Public Building Commision advisory panel axed

By Maura Wery

The Riley County Commission decided Monday to not create a public advisory board to the proposed Public Building Commission. But they did so over the objections of one commission member.

The decision followed a report by county counselor Clancy Holeman that other such building commissions across the state have not used such an advisory council. Both Commissioners Ron Wells and Dave Lewis opposed the idea of an advisory board, citing history as well as a desire to expedite the process of approving building proposals. Commissioner Bob Boyd, who had proposed the idea of such a council, stood by his idea, saying it “brings the public into the process” and would provide “better results.”

“The PBC was not created to keep the public out,” county clerk Rich Vargo told Boyd, noting that each project created by the board will be open to public meetings and suggestions.

The decision raised the prospect that the board’s eventual decision on the commission would not be unanimous. Boyd told his fellow commissioners he “would not support a public building commission” if an advisory board was not included.

Wildcat Creek flooding

With the great amounts of rainfall overnight and alerts of flooded roadways many were concerned that Wildcat Creek might become an issue for flooding. But Riley County Emergency Management personnel said Monday there is no immediate flooding risk near the creek.

There were several accounts of between one-and-a-half to five inches of rain falling overnight Sunday. But Assistant Fire Chief Doug Schmitt said most of the rainfall occurred up in the northern part of the county, and he was not anticipating any immediate flooding. Wells, who has been active with the Wildcat Creek Advisory Group, also said he didn’t think there would be an immediate flood threat because the rain has already had a chance to flow through.


Renting parking lot

The Riley County Commission has purchased the public parking lot adjacent to its office buildings and will now lease out those spaces to county employees. The lot, at the northeast corner of Fifth and Humboldt, was purchased by the county and will officially close to public use on Oct. 1. The commission decided to rent the spaces out to employees for $20 a month.

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