City considers potential changes to Peace Memorial improvements

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The Manhattan City Commission reviewed potential amendments to the second phase of the Peace Memorial Auditorium Improvement Project.

The Friends of Peace Memorial Auditorium raised the majority of the funding for the first phase and a big chunk for the second phase, however funds have run short of the total project cost.

As a result, some aspects of the project may be nixed or put on hold, a possibility that doesn’t sit well with FPMA, according to Parks and Rec Director Eddie Eastes.

“The Friends of Peace Memorial would prefer the entire project, both audio and lighting, be completed rather than breaking it into simply what they have funds for, which would be the audio component,” Eastes said.

Some commissioners expressed their concerns about the project cost running far beyond the original scope approved by the City two years ago. The item was tabled Tuesday, and City staff will bring back a detailed list of phase two project costs and priorities.

In other business, the commission approved the construction of a new road connecting the backside of the Stonecreek Family Physicians office and surrounding business to Scenic Drive. The project will be completely paid for by a benefit district, which received unanimous support from impacted tenants. The commission approved the petition.

Commissioners also approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the Manhattan Urban Area Comprehensive Plan by adopting and incorporating the Flint Hills/Fort Riley Joint Land Use Study update.

Finally, a discussion was held regarding the City’s pet licensing process. Currently, the City only issues licenses for 9% of the total pet population of roughly 25,000 pets in Manhattan. The issue is partly caused by lack of enforcement and inconvenience in filling out and purchasing a license. Potential improvements to the process could include stronger enforcement and the purchase of pet licenses at the vet’s office. The commission will review the matter at a later meeting.

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Eli Anderson

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