MANHATTAN (KSNT) – Manhattan is mourning the death of a longtime Director of Public Works.

In a press release, the city of Manhattan shared it is mourning the death of Robert Ott, a longtime leader and friend in the community. Ott started with the City in 2005 as the City Engineer. In 2014, he was named Director of Public Works. According to the release, Ott was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and died Wednesday, Oct. 11, surrounded by his family.

“Rob was an amazing, dedicated and trusted leader who we could always count on to be ready and ahead of any challenge we might be facing, regardless of the time of day,” City Manager Ron Fehr said. “His accomplishments are monumental, some which can be easily seen and others that are not so obvious, but equally important. Rob’s cancer battle was heroic and inspiring; he will be greatly missed.”

Some notable accomplishments of Ott’s include leading the redevelopments in the Downtown and Aggieville districts, utility relocations for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, expansion of major roadways along the Edge Collaboration District and his partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering to support the Manhattan levee system, according to the press release.

Ott is survived by his wife, Kim, and son, Landon. According to the release, City staff, friends and family will celebrate Ott’s life from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Robert K. Ott Municipal Services Facility at 1000 Levee Drive. Expressions of sympathy can be sent to the family through the City of Manhattan, 1101 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.