Riley County officials are planning an informational meeting early next month to discuss the future of the Keats Sewer Benefit District.
Commissioners created the district in 2018 after more than 51 percent of affected property owners signed a petition.
“After several years of analyzing options, costs, and funding mechanisms, the County sought to move forward with sanitary sewer collection and pump to the City of Manhattan Wastewater Treatment Facility,” said Amanda Webb, Director of Riley County Planning & Development.
Rising costs, material delays and labor shortages have prompted Riley County to move toward a community lagoon option instead.
Webb says a location has not yet been secured as the county continues to research grant and loan opportunities to finance the project.
“Both options represent multi-million-dollar projects that the benefit district residents must ultimately pay for over time. Each homeowner would also be required to pay monthly user and maintenance fees,” said Webb.
According to information released by Riley County Friday, the need for a new plan arose as septic systems in the area began reaching the end of their life cycles and began failing. Lot sizes in Keats do not meet minimum requirements to install replacement septic systems according to modern environmental standards. Homes without working sanitary sewer systems are not habitable and must be vacated.
The lagoon would be a state regulated and permitted project that is county maintained. Lagoons must be fenced, gated, and maintained (to include seeding and mowing). Several private and public lagoons are already in use within Riley County. The cities of Randolph, Riley, and Leonardville each have three-cell lagoons that serve their communities. A lagoon services Riley County High School and is located south of their athletic field.
The community meeting is planned for 7 p.m. March 9 at the Keats-Riley United Methodist Church.