Riley County approves cost share for water line re-alignment study

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Riley County commissioners gave consensus to share the cost of a re-alignment study for Marlatt Avenue with the City of Manhattan.

City Assistant Director of Public Works Randy DeWitt and City Engineer Brian Johnson say they are preparing a RFQ for the design of a major water line to the water tower on Marlatt. With the pending re-alignment, the city is uncertain where to construct the water line.

“What this provides for us is an opportunity to collaborate with the county, not so much for the water line project specifically. When we design this water line it seems appropriate to work with Riley County to see what this alignment looks like,” DeWitt said.

Johnson says one of the main benefits for the county will be more direct access to Riley County High School. Those residents will no longer have to take Kimball to get there.

Chairman Ron Wells was a little hesitant saying the biggest benefit of the project would be for the city. County Public Works Director Leon Hobson explains the reasoning on sharing the cost.

“Right now it is our road and it could still remain our road for quite a while even with that access being up to Marlatt doesn’t mean that the city would be taking it over and we’d still have the road going to the west. For the preliminary we’d be looking at 50/50,” Hobson said.

Riley County Commission Chair Ron Wells hesitated before ultimately agreeing to the split, saying the city had more to gain. He’s prefer it to be a 45/55 split.

“I feel it’s still more of a benefit to the city because of the importance of the water line,” Wells said.

The commission agreed on the 50/50 split, but that won’t be finalized until Johnson and DeWitt present to the Manhattan City Commission at their next meeting. Commissioner John Ford agreed to the split, but said he’d feel more comfortable knowing a concrete price associated with the cost to the county.

Johnson estimates it would be roughly $15,000 to $20,000 charged to Riley County for the re-alignment study.

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Sam Hennigh

County government and school board reporter. 2016 Kansas State University graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications. Kansas born and raised.

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