City Commission discusses Manhattan’s weekend festivities

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The Manhattan City Commission held its weekly meeting on Tuesday in the City Commission Room at City Hall, located at 1101 Poyntz Ave.

A pressing issue brought up from the crowd during the public comments section of the meeting was the parking issues at Mount Zion Church of God located at 916 Yuma St.

The issue was brought forth by church pastor Carl Taylor. He said that although the church had received approval in the past for additional forms of parking, the overflow of cars that come to the church is too much for the small parking space to handle. Therefore, the members have to use the Douglas Center, located at 901 Yuma St.

Taylor said by using the Douglas Center during the times of church services, it does not take away necessary parking from those who work at the Douglas Center since it is a short period of time. He said the punishment handed out for church members parking in those spots is unnecessary and needs to be changed.

“I fully understand, as well as all the (church) board members understand, that is the Douglas Center parking lot and we don’t own it,” Taylor said. “But parking in the city of Manhattan is an issue across the board. Other worship services are allowed to utilize and park in the city’s parking. So should we.”

Taylor said a woman who brought her child to a day care service and parked in the Douglas Center parking lot for the time she would be dropping off her child. The individual was contacted while inside the day care center and told that if she did not move her car, she would be ticketed and it would be towed.

“That’s not necessary,” Taylor said. “On that day, there may have been three cars in the parking lot. That’s not necessary.”

The board did not take a vote on this matter but informed Taylor and members of the church who were gathered that they would address it on Thursday.

Commissioner Usha Reddi spoke to the attendees of the meeting about the success the Great Books sale recently held at the library and said she was pleased with the turnout of the people who were waiting to buy books.

Reddi also spoke about the two large events taking place in the Manhattan community on Saturday.

The Manhattan tradition “Fake Patty’s Day” was the first. Reddi urged those in attendance to keep the young people who will be partaking in the festivities safe and to also not hesitate in calling authorities if they feel they are being disturbed or are in any danger on Saturday.

“We want everyone to be safe,” Reddi said. “We’ve tried in the past to have constraints on it and we’ve done everything we can to control it, but we can’t control social media and things happen. RCPD is well-equipped, IEMS is well-equipped, and there’s lots of people working to keep our young adults safe. Please be cautious, be tolerant and make yourself available if someone should need you.”

Reddi said that on top of Fake Patty’s Day, Saturday will also be the day for the presidential caucus. She gave instructions on how to go about voting in this year’s caucus.

An update was given to the commission by Jason Hoskinson, head of the Transportation and Traffic Engineering division of BG Consultants, on the road improvements at West Anderson Avenue and other areas that had been previously presented to the commission to be worked on in the future. Among the improvements were possible installations of roundabouts at various locations in Manhattan.

A motion to finalize design on the improvements and changes was passed unanimously by the members of the commission.

Manhattan Mayor Karen McCulloh said the week of March 14-19 will be named “Brain Awareness Week,” thanks to the Little Apple Pilot Club.

McCulloh also said the entire month of March will be “March for Meals” month in Manhattan.

The commission will have a work session on March 8 before taking the next week off during the spring break holiday.

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