The Board of Riley County Commissioners approved a request by County Clerk Rich Vargo to hire an architect to develop remodeling plans to expand office space for election staff.
Vargo asked for the board to approve an architect to redesign the 4th floor of the Courthouse Plaza East (CPE) building to accommodate the extra needed space, something he says has been a need for the past 15 years and would not affect any other election operations.
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The county plans to submit for the Physical Security Grant Program through the Secretary of State’s Office, which uses federal HAVA security funds for the express purpose to facilitate upgrades and improvements in each of the 105 county election offices.
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The plan would be to have upgrades in place by February, in time for the presidential preference primary.
As for the November general election, Tuesday is the final day to register if you plan to vote.
Advanced voting, both in person and by mail begin Wednesday. The deadline to request an advanced mail ballot is Oct. 31. Advanced voting continues through noon on Nov. 6. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7. When voters head to the polls, the voting machines are the same, but no longer serve as vote tabulators, as noted by Vargo at Monday’s meeting.
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Locally, four seats are open on the Manhattan City Commission. The top two vote recipients will earn a four year term. The third and fourth place candidates will receive two year terms.

The Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 school board also has four seats open, all four year terms.

Additional local city and school board races can be found on the Riley and Pottawatomie County Clerk’s websites.

In other business Monday, commissioners approved an amendment to the Manhattan Urban Area Comprehensive Plan .

Planning and Special Projects Director Amanda Webb presented to amend the Future Land Use Map.

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The Planning Office findings indicate that the proposed map amendment is compatible with existing or future land uses on adjacent properties. There were no changing conditions or corrections of areas for the first two maps, but the Hartford Hills master plan did need an update; the western half of the area will not be developed.

The amendment must be approved by both the Riley County and Manhattan City Commissions. The latter will consider the amendment Tuesday evening.

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