•^jt^^^f^^jj^ffd f^i ij«^t*| J -

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