Riley County commissioners gave consensus Monday not to move forward with the proposed Riley County Police department substation at this time.
The substation would be located within the City of Manhattan’s proposed parking garage in Aggieville. Original plans by RCPD included the substation and additional space for a training office. The law board endorsed the substation, but not the additional training space.
Current costs for the proposed substation estimate $443,820 for the construction and less than $9,000 for design since it no longer includes the training area. County Clerk Rich Vargo says the county already pays $10,500 a year in rent for the current substation.
“The City would like your approval for Riley County staff to sit with Manhattan City staff and work on agreements similar with the facilities at Denison Ave for the ambulance,” says Vargo.
Commissioner Ron Wells was not in favor of moving forward calling it more a benefit to Aggieville than to the county. Wells also favors a city-county deal with regard to rent prior to moving forward with anything. He would like to see either improvements made to the already existing substation, or have the county pay the construction cost for the new substation, but not pay rent. Vargo responded saying he doesn’t expect the city to expect rent if the county is paying for the cost of construction.
Commissioner John Ford was also not in favor, saying he still has some reservations about building a new substation.
“So basically, we are on the hook for the maintenance and liability of that particular space. I would also contend we just spent $1.5 million dollars on needed RCPD facilities and we aren’t even done yet,” says Ford.
The commission agreed to come back to this subject when they have received more information from a meeting with city and county staff. Vargo says he will work with County Counselor Clancy Holeman to meet with city staff for preliminary discussions.