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Government

Wichita Faces Funding Shortfall For Planning Department

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The City of Wichita still isn’t sure what to do with a large funding shortfall for the Wichita-Sedgwick County Planning Department.

The department is equally funded by both the city and county, but a proposed budget by county officials last week would cut about $155,000 from the department. That has left city officials scrambling to find a solution as they put together their own budget.

“This happened so late in the budget process, it’s very difficult for me to be able to tell you that we can simply find $155,000,” Wichita City Manager Robert Layton said before council members Tuesday.

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Planning department helps oversee longterm projects for the metropolitan area, like downtown development and the city’s bicycle master plan.

Layton says the city will most likely go ahead and fully fund their portion of the agreement, but the city will need to have future discussions about how to, or whether to, fill the missing $155,000.

City Council member Janet Miller expressed her support of the planning department, saying they’ve been instrumental in revitalizing downtown and making Wichita more pedestrian-friendly.