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Public Hearing On 2019 Sedgwick County Budget Proposal Set For Thursday

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Sedgwick County's 2019 budget proposal would add a new EMS crew and an ambulance at a fire station in Garden Plain to help cover emergencies in the western and southwestern parts of the county.

People who live in Sedgwick County have an opportunity to give feedback on the 2019 budget proposal at a public hearing on Thursday.

The county budget totals $439,530,621. It includes funding increases for public safety and public services as well as a pay increase for county employees. It also provides decisions regarding road and bridge infrastructure and economic and community development.

The proposal sets the property tax rate at 29.359 mills.

Public safety is one of Sedgwick County's top priorities in its tier one services. To address staffing needs, the plan adds six dispatchers to the 911 emergency system.

The county also wants to add a new EMS crew (two full-time paramedics and two full-time crew leaders) and an ambulance at Fire Station 39 in Garden Plain.

"It should relieve some peak time pressure on other ambulance posts in the county," says Assistant County Manager Rusty Leeds. "It also will help the commission’s goal to provide enhanced service to both the west and the southwestern parts of the county."

He says the additional staffing and resources will help ensure a faster response to emergencies.

"The county has seen a four percent increase in demand for transport services this year," Leeds says.

There is also money in the budget proposal for the remodel of Fire Station 31 in Andale.

The public hearing is Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Sedgwick County Courthouse. An online forum is available at www.sedgwickcounty.org or via the Sedgwick County mobile app.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the budget August 15.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.