Mar 19

[ARCHIVED] City shifting to critical operations - closing most city facilities effective 3/19/20

The original item was published from March 19, 2020 4:40 PM to March 19, 2020 4:41 PM

(Manhattan, KS - March 18, 2020) The City of Manhattan will be closing City Hall and most facilities to the public as of Thursday, March 19, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Closures will be in effect until April 6, 2020.

The City will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and make changes as needed. Critical staff will continue to provide essential emergency and operational services to the community, while altering certain protocols to reduce exposure and maintain necessary staffing levels. This includes all critical water, sewer, traffic, street, and fire services.

Other staff will continue to work normal schedules and be available by phone and email during regular business hours. Interactions related to city business will be limited to means of online, email, and phone communication. The public is asked to be patient as certain staffing levels will be limited and most employees are working remotely.

“Circumstances are changing rapidly, so it is important that we continue to take precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees,” City Manager Ron Fehr said. “While we know this changes the way we do business, critical services will still be provided to the community. It is important that we do our part to slow the spread of this virus.”

Only the Manhattan Regional Airport will remain open to the public during this time. Please continue to monitor flight and travel information through The T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter will be open for animal surrenders by scheduled appointment only by calling 785-587-2783 and all animal control operations will continue.

Information about City of Manhattan services and facilities is available online at or by calling 785-587-2480.

Municipal Court 

For information about the Municipal Court, go to or call Municipal Court at (785) 587-2450 during business hours.

Utility Payments

During the City Hall closure, water utility customers have several ways to pay their bills. Here are the payment options:

  • Pay online (directions are outlined in your water bill received via mail or e-mail)
  • Pay over the phone with a card by calling 785-587-2480
  • Leave check payment in drop box at City Hall (south parking lot)

New customers can sign up for water service online by visiting or by calling a customer service representative at 785-587-2480.

The City will not turn off anyone’s water service due to inability to pay during this period.

City Commission, Boards and Committee meetings

Indefinitely, all public meetings for the City Commission, and advisory boards and committees will be held virtually while maintaining all statutory requirements of the Kansas Open Meetings Act on an as-needed basis. City advisory boards and committees will only be holding virtual meetings if critical action needs to be taken. All meetings will still be available for the public to view via Cox Channel 3 and on the City of Manhattan website City Commission meetings will also still be available live on the City of Manhattan’s Facebook page  However, The City Commission Work Session scheduled for Tuesday March 24 will be combined with the April 7 City Commission legislative meeting with advance information made available on the city’s website.

Coronavirus Information

If you think you may have symptoms of, or been around someone who has been diagnosed with, COVID-19, call the COVID-19 Screening Line at 785-323-6400 to speak with a medical professional about the next steps, which may include further evaluation for illness.

Please remember, this line is not for general questions about COVID-19, nor is it for testing or diagnosis of illness.

Information and updates about the rapidly changing situation will be shared on the Riley County Health Department (RCHD) website at as well as the RCHD Facebook page at