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Drainage plans reviewed

By Maura Wery

Riley County commissioners heard an outline of plans for the second phase of the Tecumseh-Quivira project Monday. The project, which will begin in fiscal year 2014, is the second phase of a city-funded project to improve drainage in an area that includes the county health department.

First phase work involved development of a retention pond outside of the health department; enlarged retention ponds around Chase Manhattan apartments and the Jardine complex at Kansas State; and widened storm drains in the area to fill the ponds. The second phase will enlarge another retention pond downstream from the one enlarged in the first phase, as well as widen and add storm drains to the area.

City officials have estimated the cost for the project at $4 million to 5 million for all the areas, with second phase work expected to take five to 10 years to complete.

The work has no direct fiscal consequence to the county, but commissioners were briefed on it due to the potential impact on operations at the health department facility.

Commissioners were also shown plans to help water control and erosion issues experienced in CiCo Park. Olson and Associates created the development plan, meeting with concerned parties within the area. The firm said that erosion had caused a number of issues, such as exposing sanitation equipment and bringing banks to the foundation of homes, but the biggest issue was the increased floodplain.

Olson and Associates came up with a four to six month plan that will first stabilize the stream inside of CiCo Park and then will design dry stormwater basins downstream and create more of a floodwater storage area for the area around Dickens Avenue. With the plan, flood insurance rates would go down around 40 percent and the flood height for Dickens would go down almost a foot.

Both Commissioners Bob Boyd and Ron Wells approved of the project, although Wells expressed concern about who exactly would pay for the project. He said that he didn’t want to see just the people downstream having to bear the cost for the project. “Everyone within the area (should) pay,” he said.

Health Department director

Human resource manager Cindy Volanti received applications from almost 40 candidates for the Riley County Health Department administrator position.

“This is the most applications I’ve ever seen for a department head position,” Volanti said.

Volanti said that she gave all three commissioners the applications, and now it was their job to pick out the ones they want to interview. Boyd and Wells decided to choose around five of the 40 candidates by Thursday to review for interviewing.

Volanti said the commissioners would meet with her and county counselor Clancy Holeman in executive session to go over their picked candidates. Volanti said she will start scheduling hour-long blocks of time for the interviews to take place.

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