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MAHP and hotel split top agenda

By Corene Brisendine

The city commission agenda for Tuesday evening might not matter if there’s so much snow in the area that the whole event has to be postponed.

Assuming the show goes on as the scheduled, commissioners will discuss a request from the Manhattan Area Housing Partnership to waive building permit and utility connection fees for construction of affordable housing.

City manager Ron Fehr said the partnership made a similar request on units built last year, but the previous commission denied the request on a 3-2 vote.

Current commissioners Wynn Butler, Rich Jankovich and John Matta were the ones who denied it – so someone would need to have a change of heart for the partnership to get any kind of break on fees.

The commission also will see a petition to partner with Manhattan Hotels LLC for parking lot improvements at the Holiday Inn Express, which is currently under construction.

Fehr said that the city would split the cost of the parking lot because the lot is for public use, as well as for the hotel.

The lot has more stalls than needed for hotel guests, and because parking is already short in the downtown area, the city decided to partner with the developer, Colin Noble, to provide more parking.

Fehr said the proposed split would be 75-25 percent,with Noble footing the lion’s share of the cost.

City commissioners also will be asked to codify the goals and priorities for 2014 that were developed during their retreat in January.

Fehr said even though the commission might set the goals in stone, they remain just goals at this point.

Some of the goals include developing a plan to address high density housing, support the growth and improvement of the Manhattan Regional Airport, complete downtown redevelopment, create a floodplain management plan for Blue River Basin, and work on budget and debt management.

The meeting begins at 7 in City Hall, and will be televised on local cable channel 3.

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