Vol. 2, Issue 6                                                                                  June 2017
Stream Maintenance is Critically Important
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could control the weather?  When in the military, I lived in places like upper-state New York and England where the weather was fairly predictable year round. One thing we can say about living here in Sedgwick County: we definitely get all four seasons and ‘normal’ is anything but.

Just three years ago, we were coming out of a significant drought when Wichita considered a sales tax to bolster the municipal water supply. With all the rain we have had and with Cheney Reservoir filled to the brim, we have not talked much about water supply lately. That’s too bad. Policy-makers tend to react to what is going on at the moment but I assure you, more cycles of drought and flooding are certain. 

Since January last year, we have received near-record level rainfall.  On one hand, I don’t want to complain because spring rains bring life and makes a vibrant community. But we have received so much rain, it is now hurting crops and wreaking havoc in our county. 

Please know, I have successfully advocated to bolster the county Stream Maintenance funding in the 2018 budget.  Our Stream Maintenance experts manipulate heavy equipment to clear streams in accordance with state and federal regulations. They clear obstructions in the waterways, re-slope the banks, sometimes they add stabilization such a rip-rap, and plant vegetation to reduce erosion.  This renewed funding shows a commitment to doing what we can to reduce the risks of flooding.

In addition to that, I found out that legally, we may use some of the county’s Solid Waste budget to clean up ice-storm tree damage that happened years ago. Four of the five worst ice storms in our history happened in the last 20 years and much of that debris is still clogging the waterways. With this revelation, I hope to encourage my colleagues to support using a portion of the Solid Waste fund to clean up even more streams which will further reduce the risk of flooding in Derby and Mulvane.  With this in mind, I supported a $1/year increase in the Solid Waste Fee (although I voted to decrease the fee by $1.50 in 2015). 

If the majority of the Commissioners agree with me, I anticipate nearly $700,000 in new funding for stream maintenance next year.  Even when the weather-cycle turns back to drought, we must continue our commitment to adequately to fund Stream Maintenance.
District 5 Event Collects Tons of Waste
Last weekend, Sedgwick County held a Household Hazardous Waste remote collection event at Derby Middle School. Commissioner Jim Howell helped collect the material. Nearly 150 vehicles brought in 30,279 pounds of hazardous waste. This event is designed to safely dispose of household material such as paint, antifreeze, motor oil, household cleaners for free.  

If you were not able to attend the event but would like to safely dispose of household hazardous waste, you can take it to Sedgwick County's Household Hazardous Waste facility at 801 Stillwell. Additional information about the facility including hours can be found here
County Manager to Present 2018 Recommended Budget
Sedgwick County Manager Mike Scholes is set to present the 2018 Recommended Budget on Wednesday, July 12. The budget is a plan for how county resources will be invested so that essential public services will be available in our community.   

Members of the public will be able to comment on the recommended budget the morning of Wednesday, July 19 and the evening of Monday, July 31. Watch for reminders on Sedgwick County’s Facebook and Twitter.   Budget adoption is scheduled for Wednesday, August 2. 
Understand Floodplain Maps with MABCD

Recently, some homeowners reported they have been informed that they may need an additional flood insurance policy. The floodplain manager is available to help homeowners understand floodplain maps, developed by FEMA, and determine available options, if indeed a property is in the floodplain.


Prior to the floodplain maps taking effect, the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department held five public meetings to help homeowners understand how the new maps may affect them. FEMA released the most recent floodplain maps in December 2016.


A copy of the FEMA floodplain maps can be found online here: https://gismaps.sedgwickcounty.org/portal/

County Participates in Riverfest 2017
This year, Sedgwick County sponsored two care stations, a recognition ceremony for first responders, and had informational booths two days of the festival. Festival-goers could have participated in the County's social media booth and dressed up as a County firefigher, Sheriff recruit, zookeeper, and other professions. 
EMS Celebrates Patient Survivors and Rescuers

Sedgwick County EMS hosted an event on May 24 which celebrated survivors of sudden cardiac arrest and the first responders who assisted in their recovery.  Twelve former patients met the first responders – firefighters, EMS paramedics, and dispatchers – who played a role in their resuscitation. Sedgwick County EMS, Wichita Fire Department, Derby Fire Department, Valley Center Fire Department, Sedgwick County Emergency Communications, Sedgwick County Fire Department were recognized for their efforts at the event.


Cardiologist, Dr. Wassim Shaheen shared his thoughts on the difference the EMS system makes in recognizing heart attacks and transporting patients to facilities with intervention capabilities.


Additionally, the American Heart Association honored Sedgwick County EMS with the Mission Lifeline Gold status. The prestigious Mission Lifeline award is a quality achievement recognition for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.  

Around the County
County leaders enjoyed lunch at Riverfest on WednesdayJune 7. 
Commissioner Howell was on hand to help talk about Sedgwick County at Riverfest.
Commissioner Howell engaging residents at the Sedgwick County booth.
Commissioner Howell talking with young residents at Riverfest.
Contact Commissioner Jim Howell: 
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203

Contact Public Information Officer:
Kate Flavin, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 343, Wichita, KS 67203

Contact Corporate Communications Manager:
Keturah Austin, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 343, Wichita, KS 67203