Wichita City Council

Sean Sandefur file photo

Wichita City Council members are looking to nail down some of the city's future budget priorities. It's all part of the new Comprehensive Investments Plan.

John Schlegel is director of planning for the Wichita-Sedgwick County Planning department. He recently provided an update to Mayor Jeff Longwell and to city council members.

“You’re put in a very difficult position of having to meet all of these demands from your constituents, without the resources that you would need to meet them,” Schlegel said.

Amy Delamaide, flickr Creative Commons

City officials say Wichita's bus system will see a decline in service next year without added revenue. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more.

The future of Wichita’s operating budget was presented to city council members on Tuesday morning.

Mark Manning, budget officer with the city’s finance department, says future budgets look to be balanced, but that future revenue growth won’t be enough to fill a reduction in transit funding.

City of Wichita

 

The Wichita City Council voted down a proposal on Tuesday to change its funding agreement with the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition. The vote was in response to actions by the Sedgwick County Commission.

Last week, county commissioners discussed a plan to change their funding agreement with the GWEDC, the Sedgwick County Zoo and Exploration Place. The organizations are currently funded in five-year blocks, but some commissioners favor year-to-year agreements to protect against future budget shortfalls. 

City of Wichita

 

Wichita city council members reviewed a proposal on Tuesday afternoon for water and sewer rate increases for 2015.

Alan King, director of Wichita Public Works and Utilities, says the city maintains over 4,000 miles of water and sewer lines. To keep up with that infrastructure, King’s department has proposed a 6 percent increase for water and 5 percent increase for sewer.  

City of Wichita

 

Wichita City Council member Jeff Longwell announced Friday afternoon he’ll be running for mayor. The former vice-mayor is finishing up a second term representing District Five in south Wichita.

Sean Sandefur

On Sept. 4, KMUW aired a story about policing in Sedgwick County. We took a look at military equipment acquired through the federal government's 1033 program, including a newly acquired armored vehicle. The following story also focuses on policing in Wichita. 

Sean Sandefur

 

Members of a newly formed organization are criticizing the City of Wichita’s proposed one-cent sales tax, which could appear on ballots this November. Coalition For a Better Wichita spoke out on Wednesday afternoon at Handy Mailing, a local small business. 

Sean Sandefur

Wichita City Council members approved the purchase of new city buses at Tuesday’s meeting. They will help update the transit system’s aging fleet. 

A total of ten new buses will be coming from a California-based manufacturer. They will all be diesel powered. 

“The total cost for the acquisition is $4.2 million and a little over 80 percent of that will come from the Federal Transit Administration," Wichita City Manager Robert Layton says. "The rest will be local.”

Sean Sandefur

Members of Wichita’s City Council spent much of yesterday discussing a new sales tax that could be used to shore up the city’s water supply,  encourage job growth and keep the transit system running for five more years. 

 

Tuesday’s meeting marked the first step in funding some key areas of Wichita’s future. A proposed one-cent sales tax referendum, worth $398 million over five years, was approved by council members. 

djmcaleese / flickr Creative Commons

Yesterday afternoon Wichita’s Public Works & Utilities Department gave a presentation on the future of water supply in the area. City Council members were in attendance and ideas concerning both conservation, as well as new sources of water, were discussed.

Wichita’s Public Works Director Alan King presented a power point demonstration about what could be done to sure up the city’s water supply until the year 2060. King’s model included five plans that he said take into consideration both effectiveness and the city’s budget.

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