You don’t say

“I’m the mayor of all vices. If you have a vice, call me.”

Wichita City Council member Pete Meitzner on becoming vice mayor.

You don’t say

Wichita State can’t get football because if we did, KU would want football, too.”

City Council member Pete Meitzner teasingly misquoting WSU President John Bardo at Rotary Monday

You don’t say

“I am not that guy. And I don’t have his money. But I’m still alive, so I think I have the more advantageous position.”

– District 1 City Council candidate Dave Thomas, who on Friday told the Wichita Pachyderm Club that he’s not the late Dave Thomas who founded Wendy’s

You don’t say

“I was praying for a snow day, and the manager outprayed me.”

– Mayor Carl Brewer on the Wichita City Council having to meet Feb. 26

Islamic Society of Wichita rezones about five acres near mosque for development

UPDATED — The Islamic Society of Wichita has rezoned about five acres of land near its mosque at K-96 and Woodlawn.

The society sought general office zoning in preparation for development that could include an apartment complex, an office complex, a medical clinic and a financial institution.

“It’s not about making money,” says Muhammad Aamir Usmani, director of the society’s board of development. “It’s about supporting our existing services.”

Usmani, who manages the IT help desk at Wichita State University, says the society first started building on the almost 9-acre property in 2000.

“Initially, we had a gym,” he says.

It served as a multipurpose building. Then, the group added a mosque and a school followed by another building.

“Everything is attached to each other right now,” Usmani says.

The buildings look separate, though.

The latest building is a new school for pre-K through eighth grade. Fundraising is under way for a high school to be built on the second floor.

“Our goal is to start ninth (grade) in August,” Usmani says.

He says while there are tuition fees, the society still needs to raise money for education and outreach programs to the community.

“We need to keep doing that and possibly expand it.  . . .  There are a lot of programs that are supported by the community.”

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You don’t say

“I’m told that I’m now officially part of the problem.”

Pete Meitzner, who has been on the Wichita City Council for a year and a half

Mike’s Wine Dive owners to open the Hill Bar and Grill in the former Barrier’s space

Brothers Brent (left) and Brad Steven in front of the former Barrier’s building at Douglas and Oliver, which they’re going to transform into the Hill Bar and Grill.

WICHITA — As some residents of Crown Heights are organizing a group to protest a bar and grill going in the former Barrier’s space at Douglas and Oliver, the restaurateurs hoping to open it are ready to share details.

Mike’s Wine Dive owners Brent and Brad Steven plan to open the Hill Bar and Grill — named for the hill in College Hill — in 5,100 square feet of the building in March.

Mike’s is in the center at the northwest corner of the intersection. The Hill will be on the northeast corner.

Though Brad Steven says the Hill will be a great place to catch a game, he says, “It’s not going to be a sports bar.”

“Our focus will be a wide selection of craft beers as well as American food,” he says. “Basically, we’re going to be specializing in beers the way we specialize in wine at Mike’s.”

There will be 25 beers on tap and craft beers from around the world.

Brent Steven describes it as “kind of like an ale house.”

He says the idea is “a place that’s totally different than Mike’s.”

Where Mike’s is more fine dining, he says, he and his brother envision the Hill as “more of a hangout spot.”

“It will appeal to a wider audience than Mike’s does.”

There will be seating for about 150 customers.

There will be an outside patio facing Douglas that is within the front of the building and will serve as an area for smoking. There will be another patio that wraps around the east side of the building.

There will be another 2,400 square feet left in the building for another business.

The Hill’s hours aren’t set yet, but the Stevens are thinking 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. most days and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on the weekends.

The hours are a key issue for some residents.

“You can go on the news and see all the time what happens in Old Town at 2 a.m.,” says Melinda Foley, who is president of the Crown Heights Neighborhood Association.

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Angelo’s won’t open in former Barrier’s space, but another restaurant working on it

UPDATED — Angelo’s won’t be opening in the former Barrier’s space at Douglas and Oliver after all, but another restaurant will pending final city approval on increased parking.

“I never was positive that we were opening there,” says Gina Fasciano-Hogan. “It was actually way premature that that was mentioned at all.”

Fasciano-Hogan had been speaking with someone who had hoped to buy the building but didn’t succeed.

