Stormwater-detention fees

Manhattan may soon enact a fee to help pay for drainage and flood-reduction capital-improvement projects.

If implemented, it would impact property developers and relieve them of having to build water-detention systems for certain buildings.

Mayor Wynn Butler voiced support for the proposal, saying it would be more effective than having a series of independent detention systems.

“We’ve got millions of dollars worth of CIP and if we could funnel this money into that, I think it would have a much wider impact on the city than somebody trying to retrofit a piece of concrete,” Butler said during a city commission meeting Tuesday.

He also says he does not want the fee to exceed the cost of installing a water-detention system.

However, commissioner Linda Morse says the fee should be high enough to cover the cost of the projects.

“I don’t want the burden to fall on the general fund and the population,” Morse said. “I want there to be a tradeoff for what it would cost.”

Commissioner Usha Reddi says the policy would benefit the city financially and improve drainage in areas of Manhattan that do not have room for above-ground water-detention systems.

A 2016 study recommended 14 drainage and flood-reduction projects to the city. The total projected cost of these projects is about $154 million.

City officials will likely propose a specific fee amount to the commission this summer.

A detailed description of the proposed policy and the reasoning behind it can be found here.

Stormwater Management Plan: public engagement

Commissioner Usha Reddi recommended Tuesday that the city increase efforts to educate the public on stormwater management and what can go down drains.
The suggestion occurred during a discussion about the city’s Stormwater Management Plan, which includes public-engagement strategies.
Reddi specifically pointed out the need to educate those who are not from the area, such as college students.
“I hope we do a little bit more of that with our students, whether it’s with K-State housing or with landlords,” Reddi said. “We can do a few more short videos or a one pager that goes out so that they’re aware of it because most of them might just dump things into the sink and not even know they shouldn’t be dumping things into the sink.”
Reddi also asked whether the city’s Report It app, which can be used to report things like pot holes and traffic-light issues, is being used for stormwater problems.
Jared Wasinger, assistant to the city manager, says about 25 stormwater-related issues were reported through the app in 2020.
“We have continually more people downloading the app and looking at all the various ways that you can report issues, which is the whole intent – less phone calls and more reports online.” Wasinger said.
For more information on how to use the Report It app, visit

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