Carry law up for city review

By Corene Brisendine

City commissioners plan Tuesday to notify the Kansas attorney general and the Riley County Police Department that the city wants a six-month extension on application of the new concealed carry law.

The exemption would give the city time to devise a plan to secure some of its 87 municipal facilities, among them parks, pools, the linear trail and various city owned buildings. Under terms of the new law, if the city cannot demonstrate that the facilities are secure, it must permit the concealed carry of weapons within those facilities. Even if it seeks an exemption, that exemption is only good for four years.

Deputy city manager Jason Hilgers said the staff has recommended securing the municipal court building at 601 Colorado St., but removing any prohibitive signs at the remaining 86 facilities. The law passed by the Kansas Legislature during the last session gives municipalities until July 1 to provide notice for an extension or allow the law to become active. If exemptions are sought, local governments have until Jan. 1 to devise a security plan and qualify for the four-year exemption.

Other items on the agenda are recommendations to approve zoning for three building projects in town. Two businesses – Aaron’s Furniture Store and Midway Wholesale, a building supply company – want to build stores at Heritage Square. The second zoning request is to convert the building at 518 Yuma that previously housed Treasures of the Heart from a mixed residential/commercial district back to a residential district. The applicant has requested that the store space on the first floor be converted into two one bedroom dwelling units. The second floor has always been a single family unit. The Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board recommended approval of all the projects.

Commissioners plan to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 1101 Poyntz Ave. The meeting will also be televised on local cable channel 3.

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