Manhattan City Commission members approved a motion to allow Kansas State University to purchase the Innovation Center from the city. The university has leased the building for the last ten years. The purchase total of $5.645 million will be paid out over 15 years.
The money, as Commissioner Wynn Butler explained, will return to the city’s Economic Development Fund.
“It’s important to know that the money will go back into the old Economic Development Fund.”
The Commission also heard from consultant Tony Peterman from the Jones Lang LaSalle research group about a potential expansion at the Manhattan Convention Center. Given current market conditions in Manhattan, Peterman recommended a 7,000 sq. ft. addition.
The Commission supported the economic benefits an expansion could present; however, there was some disagreement on how to pay for it.
Total cost of the project is estimated at $4.4 million. No action was taken, as more research will be done moving forward.
Additionally, the Commission approved some slight changes to the fee program levied on the Aggieville and Downtown Business Improvement Districts (BID).
Disagreement arose over the legal consequences of late payment. Legal action will be taken to collect past payments. Part of that enforcement process requires the issuance of affidavits. The disagreement centers around who issues them. The city is concerned about taking too much time, while BID leadership is concerned about damaging relationships with its members. The item passed 5-0, with the condition that the commission will work out a compromise for collecting late payments.
Finally, the Commission approved adjustments to landing fees at Manhattan Regional Airport. Airport Director Jesse Romo has said the fee increases will result in an estimated revenue collection of over $77,000 dollars per year.