Monthly Archives: August 2009

Brownback announces Sedgwick County steering committee for governor bid

US NEWS BROWNBACK 1 KRTA Sedgwick County steering committee for Sen. Sam Brownback’s 2010 run for governor includes aviation leaders, other business leaders and a number of public officials.

Members of the committee: John and Kristen Clevenger; Ron and Kendra Cornejo; Tom and Myra Devlin; Claudio and Beth Ferraro; Chuck and Susie Grier; Bill Hanna; Andy Hutton; Mark Hutton; Joe Johnson; Mark Kahrs; Jeff Longwell, Wichita City Council; state Sen. Carolyn McGinn; state Sen. Ty Masterson; Mike Michaelis; Clark Nelson, Andover City Council; Gerry and Priscilla O’Shaughnessy; Jack and Rose Pelton; Jack Ritchie; Jon and Lauren Rolph; Matt and Mercy Schlapp; Hugh and Beth Tappan; Jeff and Rhonda Turner; Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh; state Rep. Jason Watkins; Nestor Weigand; Mike and Therese Wescott

The committee will be overseen by Wichita City Councilwoman Sue Schlapp, co-chair for Brownback’s campaign.

County receives three proposals for Kansas Coliseum

Three development groups responded to Sedgwick County’s request for proposals for the Kansas Coliseum. A review committee will begin meeting Friday to look at the plans from Hartman Arena, Heritage Development Group and North American Management of Kansas LLC. Details of the plans will not be known until later. Hartman Arena, home to the Wichita Wild indoor football team, is situated directly across from the Coliseum complex. Heritage Development Group recently won approval from the county to promote and market the complex. It recently landed an agreement with the National High School Rodeo Association for its Wrangler Junior Rodeo Finals for 2012 and 2013. The North American group includes the Law Company and Law Kingdon, two Wichita companies. Read more about the Coliseum plans in Wednesday’s Eagle.

Kansans gain help from Oklahoman in push for EPA to buy out Treece

Three Kansas Congress members have enlisted a powerful ally and identified what they think might be a source of money to buy out the contaminated community of Treece.

Kansas Republican Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, have dispatched a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson asking for $3 million for a Treece buyout from funds being returned to EPA from a Washington state cleanup site.

The three have teamed up before to try to get Jackson to approve a buyout for Treece. The newest letter also carries the signature of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking minority member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

As chairman of the committee when the Senate was under Republican control, Inhofe pushed through legislation authorizing the buyout of Picher, Okla., which is just across the state line from Treece and shares the same environmental hazards.

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Need state tax instructions? Next year, look online

TOPEKA – The Department of Revenue is not going to be printing instruction tax booklets for next year to help save money.

“People can get the instructions and everything else off our website, we are only printing the (tax) forms,” Kansas Secretary of Revenue Joan Wagnon told the House Appropriations Committee on Monday.

In prior years, the printed booklets of the instructions were available at Post Offices, libraries and other public areas. The department is also going to sell the tax forms to accountants.

People who have been filing via mail last year will get a printed form in the mail. Those that file taxes for a living will have to pay for the forms, she said.

The moves are intended to encourage people to move online when filing taxes, she said.

“We need to condition the public to quit sending us so much paper,” Wagnon said.

By saving money on printing and postage she hope to divert more money to collector positions.

County commission race widening already

Sharon FeareyFormer Wichita City Council member Sharon Fearey, Derby Mayor Dion Avello and former commission member Lucy Burtnett plan to run for Sedgwick County Commission.

More on that.

Wichita airport offers deals, information on Twitter, Facebook

twitterYou now can track Wichita airport news and fare sales on Twitter and Facebook. The airport will offer updates at @FlyICT on Twitter. Or search for Wichita Mid-Continent Airport on Facebook.

Derby’s mayor to challenge Welshimer in Sedgwick County District 5

Dion AvelloDerby’s mayor filed Thursday to run for the District 5 seat held by Gwen Welshimer on the Sedgwick County commission.

Dion Avello, a Republican who has been mayor for about six years, said he’s ready for a new challenge.

“We’ve grown Derby to a place where it’s a nice place to live and shop and all that,” he said. “I believe that we need to continue to build the county in the same vein with high-tech industry.”

Avello, 69, said he wants to see the county go after cutting-edge industries such as wind energy. “I know we can go get them,” he said. “We’ve got to get out of this recession.”

The general election is Nov. 2, 2010. District 5 covers southeast Sedgwick County.

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Appeals court upholds Wichita’s Wal-Mart vote

The Kansas Court of Appeals recently confirmed that Wichita City Council members were justified in 2007 in denying a zoning change that would have allowed a Wal-Mart Superstore at the southeast corner of Kellogg and Oliver.

The appeals court affirmed Sedgwick County District Judge Joe Kisner’s December 2007 decision last week.

City swings at $1 increase to green fees

golfIt may soon take a little more green to tee off at city-owned golf courses. City council members will vote Tuesday on a $1-a-year increase to green fees and similar hikes to rentals and season passes. The increase would help fund maintenance and improvements.

That would bump the price at Tex Consolver, L.W. Clapp, MacDonald and Sim from $20 to $21 on weekdays and from $22 to $23 on weekends. Auburn Hills would climb $1 from the current $23 on weekdays and $28 on weekends.

Some golfers objected to the hikes during public hearings in May, and others welcomed them so long as they improve the courses and clubhouses.

User fees pay for the courses, and the number of rounds played at city courses has been decreasing in recent years.

In 2008, 164,000 rounds were played, down from a high of 220,000 rounds in 1999. The 10-year average has been 173,000. Unusually rainy weather has hurt the turnout the past couple of years.

For more, see the council’s agenda and supporting documents.