“That’s how premature it was.”

She still wants to reopen her family’s popular restaurant, though.

“We still want to, yes, and would like to stay in the College Hill area,” Fasciano-Hogan says. “I’m still in the planning stages.”

She says she’s working on a business plan and should be ready to do something in about six months.

“Hopefully when the time comes, something will be available in that area.”

Another group wants part of the former Barrier’s space for a bar and restaurant. Neither the group nor its representatives are sharing details about who the restaurateurs are or what they’re planning.

According to a staff report for the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, the real estate agents for the new owners of the building — who closed on Thursdayapplied for a conditional use permit to tear down a duplex near the property for parking.

They also have plans to tear down a building behind the former Barrier’s building but don’t need permission for that because it’s already zoned for neighborhood retail.

The duplex is behind Citizens Bank of Kansas and is zoned for multifamily residential use.

The planning commission unanimously approved the permit with some modifications. This followed numerous public speakers who voiced concerns over the plan along with support for it.

A couple of speakers said they didn’t think the building, which has been vacant for more than two years, can ever attract another business without more parking.

“This building is an eyesore,” resident Trae Staats said. “Frankly, guys, something’s gotta give.”

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You don’t say

“Keep sawing.”

Butler Community College president Jackie Vietti to Wichita City Council member Lavonta Williams as they struggled to use a serrated knife to cut the grand opening ribbon for the school’s new Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center

Dondlinger and Sons disputes bid process for $100 million airport contract

UPDATED — The scheduled start of construction on a new terminal at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is months behind because the bid process for the contract, worth around $100 million, is in dispute.

Dondlinger and Sons is the lowest bidder, but the contract may be awarded to Key Construction instead because the city doesn’t think Dondlinger met the requirements for building the terminal.

The planned two-level, 273,000-square-foot terminal – which will feature 12 gates, each with a passenger loading bridge, more efficient passenger and baggage security screening, baggage claim and airline ticketing systems – initially was projected to be done in late 2014 or 2015. Due to the dispute, that’s likely to be pushed back.

“We’ve given the city a couple of ways to get out of this mess, and whether they’ll take it or not, we don’t know,” said Jim Armstrong, one of the Foulston Siefkin attorneys working on behalf of Dondlinger and Hunt Construction Group of Indianapolis.

That’s the team that built Intrust Bank Arena.

It bid $99,370,542 for the airport contract.

Key, in partnership with Detroit-based contractor Walbridge, bid $101,500,542.

The Wichita City Council, which will make the final decision on the contract, was updated on the dispute during an executive session Tuesday.

“This is a monstrous decision,” City Council member Pete Meitzner said. “It affects the next 50 years of the terminal and our city.”

He added: “It is a decision that I am not taking lightly. … It just needs to be fair and the right decision.”

Because the terminal will be funded in part through federal grants – airport passenger facility charges and airport revenue will make up the rest – certain requirements must be met in the bids. That includes the stipulation that either 7.11 percent of the contracting business be shared with disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE), such as minority-owned firms, or that the bidders show that they made a good-faith effort to reach that percentage.

That’s what’s at issue in the bidding process. Dondlinger has filed a bid protest, which follows an earlier review of the DBE requirement and a motion to reconsider, both requested by Dondlinger.

“We are firmly convinced that we did more than enough, and frankly that decision-making process is pretty subjective,” Armstrong said.

In response to a request for comment, city attorney Gary Rebenstorf issued a statement that said: “That protest is under review according to the City’s purchasing policy. The review process is confidential. When the review is completed, the outcome will help determine what happens next.”

No one with Key Construction is commenting, but Armstrong said that at the time of the initial bid, neither Key nor Dondlinger reached the 7.11 percent.

Armstrong said the city found that Key made a good-faith effort while Dondlinger did not.

“We don’t know how they made that determination,” Armstrong said. “From what we have been able to determine, we don’t think that’s a correct decision.”

Armstrong said when Dondlinger made its bid, two of its DBE contractors hadn’t yet been certified by the Kansas Department of Transportation, but they have now. He said that puts Dondlinger over the 7.11 percent.

“We’re just at a loss to explain why this has happened, to be honest with you,” Armstrong said, “because Dondlinger has been involved with the minority business community for years and has always actively participated.”

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