A 7.7-acre subdivision is coming to the northwest part of the city, but two Manhattan city commissioners want to make sure interested buyers are aware of potential noise impacts from Fort Riley.

“Sometimes when people move into the community, they don’t know all of the stuff,” said commissioner Usha Reddi.

Reddi and commissioner Linda Morse pushed for the importance of alerting potential homebuyers about these noises.

Earlier this week, commissioners unanimously approved annexing and rezoning the Henry Addition for the new development at the west end of Victory Drive. This is a new road under construction in the Hartford Hills area in the northwest part of the city. Officials said the subdivision will include seven single-family residential lots.

Morse asked Chad Bunger, assistant director of community development, if the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board, which recommended approval of this item, discussed noise impacts or the Flint Hills/Fort Riley Joint Land Use Study. Bunger said the planning board did not; Morse requested city administrators talk to the planning board about the noise impacts.

“I just think it’s part of the story and it needs to be raised,” Morse said.

Mayor Wynn Butler said he trusted the planning board and city administrators to talk more about noise impacts later during construction.

“This is just an annexing and rezoning, and so they probably didn’t go that far into it,” he said. “We’re probably ahead of the curve on that one.”

Manhattan resident Monica Macfarlane, who moved to the city because her husband is part of the military, said she also wanted to make sure future residents were aware of the noises. She said the noises caught her off guard when she moved to the area. Morse said her concern was “very valid.”

Diversity task force talks city’s strengths

Members of the Manhattan Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force Thursday talked about what they believe are strengths of the city in its second meeting of the year.

Bryan Samuel, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Kansas State University, pointed out that housing in Manhattan could be both a strength and weakness.

“It is a little high and certainly expensive, but by comparison when we’re thinking about other localities that we’re competing for talent and for families, it is quite not as expensive as other places,” he said.

Corey Williamson, co-chair of the task force and executive director of the K-State Union, agreed with this sentiment.

“I think it’s just reinforcing Dr. Samuel’s message that housing could be listed in both categories of a strength as well as a weakness depending on what’s your status or what your socio-economic background might be,” he said.

Susan Rensing of the Flint Hills Wellness Coalition said people moving to Manhattan from larger cities may find home prices very affordable, but it is can be more difficult for others to find housing that’s both affordable and adequate for their needs.

This task force will focus on individual and family support, economic opportunity, public safety, livability and health and wellness for 12 months. Manhattan city commissioner Usha Reddi came up with the idea to create the task force in December. It had its first meeting in January.

Members will review what they think are community weaknesses at the next virtual meeting planned for March 25 at 6:30 p.m.

Friend of the Flint Hills award

announcement

Dr. Tom Eddy, former professor at Emporia State University, is the 2021 Friend of the Flint Hills recipient.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation made the announcement earlier this week.

Eddy will be recognized April 10; the ceremony will have limited in-person attendance. There will be a virtual option on the FHDC Facebook page as well, officials said.

Eddy taught at Emporia State University for over 50 years.

“Interpretation of the history and ecology of the tallgrass prairie provides insights not only into the dynamics of prairie life but teaches us how we can better understand our own lives,” he said.

Since 2012, the foundation has given out the award to people or organizations in the Flint Hills. This award aims to recognize conservation efforts in the Flint Hills region in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Flint Hills Wellness Coalition survey

The Flint Hills Wellness Coalition is requesting Manhattan and Riley County residents’ participation in a survey on perception about three behaviors that reduce the risk for serious health conditions. These three behaviors include physical activity, healthy eating and commercial tobacco control.

People can take the survey the online on the Flint Hills Wellness Coalition website.

The coalition is part of Pathways to a Healthy Kansas, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas initiative to improve general health in the area.

Officials said the survey is anonymous.

Appointments

The Manhattan City Commission approved these board appointments Tuesday:

  • Scott Sieben, 1908 Indiana Lane, to a three-year term on the Aggieville Business Improvement District advisory board. The term begins now and ends Dec. 31, 2023.
  • Sean Durr, 136 EJ Frick Drive, to a two-year term citizen at-large term on the city/university special projects fund committee. The term starts now and ends June 30, 2022.
  • Krystin Guggisberg, 3403 Treesmill Circle, to a three-year term on the human rights and services board. The term starts March 10 and ends March 9, 2024.
  • Patrick Miller, 2215 College Ave. Apt. 181, to a three-year term on the human rights and services board. The term begins March 10 and stops March 9, 2024.
  • Commissioner Mark Hatesohl, 1206 Stacey Lane, reappointed to a one-year city commission term on the municipal audit committee. The term starts April 1 and ends March 31, 2022.