Wichita one step closer to approving 2020 budget

August 06, 2019 - 11:53 am

The Wichita City Council heard from the public today regarding the 2020 city budget and the Capital improvement plan. 

Nearly 39 percent of the proposed $624.5 million budget will cover salaries and benefits.  $20.8 million is slated for aquatics, part of that being spent this year.  $5.3 million will go to branch libraries with $7.7 million slated for the arts.

The city had planned to put $2.5 million aside for the city's Tort fund, used to pay liability-related expenses.  Mayor Jeff Longwell proposed something he called "dramatically different."

"I would like to see us only put $1.5 million in that Tort fund and shift a million over immediately to start the phase 2 of the hiring of additional police officers," he said.

Road maintenance, another top priority for the city, will receive $134 million over ten years.

The council will formally adopt the budget at next week's meeting.

The group also unanimously approved expanding the Board of Plumbers and Gas Fitters from seven to nine members.

Finally, the council approved $270,000 in aesthetic designs which will improve 17th Street near McAdams Park.  Improved cross walks, a third lane and a Jackie Robinson statue will be a part of the improvements at League 42.

The entire $9.6 million project will improve 17th Street from I-135 to Broadway.

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