More Cash Needed For Union
Manhattan City Commissioner Brad Everett wants the City of Manhattan
to be responsible in all of it's finincial dealings. Right now the City
has received notice from it's bonding agent that the City has to
much debt and they need to change their ways.
Commissioners Bruce Snead and Roger Reitz were part of the Commission
that turned a $37million debt into a $64.8 million debt in only six years.
Tuesday night the three had words over the Union Pacific Depot receiving
more Grant money. Everett knows that the City has been taking on more debt
to pay for the matching funds every time the City gets a new Grant.
This time the Commissioners were told that a group will find the $100,000
needed and not come to the City. Everett says he will vote against any
matching funds for the project. Snead and Reitz were ready to vote for
the money Tuesday night. Here is a memo on the Depot:
The Union Pacific Depot property came under the City’s ownership in
1990 when the property was traded to the City as a part of the Downtown
Upon receiving title to the property, the City was contacted by a number
of individuals and groups who suggested possible uses for the property
including museums, Convention and Visitors Bureau, soup kitchen, restaurants,
public meeting space, professional offices and others. As the K-177
bridge project was being designed, the City received a grant from the National
Trust for Historic Preservation to perform an analysis on the site for
potential users and develop cost estimates for rehabilitation of the building.
A team led by Brent Bowman and Associates worked together to analyze the
site and recommended some public uses, but because of the access restrictions
from the bridge, it was unlikely that a high traffic retail use would be
located on the site. The team also provided some initial cost estimates
for rehabilitation of the structure, which were used for later grant applications.
In 1999, the City sent out Request for Proposals seeking a use for
the facility. After receiving none worthy of recommendation,
the Selection Committee continued to meet and discuss the potential use
of the Depot.
Several attempts have been made to acquire funding to make improvements
and rehabilitate the structure. In 1997, the City received notice
of the award of a Heritage Trust Fund Grant in the amount of $59,920.
This grant provided exterior foundation stabilization improvements to the
facility and was matched by approximately $15,000 in City funds and $3,000
from the Manhattan/Riley County Preservation Alliance. This portion
of the project is identified as Phase I of the Depot Improvement Project
and was completed by Sunflower Builders, Inc., in 1999.
In 2001, the City was notified by the Kansas Department of Transportation
(KDOT) of an award from the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEA 21)
in the amount of $418,576. This grant was matched by $104,644 in
local funds. Of the local funds, the City contributed $96,644 and
the Manhattan/Riley County Preservation Alliance contributed $8,000.
The grant provided exterior improvements to the building, including a new
roof, painting, and rehabilitation of the windows and doors and is known
as Phase II of the Depot Improvement Project. Interior improvements
included removal of asbestos and lead based paint, and the ceiling of the
building was partially finished.
Total funds provided through the various funding sources are listed
below. These funds have been used for design fees as well as rehabilitation
of the building. Complete funding breakdown of the Depot to date:
City funds: $111,644
Manhattan/Riley County Preservation Alliance: $11,000
Federal and State Funds: $478,496
In November of 2000, the City requested $430,400 in TEA 21 funds from
KDOT to continue rehabilitation of the Depot. This project, which
is known as Phase III, was expected to make the building usable by providing
interior, accessibility and mechanical improvements to the building.
The City received notice in June of 2001 that it was unsuccessful in receiving
In 2002, the Preservation Alliance requested that the City apply for
a Heritage Trust Fund Grant to complete air conditioning and heating improvements
in the building. In March of 2002, the City requested $20,000 from
the Heritage Trust Fund. The local match to the grant was going to
be supplied by the Preservation Alliance in the amount of $5,000.
The City was notified in May of 2002 that it was unsuccessful in receiving