Vol. 3, Issue 12                                    December 2019
This past year has been very busy for Sedgwick County. Commissioners and staff developed a new Strategic Plan with the help of Wichita State’s Public Policy and Management Center. It will guide us for the next three to five years. We adopted a budget for 2020 that supports our mission to cultivate a healthy, safe, and welcoming community through exceptional public services, effective partnerships, and dedicated employees. Commissioners also adopted the new legislative platform to use during the upcoming Kansas Legislative season to advocate for our citizens. We will continue to work with our strategic partners including the cities in Sedgwick County, business leaders, and the community to move this region forward. 

Next year will be just as busy. The Zoo is undergoing a major renovation which will improve the entrance and work on Phase 1 of its Master Plan. The new Executive Director of Exploration Place will continue the momentum of that great facility as it will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2020. Additionally, I look forward to celebrating INTRUST Bank Arena’s 10th anniversary in our community.

I am proud of the work that our 3,000 employees in Sedgwick County have done to make this a great place to work, live, and play. We are still working on partnerships and potential consolidation between Sedgwick County Fire District 1 and the Wichita Fire Department. While those conversations are happening, we are building a new fire station in Andale. Our Public Works continues to monitor, maintain, or improve our 600 bridges and 600 miles of roads throughout the county. I am proud of the service we provide to our citizens through COMCARE, the Department on Aging, the Developmental Disability Organization, the Health Department, our many parks, and the Extension Council. Our public safety agencies like Corrections, Emergency Communication, Emergency Medical Service, Regional Forensic Science Center, the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Department dutifully keep our community safe. Each department is supported by our management team, Division of Human Resources, Division of Finance, and General Services Administration. Our elected and appointed offices including the Sheriff, District Attorney, 18th Judicial District, the County Clerk, the Register of Deeds, the Election Commissioner and the County Treasurer, also receive and provide support to our community. As you can tell, Sedgwick County is a busy place that takes care of people.

As we move toward 2020, I’m sure many new issues will arise which will take time and leadership to resolve. I look forward to being part of those discussions. I am sure there will be many great things to come in 2020 too. Please do not hesitate to contact me as we move Sedgwick County forward.  
I-235 Green Project Tracker
Project updates can be found at www.235green.org and include:
Work on the I-235 Green Project began in March. Completion is planned for November 2021. This is phase one of the Wichita North Junction project. 
  • The northbound I-235 exit to North Broadway is now open.
  • The Broadway on ramp to northbound I-235 is closed.
  • Both northbound & southbound Broadway in the construction zone under I-235 are single lane traffic until next year.
  • Northbound I-235 and eastbound K-96 are reduced to one lane entering the work zone.
Practice Fireplace Safety
Winter is in full swing so remember, as temperatures drop, the use of fireplaces increases. If you are using your fireplace to keep warm this winter, make sure you are using it safely. Follow the safety tips in the video from Sedgwick County Fire District 1.
Non-Emergency Line Active New Year's Eve
The Sedgwick County Courthouse and Sedgwick County offices will be closed Wednesday , January 1 in observance of the New Year’s holiday. Emergency services are available by dialing or texting 9-1-1.
The Sedgwick County Emergency Communications’ non-emergency phone line,
(316) 290-1011, will be available during the following hours:
9 p.m., December 31, to 1 a.m., January 1
This line functions as an alternative to 9-1-1 and is meant to receive calls for non-emergency nuisances that do not pose a threat to life or property; examples include complaints pertaining to parties, excessive noise, or fireworks. 

The non-emergency line was established to prevent an influx of nuisance calls that can block emergency calls from reaching a call taker; the non-emergency line is activated during times of historically high call volumes and as otherwise needed. If someone calls 9-1-1 with a non-emergency, they will be transferred to the non-emergency line.
Safety Tips for Older Adults
Every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency room for a fall-related injury. Falls can happen at any age and everyone hopes to avoid them. They can be painful, traumatic, and embarrassing. No matter how falls occur they are often unexpected and unavoidable resulting in injuries ranging from minor bruises and muscle strains to broken bones and head trauma. Simple precautions may help keep you out of the ER.
  • Talk to your doctor and evaluate your risk for falling.
  • Do strength and balancing exercises.
  • Have your eyes checked annually and update your prescription as needed.
  • Make your home safer by installing grab bars and railings.
  • Ask for help if you need it or offer your assistance to older adults.
Sedgwick County Department on Aging/Central Plains Area Agency on Aging supports older adults and caregivers (855) 200-2372 or visit www.cpaaa.org.  
Flu Shots Offered at Sedgwick County Health Department
Flu shots are the best way to protect yourself and others from becoming ill with the flu (influenza). Now is the time to be vaccinated as cold and flu season is in full swing.
The SCHD flu shots are offered at no cost to uninsured adults, uninsured children, children covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid (Aetna, Sunflower, or United Healthcare).

