County agrees to share flood gauge upkeep

By Burk Krohe

Riley County commissioners agreed Thursday it would be beneficial to share maintenance costs of a new flood gauge near Keats with Fort Riley.

“There’s not much use in having it if we’re going to maintain it,” said commission chair Karen McCulloh, who favored the split.

Pat Collins, Riley County Emergency Management director, said Fort Riley has been working with the city on its flood management efforts and bought a flood gauge located on the post near Keats. USGS installed the new gauge, which will join two gauges located at Scenic Drive and at Seth Child Road.

It’s part of an ongoing endeavor by the Wildcat Creek Working Group, a group created to pro-actively address flooding issues in the city and county after last summer’s flood. One of the group’s main goals is increasing the number of flood gauges in the basin. The gauges will monitor water levels, and Collins said they will be useful for early detection of a flooding event.

However, there are maintenance costs associated with the new gauge. The yearly maintenance fees are estimated at $6,000. Fort Riley officials asked that the county cover half the cost. Commissioners supported partially funding maintenance costs and approved the measure with little discussion.

The $3,000 is expected to come from the Emergency Management budget in the general fund.

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