The Manhattan City Commission approved three new ordinances and discussed options surrounding planned North Campus Corridor projects at its Tuesday meeting.

Lyle Butler Day

The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce’s soon-to-retire President and CEO Lyle Butler was honored with the proclamation of Lyle Butler Day, which was set for Thursday, February 21. Mayor Mike Dodson thanked Butler for his contributions and commended him for his vision and team-building.

Butler told commissioners it’s been an honor to get to work with them and their predecessors during his time with the Chamber.
“It’s very, very important that this partnership continues because it is unique among cities to have a great partnership between the university, Fort Riley, the city and the business community,” Butler says. “And that’s what makes Manhattan a great place.”
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Butler also took time to thank many people who have supported him throughout the years, including his wife, Christeene.
I intend to, my wife and I both, to stay in the community and to be involved and continue to make Manhattan a great place.
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Butler officially retires on the 28th. A community celebration of his retirement was scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Manhattan Conference Center at 4:30 p.m.
Blueville Annexation
Manhattan City Commissioners unanimously voted to annex and rezone a 10.84 portion of land owned by Blueville Nursery which is intended for commercial use.
Blueville’s owner requested the annexation of the land that is contiguous with their existing property near Anderson and Kimball and includes portions of Scenic Drive and Wildcat Creek Road right-of-way. Part of the land is intended to be used as a detention pond as the southern border is within the Wildcat Creek floodplain and 100-year floodplain bounds as well. Later the city plans to move Wildcat Creek north to align with Cumberland Road. City administration and Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board recommended approval.
Commissioner Jerred McKee asked about how administration accounts for run-off in the development process. Assistant Community Development Director Chad Bunger says when they go through the plat process, they do a drainage study to make sure that run-off isn’t worse after development compared to the rate prior to it and that they compensate for it in some way if it would be.
Commissioner Wynn Butler says he doesn’t want to see anything built in the floodplain or the future conditions boundary.

“You know we made some mistakes in the past that we cant go back and fix — it’s time to say ‘stop, don’t build in the floodplain or the projected floodplain because all it’s going to do is displace the water onto somebody else,” Butler says. “Even if you protect the building you’re building, it’s going to hurt somebody else farther on.”

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Brad Waller of Alfred Benesch and Company spoke during public comment, saying that they have no plans to develop within that boundary. Rich Seidler also says they’re making sure the new developments won’t drastically alter run-off waterflow.
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They also rezoned the land from a Riley County agricultural to Manhattan’s neighborhood shopping district.
St. Isidore’s amendment

St. Isidore’s Catholic Student Center took the first steps toward a major face-lift as commissioners unanimously voted to amend the preliminary development plan for the facility and the planned unit development zoning district that contains the center.

St. Isidore’s originally planned to expand its facilities back in 2005. The new plans would essentially build a new building in the place of the old, leaving pretty much just the Northeast corner.

The planned facility would have seating for 700 as well as meeting spaces, classrooms and a kitchen. Additionally, a new entrance into the parking lot off of Anderson will lead to new accessible parking spots and further into the lot. The planning board recommended approval.

Commissioner Linda Morse says she appreciates the need for expansion.

“I think it’s been crowded there for services for a lot of years, at 20 that I know of,” Morse says.

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She also applauded their ability to work with K-State to solve parking issues and share a lot.

Commissioner Jerred McKee says he appreciates that the design include a new deceleration and turn lane for traffic coming into the church off of Anderson.

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“I’m not a big fan of direct turns into driveways off of Anderson, we don’t want another Starbucks situation,” McKee says.

Middle School Recreation Centers

Commissioners unanimously approved the Middle School Improvement Steering Committee’s schematic design and authorized the design/build team of Anderson Knight Architects and Bruce McMillan AIA Architects to develop a guaranteed maximum cost for the design and construction of the centers.

The centers will be 48,900 square feet with multiple programmable courts, an elevated running track, a community room and many more amenities. Half of it will be closed off to the public during school hours, with the remaining being available for public use. Current estimates put the price tag for both facilities at just more than $17 million.

The money will come from sales tax revenue approved by voters in 2017. Both centers are planned to be completed by early 2021.

Many members of the community including Eileen Wang, Dominque Sanders, Brandon Irwin and Ed Klimek spoke in favor of the design during public comment.

Commissioner Jerred McKee also stressed the importance of good signage to ensure the public knows it’s open to all.

Commissioners also expressed support for putting power lines underground around the North Campus Corridor, specifically along College Avenue.

They also held a public hearing on as well as approved the levying of special assessment taxes on new developments that received infrastructure improvements.

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