Citizens Gather To Oppose Cuts To Senior Centers, Zoo

Aug 10, 2012

Sedgwick county residents Thursday had a second chance to publicly voice concerns about the recommended 2013 budget.

About 50 people gathered in the commission chambers at the county court house to listen and express concerns about proposed cuts outlined in the county manager’s 2013 recommended budget.

The budget includes broad cuts to eliminate the $9.3 million deficit, including funding reductions to the County Extension Center and 4-H programs, Judge Riddel Boy’s Ranch, senior centers and the Sedgwick County Zoo.

Scott Oakes, Board president of the Sedgwick County Zoological Society told commissioners they rely on the partnership with the county to maintain facilities and keep the zoo affordable.

“If the zoo faces a 5 percent cut on top of last years reduction the accumulative amount is almost a million dollars out of our budget,” says Oakes.

“That’s significant when you look and consider our budget is $10 million a year.”

Oakes says the zoo is a revenue generator for the county, providing an economic impact of around $43 million a year.

The last public hearing on the 2013 recommended budget will take place August 14 at 9 am in the county commission chambers.

The commissioners are expected to adopt a budget on August 15.