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Four proposals made the rounds Tuesday with the Manhattan City Commission debating the best course for the Kimball Avenue/Grand Mere Parkway roundabout.

Among them, Options 3 and 4 — both of which would remove the current roundabout and install a single-lane roundabout west of the existing placement. Those options received support from Commissioners Linda Morse, Mark Hatesohl, Aaron Estabrook and Mayor Usha Reddi.

Commissioner Wynn Butler was lone opponent to any roundabout proposals.

“I’m not going to support any roundabout. I think we should bulldoze that thing, put the signalized intersection there. We’ve had fatality accidents there over the year. I think the intersection will work better for the high volume of traffic and puts three lanes in there,” he said.

Butler noted doing so would also allow for expansion, if necessary in the future. City Engineer Brian Johnson was less than optimistic in the current roundabout’s short-term future.

“That roundabout’s in really poor condition. It is structurally deficient and starting to fail. We’re hoping we can get through two more winters with it, but it might not make it,” he said.

Options 3 and 4 would remove the existing roundabout and install a single-lane roundabout west of the existing roundabout.

Exactly how far west differs between both proposals with Option 4 the costlier option at $3.1 million and requiring 2 to 3 months versus Option 3’s $2.7 million price tag and 4 to 5 months to complete.

There was no motion and the proposal will be discussed again at a future meeting for final design.

In other business Tuesday, commissioners received a brief update on the city’s SPARK funding as part of the federal CARES Act. Riley County received $14.9 million. Manhattan received $2.9 million from Riley County, to be directed to reimbursement for actual expenses incurred during the pandemic and $400,000 to assist with rent and mortgage support.

Assistant City Manager Dennis Marstall says going forward Riley County will require updates on usage of funds.

“So as we go forward, Riley County wants all entities to give an update on November 30, to see how much has been spent, because you have to have all money spent or encumbered by December 31,” he said.

Manhattan previously accounted for rental and mortgage shortfalls with $634,000 in community development block grants, which have a three year window. The Manhattan Emergency Shelter will be the initial provider, receiving and redistributing this specifically.

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