(MANHATTAN, Kan. – November 1, 2022) — The City Commission on October 18 unanimously approved a resolution of support for fundraising efforts by Riverfront MHK to develop a master plan for future development of the waterfront area along the Kansas River. The resolution makes it clear that no City funds will be used for the project.
This action was the culmination of a process that began July 21, when Phil Anderson and Tracy Anderson with the Riverfront MHK group made a presentation at a joint City-County meeting about their plan to raise funds to develop a master plan for the Kansas River front near downtown Manhattan.
The Riverfront MHK executive committee received a proposal from the consulting firm of Agency Landscape + Planning to conduct a 10-month study leading to a finalized master plan. (That proposal can be viewed here.)
The City and Riley County then appointed representatives to meet with Riverfront MHK and review the proposal. A nine-person committee that included three City representatives — Commissioner Wynn Butler, Ron Fehr, and Stephanie Peterson — met twice this year to review and discuss the proposal.
The City’s resolution of support expresses a willingness to allow Riverfront MHK to proceed with fundraising and then contracting with Agency Landscape + Planning to develop a master plan, with substantial community and stakeholder input as indicated in the proposal.
The City’s 5-Year Strategic Plan includes restoring the historic downtown connection to the river as an important quality-of-life goal, which could include:
- Developing recreational opportunities;
- Adding riverfront trail connections to other cities;
- Encouraging commercial investments;
- Restoring the river’s ecological beauty; and
- Providing outdoor concert venues.
“The resolution the City Commission passed was primarily supporting the development of a master plan for the riverfront, which could include some of these items,” explained City Manager Ron Fehr. “The commission has endorsed Riverfront MHK to perform fundraising to fund and facilitate the master plan effort.”
To view the master plan proposal submitted by Agency Landscape + Planning, click here. To make a tax-deductible contribution or pledge for the development of a Kansas Riverfront master plan, please visit RiverfrontMHK.com.