The question of whether Sedgwick County should spend $10,000 on a hospitality tent for the Wings Over McConnell air show this weekend got a lot of attention, with commissioners having a worthwhile debate about such taxpayer-funded perks before voting 3-2 Wednesday to contribute $10,000 to the event but not use a tent. The dollars involved are minuscule in the context of the county’s $408 million annual budget and McConnell Air Force Base’s $500 million annual economic impact on the community. Plus, the city of Wichita contributed $15,000 to the show. But at least the controversy brought attention to McConnell and its value to Wichita and Sedgwick County, and reminded the public to get out this weekend to enjoy the air show (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) and support the base. Bigger issues about McConnell loom, as the Kansas congressional delegation advocates for basing the new KC-46A tanker fleet there amid talk of deep defense spending cuts and, eventually, more base closings.
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