(MANHATTAN, KS - April 28, 2020) Manhattan Mayor Usha Reddi announced today the formation of the Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force to help guide the City and surrounding area as we emerge from the effects of the COVID 19 virus in all areas of daily life and commerce.
The charge to the Task Force is to “develop a measured and phased path forward for our community and begin implementation as soon as next week, in some areas.” Jason Smith, President and CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce and Bob Copple, CEO, Ascension Via Christi Hospital have been appointed to co-chair the Task Force.
In organizing the Task Force, Mayor Reddi stated, “I am proud of how our community has come together to tackle the virus head on by following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Fortunately, Manhattan and the Flint Hills Region has an abundance of talent, resources, and motivation to work within the unique parameters in place due to the pandemic, as we begin the journey toward a new sense of normalcy.”
The Recovery Task Force is being formed to prepare, plan and support our regional organizations and businesses to be successful while keeping our community safe. Once the Governor’s Stay at Home Order is no longer in effect, local health officials will evaluate Governor Kelly’s reopening guidelines and recommend those that are necessary to continue to reduce the spread of the virus, based upon testing, local data, and contact tracing capabilities.
The Recovery Task Force will provide recommendations to both the public and private sectors in phased approaches, with the goal of Kansas State University resuming in-person, on-campus classes, reopening of public schools for the 2020-2021 school year, and other needs of the community.
The Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force is composed of community leaders representing a variety of sectors in the region.
Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force Members include:
Jason Smith – Co-Chair, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce
Bob Copple – Co-Chair, Ascension Via Christi
Keith Ascher – Geary County Commissioner
Lonnie Baker – Long Term Care Facility
Dennis Butler – Riley County Police Department
Robbin Cole – Pawnee Mental Health
Dennis Cook – Aggieville Business Association
Linda Cook – Kansas State University
Mickey Dean – Junction City Chamber of Commerce
Mike Dodson – Military/Former Mayor
Fanny Fang – Local business/grocer
John Ford – Riley County Commissioner
Cheryl Grice – Non-profits/Manhattan Social Services Advisory Board
Karla Hagemeister, USD 383 School District
Shilo Heger – Riley County Treasurer
Karen Hibbard – Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau
Kara Holle– Wamego Chamber of Commerce
Ed Kalas – Riley County Health Department
Dr. Ryan Knopp - MHK Clinical Task Force
Kelly Loub – Local business/restaurant
Dee McKee – Pottawatomie County Commissioner
Gina Scroggs – Downtown Manhattan, Inc.
Lisa Sisley – Local business
Julie Govert Walter – Kansas Aging and Disability Agency