Daily Archives: June 21, 2011

Wichita City Council hits the restart button on air terminal

The Wichita City Council voted today to restart the process and move forward with building a new terminal at Mid-Continent Airport.

The council originally voted in 2004 to build the $200 million project — $160 million for a terminal and $40 million for parking and rent-a-car facilities. But it was put on hold in October because of the troubled economy.

Today, Airport Director Victor White told the council – which also acts as the Airport Authority — that now is the perfect time to go forward because construction costs have bottomed out and are projected to start rising again.

The project is forecast to be paid for through fees levied on airlines and airport users, combined with parking and concession income. However, $90 million will be raised through general obligation bonds, which would be backed by city tax funds if airport revenue falls short.

Check out artist renderings of the new terminal

Stormwater management not sexy or inexpensive but crucial, county leaders say

As Sedgwick County talks about how to spend taxpayer dollars next year, commissioners and staff are discussing what their priorities are, and one of them is reducing flooding-related problems across the area.

Commissioner Tim Norton said he has received more phone calls and e-mails from constituents about flooding in his 11 years on the board than any other issue.

The problem is that solving the stormwater management problem is an expensive endeavor. Some commissioners say they will not raise taxes.

Jim Weber, assistant public works director, said studies show that the public’s preference to pay for solutions is a voter-approved sales tax.

Stay on Kansas.com for more information.

County manager jokes about “Richard Ranzau Memorial Grants Page”

A serious topic got a good laugh today at a meeting between Sedgwick County commissioners and county staff.

Sedgwick County has created a page on its website, www.sedgwickcounty.org, that gives residents information about grants the county receives and uses to provide services.

County Manager William Buchanan jokingly called it the “Richard Ranzau Memorial Grants Page.”

Commissioner Richard Ranzau has consistently voted against accepting federal grant dollars, concerned about the nation’s debt.

Ranzau later referred to the page, asking Buchanan “What did you call it? The Richard Ranzau. . . “

Buchanan answered “That was the bad manager. The good manager has second thoughts.”

Everyone in the room laughed.

Commissioner suggests sending state note reminding them to track taxpayer money

Sedgwick County commissioner Richard Ranzau this morning suggested sending the Kansas Department of Health and Environment a note asking the state to keep better track of taxpayer money.

Ranzau was referring to roughly $427,000 that KDHE overpaid to the county for the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

The county discovered earlier this year that the state had overpaid and tried to send the money back. The county says it was unable to convince KDHE that it owed the state the money.

Then recently, a KDHE audit discovered the county did in fact receive more money than it was supposed to.

With government at every level — local, state and federal — scrambling for funding, Ranzau said it’s hard to tell taxpayers that $427,000 was missing.

He said he realized the county must send the money back, but he suggested doing so with a note reminding the state to keep better track of money.