Mayor Brewer: Wichita's Infrastructure Needs Costly Repairs

Jan 30, 2013

Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer delivers his 2013 State of the City address to a crowd at City Hall Tuesday evening.
Credit Milt Radford / KMUW

Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer delivered his annual State of the City address Tuesday to a crowd at City Hall.

Brewer said the majority of the city's water and sewer systems will need to be repaired or replaced in the next 30 years and the work will cost more than $2 billion.

He also said nearly half of Wichita's streets are below national standards and almost a third of its bridges need repair or maintenance.

Brewer said economic development is vital to increasing city revenue.

"As we struggle to compete with new businesses and new jobs, especially in light of the losses in aviation, we must face the reality that we are competing with other cities that offer economic incentives for business development and expansion," said Brewer.

"If we want to be in the game, then we need to play the game."

With a tighter budget, Brewer said hard decisions need to be made about priorities like public transit, and allocations for parks and recreation.

The city's budget cuts over the last four years topped $28 million.