Even though you pay property taxes to the County and the township, the amount of tax collected does not cover the cost of the services provided to rural residents. Those living in the city subsidize the lifestyle of those who live in the country by making up the shortfall between the cost of services and the revenues received from the rural dwellers. This is why the level of service is less in rural areas.
The fact that you can drive to your property does not necessarily guarantee that you, your guest, and emergency service vehicles can achieve that same level of access at all times.
Proper addressing is critical in reducing response times for police, fire and emergency medical services. The physical location of your residence and extreme weather conditions adversely effect response times for emergency services.
Calls to report a crime, personal injury and property damage should be directed to the 911 center. DIAL 911. Most of Riley County has enhanced 911 service. Portions of KSU and 20-30 homes in the extreme northern part of the County are served by other public service answering points (PSAP) than the Riley County 911 center. Cellular 911 calls are accepted at the County 911 center but the County's unique shape allows some calls to reach cellular towers in other jurisdictions. Wireless callers should be familiar with their address and insure they are calling a local PSAP. For more information call the Riley County Emergency Management Department at 1-888-537-6333.
Fire services across rural and suburban Riley County are equipped and managed through a special benefit district with responses preformed by volunteers. Except for the City of Manhattan, a County-wide network of citizens helping citizens provides the initial response to fires, hazardous materials releases, and other natural emergencies. The Riley County Fire District is the central point of contact for questions related to fire regulations, volunteer applications, community fire training, burning permits, wildfire interface zones, and insurance ratings. Remember "Rural fire protection depends on you and your neighbors helping each other." For more information call the Riley County Fire District at 1-888-537-6333.
Emergency Medical Services
The Riley County Emergency Medical Services are located in Manhattan. The agency provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) units and technical rescue responses to the entire County. A network of volunteer first responders augment the ALS units to enhance the response times to rural portions of the County. At certain parts of the county, a fire truck may precede the arrival of an ambulance.
The Riley County Police Department is a County wide consolidated police department with jurisdiction throughout the County and the City of Manhattan.
Standard parcel and overnight package delivery can be a problem for those who live in the country. Confirm your status with service providers.
New legal addresses are assigned when you obtain a building permit.
Voter Registration and Voting
Fill out a voter registration card at any one of the voter registration sites, city halls, the Manhattan Public Library and many private businesses. For location nearest you, call the Riley County Clerk's Office at 785-537-6300.
You may experience problems with the maintenance of your road. Riley County Public Works maintains many miles of roads, but township roads, which are maintained by townships, serve many rural properties. Some township roads are intentionally maintained at a minimum standard. Grading and snow plowing may be done at a minimal basis. Make sure you know if there will be road maintenance, what type of maintenance to expect, and who will provide the maintenance. School buses travel only on maintained roads. You may need to drive your children to a bus route so they can get to school. In extreme weather, even county roads can become impassable. You may need a four wheel drive vehicle with chains to travel during those episodes.