City Works On Township Road

By Jon A. Brake

City of Manhattan workers were busy Wednesday putting in a shoulder on the North side of East Marlatt Avenue.

Children in the area have been using the road to walk to school since 1995 because there is no sidewalk. The City is spending $10,000 to widen the road for the walkway.

The only problem is the road is a Manhattan Township road outside the City limits and the City can not spend taxpayers money on such a project.

Riley County Public Works Director said this morning that Riley County can not use county funds on township roads unless they have a contract to do the work.

East Marlatt Ave. has been a problem for the City and County for years. Both wanting the other to take the problems that go with the road. East and West Marlatt Ave. are not in a strait line at Tuttle Creak Blvd. That is because of a large ditch on the South side. This makes East Marlatt run about fifty feet to the North and the Township does not have a right-of-way on the properties.

A letter from Chuck Williams, Assistant Director of Public Works for the City states: "In order to place the proposed shoulder along your property and based on your indication of your property corner, the shoulder may very well be constructed outside of the public right-of-way. By allowing the placement of the shoulder on your property, it in no way transfers that portion of the property to the public."

Williams goes on to say: "As you know there have been discussions by Riley county to reconstruct Marlatt Ave. at some point in the future. That will be the most appropriate time to identify the existing right-of-way and for the purchase of additional right-of-way as needed for the project."

Williams does not state why the City is doing the project. The Free Press call Williams, City Manager Ron Fehr and Assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard but all were out of the office.