Meetings Aplenty for Wichita Officials in DC

Wichita broached several projects while in the nation's capital

Ted Woodward
March 22, 2018 - 1:31 pm



Wichita mayor Jeff Longwell and some other city officials recently visited Washington, D.C.; the mayor says one of their meetings was with Amtrak, and they discussed bringing passenger rail service back to Wichita, and the possibility of locating a ticketing office in Union Station.

Another meeting was with the Economic Development Administration, and the mayor hopes Wichita is chosen to take part in a prestigious exchange program involving foreign investors; he says when the EDA chooses a city to be a host site for the program, it's nearly a "100% guarantee you're going to get foreign investment, because they qualify you before they allow you to be a host site."

Mayor Longwell has also made two recent visits to the White House, for meetings on infrastructure.

Anothe rmeeting was with the federal Bureau of Reclamation talking about water, regarding Wichita's aquifer storage recharge project; Longwell says, "There's about $20 million that were left, sort of owed to us, on the ASR program; we're trying to get that reinstated, and the Bureau's been very helpful in that process."

The Wichita contingent also met with officials from the Department of Transportation. The mayor says the #1 upcoming project for the City of Wichita is to address the area where four highways junction in N. Wichita: K-96, K-254, I-135, and I-235. He says, "The major issue with that exchange: not only does it turn into a parking lot, the accident rate is 70% higher than any other highway in the state of Kansas."

City officials also met with the Environmental Protection Agency, looking for grant money to help Wichita build a new water-treatment facility.

The mayor also says the City did a great job hosting the NCAA men's basketball tournament last weekend. He says he and his wife attended Saturday evening's games, parking at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, and riding to Intrust Bank Arena on the free Q-Line trolley. He says, "Before we bolstered the hours and the route last year, we were only averaging 4,000 riders a year." He says last year, 60,000 riders used the Q-Line from May through December.

During the three days of the NCAA Tournament last Thursday through Saturday, 15,000 people used the Q-Line, a free trolley service for Douglas, Old Town, Delano, and government buildings.


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