City of Wichita

City of Wichita

Wichita City Council members got a look Tuesday at a very preliminary version of the 2018-19 budget.

City Manager Robert Layton said there are some balancing issues in the new budget that will be hard to address.

“This is one of the most difficult budgets that we’ve had in the 8 years I’ve been here," he said. "And that's pretty hard to say since we went through some pretty tough years during the recession."

KOMUnews / flickr Creative Commons

Fireworks tents are up, and starting Tuesday, customers can legally buy fireworks and set them off during the next week.

This Fourth of July tradition also comes with a safety reminder from the Wichita Fire Department.

The City of Wichita has a stricter fireworks law than neighboring cities in Sedgwick County.

Fire Chief Stuart Bevis says only items that are tested by the fire department and don’t shoot sparks more than six feet in any direction are legal in Wichita.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A new study from Americans for the Arts shows Wichita arts organizations generate millions of dollars for the city’s economy.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File Photo

The City of Wichita rejected a contract with a local union that represents theatrical workers at Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.

The City of Wichita is hosting a free expo Saturday for residents looking for housing assistance and resources.

The second annual Housing Expo will include more than 70 vendors and have various workshops to help people find housing around Wichita, whether it’s advice on purchasing a house or help finding affordable housing.

City of Wichita/Twitter

The City of Wichita is hosting a social media town hall Thursday afternoon about the 2018-19 budget.

Mayor Jeff Longwell, city council members and city staff will answer questions on the city’s Facebook page and on Twitter account. Participants can follow along with #ICTBudget2017. Topics will include street maintenance, traffic safety, snow and ice removal, and youth reading programs.

City of Wichita

The City of Wichita has launched a new summer enrichment program for local kids and teens.

Kids ages 7 through 17 can join SayYES!, which offers various free activities around Wichita. The program includes free bus rides, access to swimming pools, golf and foot golf, and free breakfasts and lunches at locations across town:

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Leaders and patrons of the arts organizations that call the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center home are watching closely as the city considers future options for the iconic round building with the blue roof.

Music Theatre Wichita is among the performing arts groups that have a strong interest in the upcoming decisions.

Lancerenok / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita City Council members gave first approval to an ordinance lowering the maximum penalty for marijuana possession. The change would bring the city into compliance with a 2016 state law.

Under the amended ordinance, the penalty for first-time marijuana possession is lowered from a Class A to a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction could carry a fine of $1,000 and six months in jail, down from $2500 and a year in jail. A lab fee could also be assessed.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Wichita’s Lower Arkansas River wastewater treatment plant has seen significant cost savings since upgrading its ultraviolet disinfection system last year, its supervisor says. The plant is now able to treat more wastewater, which is then released into the Arkansas River.

Last year, the treatment plant switched from a medium ultraviolet treatment system to a high-intensity, low-pressure system.

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