Parks and Rec fees
The Manhattan City Commission approved Parks and Recreation program fee increases in a 3-2 vote Tuesday.
Fees will now be the cost of the activity plus 10 percent for certain youth, senior and adult special population programs and the cost of the activity plus 20 percent for certain adult programs.
Commissioner Mark Hatesohl, who voted in favor of the measure along with Mayor Wynn Butler and Commissioner Aaron Estabrook, says he supports the idea of programs being funded by “user fees.”
“The people that are using the parks and recreation programs need to be the main funders of that and the 90 percent of people that aren’t participating in those programs will still continue to provide the background for the parks and recreation department – the parks and pools and everything else like that,” Hatesohl said.
Commissioners Linda Morse and Usha Reddi voted in line with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to not implement fee increases.
The board’s opposition to the changes stems from efforts to keep recreation activities affordable to the public.
In the same vote, the commission also approved basketball and volleyball court rental fees for the city’s new recreation centers.
Costs will sit at about $45-per-hour per-court and $2,500-per-facility for weekend tournaments.
For more details program-fee increases and facility-rental costs, click here.
Downtown parking garage lighting and security
The commission approved a maximum of price almost $340,000 for new light systems and security cameras for the downtown parking garage.
Deputy city manager Jason Hilgers says the measure is partially meant to address security concerns within the structure.
“We do see a lot of damage – we see a lot of behavior,” Hilgers said. “We need to put something in place. There are behaviors going on in that garage that we need to monitor and be able to react to.”
The security system is also being installed at the recommendation of the Riley County Police Department and request of Hilton ownership and management.
Officials estimate the project will be finished by August 2021.
Opposition to board appointment
The commission approved the appointment of Ben Burton to the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board Tuesday, but not without opposition.
Morse says that she while does not have an issue with the candidate himself, his appointment creates an all-male board.
“We’re in the year 2021,” Morse said. “We have plenty of qualified women in this community and so this is just my way of saying: pay attention to the fact that we’re not appointing women and minorities to some of these boards.”
Butler, who is currently in charge of board appointments, says he does not take gender into consideration when making these decisions.
“When I look at who’s on boards, I don’t go through and add up how many men and women [there are]because I don’t appoint based on gender,” Butler said. “So I don’t see a problem if a board is all women or all men. That’s just not an issue with me.”
Reddi expressed concern that a person she appointed while mayor was not selected despite the candidate’s interest in continuing to serve.
Butler says he tries to appoint new people so that more citizens get involved.
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