Sedgwick County Commission Terminates Funding Agreement With GWEDC
In a 3-2 vote, the Sedgwick County Commission has terminated a five-year funding agreement with Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition.
The decision won’t affect the $300,000 the county is providing the organization this year, but allows the commission to renew its financial support annually, instead of every five years. Commissioner Tim Norton didn’t support the change, saying that public and private partnerships are key in helping the local economy.
“I don’t think it makes good sense, as many of the really good business leaders are embarking on the next phase of this partnership,” he said.
Commissioner Jim Howell said they’re not terminating the partnership they have with the GWEDC, or undermining its importance, but due to budget constraints, it makes sense to move to a year-to-year agreement.
The County Commission had postponed this decision until September. But the Wichita City Council voted on Tuesday to keep their five-year agreement with the Development Coalition intact. This forced the County Commission to make a decision.
The GWEDC was created in 2003. It is led by an 18-member council that includes two elected officials from Sedgwick County and two elected officials from the City of Wichita. The organization describes its initiative as developing, retaining and expanding economic drivers in the local economy.