Bruce Snead was elected as the new mayor of Manhattan at Tuesday night’s regular city commission meeting.
The meeting began with outgoing Mayor Bob Strawn proclaiming April 20 as “Arbor Day,” May 1 as “Poppy Day,” and May 2-7 as “Manhattan Bike Week.”
Forestry supervisor David Mattox said, Arbor Day is a holiday to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Arbor Day will have a celebration in conjunction Sunset Zoo on Earth Day.
Poppy Girl, 10-year-old Kaitlyn French, said red poppies have been designated as a symbol for citizens to honor soldiers who have lost their lives in the name of freedom. Karen Sisk, co-chair of Poppy Day, went on to say that the poppies are made by veterans in the hospital, The donations received from citizens help buy the poppies so the veterans can have some money to spend. Strawn said he hopes citizens wear the poppies with pride since veterans has “done so much and ask for so little.”
Snead said Bike Week is dear to his heart since he has made a personal commitment to cycling more, and he encouraged citizens to “remember all safety measures including wearing a helmet and obeying traffic laws.” Citizens will be able to ride with Snead as a part of Bike Week’s kickoff event.
Following the proclamations, the city commission approved the minutes of the April 6 meeting.
City clerk Gary Fees called for the nomination of a new mayor. City commissioners nominated then elected Snead for the position. Snead then called for the nomination of a new Mayor Pro Team; commissioner James Sherrow was nominated and given the position.
Snead and city manager Ron Fehr presenting Strawn with a plaque and red roses, recognizing his service as mayor from April 2009–April 2010. Strawn accepted the plaque and gave the roses to his wife, Julia, who he said encouraged him to become mayor. She said, “I don’t want you to sit around and get old; you get involved!” “So here we are today,” said Strawn.
Snead closed the reorganization with remarks for the upcoming year. “There is much to look forward to in the coming year. There will be numerous opportunities in celebrating our successes; opening the new pool complex in city park; breaking ground on all the south district projects; opening Strasser Landing and more retail business in the north district; opening Third and Pierre St., dedicating Kansas State University Center for Child Development,” said, Snead.
Commissioners then moved on to the consent agenda. All items on the consent agenda were approved except for recommendations for a water storage tank asset management program.
Lastly, commissioners discussed three items on the general agenda concerning a Manhattan day care center, McCall Road improvements, and single means of access for one and two family residential developments.
Commissioners ultimately agreed with assistant city manager Lauren Palme, to make a sublease agreement between Farrar Corporation and Manhattan Day Care and Learning Centers Inc. to construct a new day care center. The commission authorized a negotiated contract with Anderson Knight Architects of Manhattan for professional design services for the Manhattan Day Care and Learning Centers Project. Commissioners Loren J. Pepperd and Strawn were reluctant to accept at first because they were not favorably impressed with the arrangement of the sublease agreement, but Palmer explained it is the best alternative to get the new day care center completed.
Next Commissioners approved the notion for improvements to McCall Rd that will widen roadways, which will help handle increased traffic, and improve storm water sewage along the roadway. A Menards will also be built near McCall Rd as a part of a Development Agreement with Menard, Inc.
Ryan Almes, Fire Marshal, presented the city commission with information regarding the language in the International fire code, which specifies that if more than 30 dwelling units are located on a single fire apparatus access road, two separate and remote means of access are required. The second access road is needed in case one access road becomes unusable during a fire or other emergency. The Fire Code allows a developer to avoid providing two means of access in two situations; if the developer agrees to provide a residential sprinkler system for all units on the single means of access; or if the Fire Official determines that additional accesses are planned in the future. Commissioners were expected to determine which alternative would be best for the city. No final decision was made at the meeting.
All citizens are encouraged to attend meetings or watch on cable channel 3.