City To Move Municipal Court


The Manhattan City Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday night to continue with developing the old Riley County Police Department Headquarters into the Municipal Court building at the 600 Colorado site.

Commissioners Mark Taussig and Roger Reitz voted "no" for very different reasons. Reitz told the Commission that the building was too small and they needed to build a different Court. Taussig did not like the idea that $300,000 would be used but that would not complete the project. And it is money that they do not have, they will have to borrow it.

It is interesting that in Manhattan buildings are so expensive. One Million dollars to redevelop the old depot into a meeting room. Eight or nine hundred thousand to make a small addition to the animal shelter. And now the city will take $300,000 for a building that already has a floor, roof and four walls.

The Commission received this memo from Staff:


On May 15, 2001, the City Commission entered into an agreement with Brent Bowman and Associates (BBA) to provide architectural services related to the facilities at 600 Colorado Street. Those services included two phases. Phase I involved "existing building assessment, schematic design and cost estimate for Municipal Court, and concept planning for park components." Phase II included "design development, construction documents, bidding and construction administration of Municipal Court project." Phase I has progressed with a public meeting held on June 20, 2001, during which tours of the old jail and the administration building were provided. The minutes of that meeting are attached for review.


It was originally the intent of the design team to complete most of the tasks within Phase I before making the next formal presentation to the City Commission. At least one more public session was to be conducted. At that time the schematic design of the Municipal Court project and the concept plan for the park components were to be discussed in more detail. However, the City has been notified that Municipal Court must vacate the space now occupied in the Colony Square office building. Negotiations are on-going regarding the timing of that move, but it appears the shortest time is 30 days and the longest time is perhaps 6 months.

If Municipal Court is to function, it is imperative that office space other than at Colony Square be found quickly. Direction from the City Commission in the past has been to convert the old administration building at 600 Colorado to a municipal court facility. The design development for that project cannot proceed until the City Commission provides authorization for Phase II. The schematic design is complete and is summarized on the attached sketches. The sketches indicate how a municipal court of today would occupy the existing building, with some minor modifications. The longer range schematic indicates how a facility with two separate courtrooms could work. There is no way of knowing when that might be needed. The purpose of the schematic is to demonstrate it will work.

The design contract is already in place with Brent Bowman and Associates to begin Phase II immediately after authorization by the Commission. The budget for the municipal court project is $300,000, and includes the fee to BBA of $38,500. That includes all portions of both Phase I and Phase II. The 2001 Capital Improvements Program forecasted issuing General Obligation Bonds for this project.

Municipal Court currently pays $25,644 in rent per year for the Colony Square space. The annual debt service on a $300,000 bond issue at 4.78% interest rate is summarized with several options on the attachment entitled "bond analysis." The bond analysis was prepared by the Finance Department. The interest rate of 4.78% was used because it is the true interest cost from the most recent bond sale experienced by the City. There are other bonding and financing parameters that can be considered as well.