Aggieville and City Park parking restrictions
The Manhattan City Commission Tuesday discussed adding parking restrictions in Aggieville, City Park and nearby neighborhoods.
The move is in response to what will be a sizable decrease in available parking stalls during 2021 due to the construction of a parking garage near the N. Manhattan Ave./Laramie St. intersection.
Potential restrictions include three-hour parking limits during weekdays, no overnight parking and a new residential parking color zone.
Mayor Usha Reddi says she is in favor of the parking plan and its potential to bring more pedestrians to the area.
“That’s a densely populated area, so we’re always trying to promote pedestrians and bicycle riders,” Reddi said. “More foot traffic is what we’re aiming for.”
Mark Hatesohl, Manhattan city commissioner, says he also supports the plan and expects it to change over the next few years.
“There’s such a diversity of business and needs in the Aggieville area,” Hatesohl said. “As businesses change, there will be different parking needs and parking demands.”
One of the purposes of the timed parking restrictions is to increase turnover for local businesses.
According to Jared Wasinger, assistant to the city manager, there will be designated loading zones in Aggieville for drivers who need to drop off or pick people up.
To view the details of the proposed parking plan, click here.
Aggieville sidewalk cafes
The Manhattan City Commission approved an ordinance Tuesday that will allow certain Aggieville businesses to serve alcohol on sidewalk cafes located along 12th St.
Reddi says the move is an attempt to promote outdoor dining during the pandemic.
“If people are congregating indoors, even if its a small capacity, if they’re there for long periods of time, you might contract COVID from anybody,” Reddi said. “We’re trying to promote outdoor dining.”
Deputy city manager Jason Hilgers says it is also meant to help businesses that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 occupancy restrictions.
“If you’ve had conversations with some of these businesses, they have been hurt,” Hilgers said. “They are not generating the revenue like they used to generate. Their occupancy is lower. Even if it may appear as if this decision is about alcohol, it’s about allowing them more capacity, no different than the platforms that we did downtown.”
According to the ordinance, the businesses can only use the sidewalk cafes during their regular business hours.
CARES Act funds
The Manhattan City Commission indicated that it will focus most of the approximately $300,000 in round three Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) CARES Act funding on rental and mortgage assistance.
While CARES Act funds can also be spent on other areas such as testing and job training, Dennis Marstall, assistant city manager, says the city has been encouraged to focus on homelessness prevention. The city will likely do so through the Manhattan Emergency Shelter, or MESI.
The city could also grant these CARES Act funds to other local agencies that have submitted requests, such as the Flint Hills Breadbasket and Riley County Seniors Service Center.
Linda Morse, Manhattan city commissioner, says she is happy to see the city working through existing agencies instead of starting new programs.
Between the first and third rounds of CDBG-CV CARES Act funding, Manhattan has been allocated about $634,000.
In other Manhattan City Commission news:
  • The commission received an audit report for 2018 and 2019.
  • The commission approved a $1,005,800 payment to the Army Corp of Engineers for design services regarding the Levee Improvement Project.

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