Fehr: NBAF, airport expansion set to move ahead as planned

By Brady Bauman

The Riley County Commission heard from Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr about updates on on construction projects — including the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF) and Manhattan Regional Airport.

Fehr told the commission a recent trip to Washington, D.C., bolstered confidence NBAF construction will move on as planned.

“Both Sen. (Jerry) Moran and Sen. (Pat) Roberts told us that they had been working over the past several years to get a resolution passed by the senate supporting NBAF,” Fehr said. “And they did that the Friday before we were there. I think that’s a good thing.”

In President Barack Obama’s latest budget proposal the final $300 million is appropriated for NBAF and Moran told the Manhattan Rotary Club last week he hoped the facility’s construction would begin this summer.

Fehr said he also met with representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration while in Washington and discussed the Phase II expansion grant for Manhattan Regional, which would triple the size of the airport.

“That meeting went very well,” he said. “There’s no guarantee yet, but it looks pretty favorable we’ll be able to get our Phase II grant.”

Fehr said the long winter has extended Phase I. “Originally we hoped to be done with that by the end of the summer, but it looks more like the end of September for that to be done,” he said. “We hope to have a grant offer early summer for Phase II so we have an easy transition from Phase I.”

Commissioners Bob Boyd and Dave Lewis thanked Fehr for the city’s partnership with the county.

“We always appreciate our communications we have with the city,” Lewis said.

“What’s good for you is good for us,” Boyd said.

Other items:

• County Counselor Clancy Holeman updated commissioners on the status of Kansas Senate Bill 298, which would repeal or reduce the state mortgage registration fee. Holeman said the bill is stuck in committee and that the odds were against it going further with the current legislative session nearing its end. He did say, though, that it could return bundled with other bills in the next session. 


• The commission approved action on the Flint Hills Regional Transit Administration Interlocal Agreement.

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