Daily Archives: Sept. 14, 2010

Two parks renamed; third dog park added

A downtown skatepark

A downtown skatepark

After a hearty debate over the nuances of renaming parks, Wichita City Council members today changed two park names.

Edgemoor Skate Park was renamed Ryan Woodward Memorial Skate Park in honor of the 15-year-old who advocated for skate parks citywide and encouraged skaters to treat the parks with respect. Woodward was killed when a car struck him as he rode to the Edgemoor park last year.

Jeff Woodward spoke through tears, thanking the city for creating a new park naming policy and honoring his son. He said the park isn’t to honor how he died; it’s to honor how he lived.

The city’s first dog park at Chapin Park was renamed Arson Canine Ashley’s Memorial Dog Park. Ashley was the first dog brought into the fire department’s canine unit in 1994. Ashley worked on 161 fire scenes and her work resulted in 33 felony arrests for arson, aggravated arson and homicide.

City Council members also approved $170,000 in funding for the city’s third dog park, which will be located at Meridian and 21st Street.

City hires artist for WaterWalk project, slightly alters masterplan

110509waterwalk_mh4The city hired modernist metal sculptor Albert Paley this afternoon to design and build a sculpture at the corner of Main and Waterman. It’s the latest step forward in the long-awaited WaterWalk project.

Paley has been commissioned for a wide-variety of highly-visible projects in North America. He’ll be paid up to $350,000 for his work. The city plans to spend another $300,000 on that corner. That is still within the original $41.6 million budget the city created years ago.

Another move approved by council members slightly alters the project’s master plan by moving the Waltzing Waters interactive water fountain from its planned location to the middle of the project site. The fountains have sat in storage for more than a year. The change to the plan has no impact on the approved budget.

Bowllagio project to charge extra 2 percent sales tax

BowlingPinsThe Bowllagio bowling center project that developer Jay Maxwell has been trying to get off the ground inched forward today when Wichita City Council members voted to let him add an extra 2 percent sales tax on sales at the development.

Tim Austin, who works with Maxwell, said there’s no way the project could go forward without the sales tax incentive because the location requires significant flood control projects and other complicate development efforts. Read More »

Planeview grocery store advances, could open early next year

fruit basketA new Save-A-Lot grocery store could open in Planeview as early as next year now that Wichita City Council members have approved special tax incentives to help pay the developer’s bills. The store would sit on a vacant lot at the corner of George Washington Boulevard and Pawnee Avenue.

After a long and fierce public debate, council members unanimously approved a community improvement district that will allow the store to charge an extra 2 percent in sales tax — or $1 per $50 in taxable groceries. The council also approved a tax increment finance district. That will channel the incremental growth in property taxes created by the new store and a proposed strip mall next to it to return to developer Rob Snyder. The council will have another public hearing and vote before the TIF gets final approval. Read More »