Following the meeting, Commissioner Kathryn Focke spoke with KMAN about the board’s difficult decision.
Despite his opposition, Ford says he does not favor dissolving the district.
The board’s decision followed about 40 minutes of public comment from more than a dozen Keats residents, many of whom say the added special assessments, which would be applied over 40 years, is simply more than they can afford. Among them were Keats resident Amy West.
Longtime Keats resident Denise Fangman said she favors dissolving the district.
Riley County Clerk Rich Vargo says Keats is on the short list for at least one grant that would fund up to half of the estimated $4 million plus project. Riley County has also earmarked $800,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support the project.
As for a timetable, officials say the expect a decision about funding in June 2024. The grant application has been filed and accepted by the USDA. Riley County will develop project specifications for USDA to evaluate, meaning a site for the lagoon must be selected, along with a basic project proposal by February, to stay ahead of the June deadline.