Residents who qualify may visit the SCHD’s Main Clinic at 2716 W. Central in Wichita. 
Flu shots are available at SCHD by appointment (316) 660-7300 or walk-in.
  • Appointments: Noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and noon to 6:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Walk-ins available: 8 – 11:30 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
Residents who do not qualify for flu shots at the SCHD should contact their insurance company to find out where flu shots are covered by their plans and use the online flu vaccine finder at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/ (located at the bottom right corner of the page) to find the nearest location.
Anyone can get the flu. Influenza viruses spread from person to person every year through coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary by age and can include fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose.
To learn more about flu, please visit www.flu.gov .
Bon Voyage! from the Register of Deeds
The Register of Deeds Office now offers Passport Services, by appointment only. Schedule yours here !
To learn more about Passport Forms and other information, please visit the United States Department of State’s official passport website:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html .
County Implements New Strategic Plan, Mission, Vision, and Values
Commissioners received a new Strategic Plan from County Manager Tom Stolz during a recent meeting. The full document can be found at www.sedgwickcounty.org ; highlights include:
Mission:  Cultivate a healthy, safe and welcoming community through public services, effective partnerships and dedicated employees.
Vision: To be a local government leader in building public trust, implementing innovative solutions and supporting opportunities for success.
Values: Trust, Integrity, Collaboration, Compassion, and Innovation.
Key Service Areas:  General government, public safety, public works, human services, culture and recreation, human resources, communication, finance, and technology.
Over the past year, Sedgwick County has worked on a new Strategic Plan for the organization. Wichita State University’s Public Policy and Management Center guided the organization throughout the process. The process included input from County Commissioners, local and regional partners, community stakeholders, and county employees. 
Sedgwick County's 2020 Adopted Budget Now Online
The 2020 Adopted Budget is now available for review online . Commissioners adopted the budget and a five-year Capital Improvement Plan on August 7.

Commissioners emphasized three themes throughout budget development including good partnerships with business, other local governments, and all stakeholders; emphasis on employees related to compensation and benefits, training and development, and overall work environment; and an increased emphasis on behavioral health services and resources. The total budget is almost $460 million.
To help you understand more how your property taxes are used, Sedgwick County developed a quick way for you to see how those dollars are spent and allocated on government operations and other priorities. At the “My Local Taxes” online application, you will find two sources of information: Your Total Taxes by Jurisdiction and your Sedgwick County Taxes at Work. Click here to learn more:  https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/finance/my-local-taxes/
Christmas Tree Recycling Sites Now Open
Once you finish enjoying your Christmas tree, drop it off for mulching at one of the many locations listed in the flyer. Remember to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations before dropping off your tree.
Riverfront Legacy Master Plan
Members of the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan Coalition have asked global architectural design firm Populous and the rest of the design team to bring back a bold design for the community to see at its next public meeting, 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Newman University Dugan-Gorges Conference Center, 3100 McCormick St., Wichita.
The coalition made the recommendation at its December meeting, after four and a half months of engaging with the community, facilitating technical input, reviewing previous studies, and sharing opportunities and challenges related to the 55+ acre site along the Arkansas River, from Douglas to Kellogg and to Main on the east.
Members of the coalition took into consideration the community engagement input, which identified green space and activation of the river as critical components for any design. More than 5,000 comments were collected from online questionnaires, public open houses, presentations and social media from the July 31 kickoff of the planning process through the middle of December.
In addition, the coalition reviewed the market analysis, which showed that the master plan site can support a mix of uses, including shops, restaurants, a grocery store, non-convention hotel and commercial and residential properties.
The group also reviewed findings from previous studies that showed that Century II, the 50-year-old building at the north side of the riverfront master plan site, is no longer fit for its original purposes of housing performing arts and conventions. Based on the review by RCLCO, the real estate advisory firm that is part of the design team, Century II – because of its size and deferred maintenance costs – would not likely be able to draw developer interest to use the building for mixed use or other purposes.
Learn more about the project at www.riverfrontlegacywichita.org .
As the top outdoor family attraction in the State, the mission of the Sedgwick County Zoo is to inspire discovery, appreciation, and respect for animals and nature. It is home to 3,000 animals and nearly 400 species. The Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit is the third largest elephant habitat in the United States. 
Exploration Place, Kansas’ premier science center, inspires a deeper interest in science through creative and fun experiences for people of all ages. Through its permanent and travelling exhibits, education programs, Digital Dome Theater films and special events, visitors can enjoy learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  
The Kansas African American Museum endeavors to make the Kansas African American experience resonate with EVERY Kansan. Located in the venerable Calvary Baptist Church, visitors may expand their knowledge and understanding of the Kansas African American story. 
Residents and visitors can gain an understanding of our community and cultural heritage at the Wichita – Sedgwick County Historical Museum. By collecting, preserving, and interpreting materials which reflect the area’s heritage visitors can experience different facets that shaped the community we live in today.  

525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203