Vol. 1, Issue 4                                                                                       July   2016
Chairman's Progress Report

My first six months as chairman of the Board of County Commissioners have been very busy!   The commission has implemented many great changes for the community.  

Building Code Regulations:   We approved updates to the unified building code which reduced the regulatory burden for construction and home owners.

Voter Empowerment:   Throughout the legislative session, Sedgwick County championed legislative changes to the local property tax lid. The election provisions are now workable thus empowering the voice of the voters.  

COMCARE Nonprofit:   We began a public-private partnership to support COMCARE.   This nonprofit entity will be to expand public awareness of COMCARE's services, promote volunteerism, act as a fundraising arm to support COMCARE's services, and to utilize private sector expertise in the operation of the organization.

Debt Policy and Mill Levy:   We amended our debt policy to limit the amount of debt Sedgwick County can incur from 20 percent to nine percent.   Commissioners also agreed to set a target mill levy rate essentially freezing the current tax rate through 2022.

Public Safety Training:   Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita agreed to move forward on building a new joint law enforcement training center on WSU’s Innovation Campus.   As the Governing Body of Fire District No. 1, we also voted to enter into an agreement with the City of Wichita for joint training opportunities at Wichita’s Regional Fire Training Center.   Now, the two Chiefs can work together to promote training at the facility and strengthen our partnership.

Tag Office:   The main tag office has found a new location at 2525 W. Douglas.   This fantastic location allows for more customers and updated amenities.

Elephants:   The zoo welcomed six elephants from Swaziland earlier this year.  Sedgwick County donated half of the $10.6 million needed to develop this wonderful exhibit.

Juvenile Justice:   The Judge Riddel’s Boy and Girls Alternative Program had its first graduation this year.  This program replaced the former boys’ ranch at Lake Afton. The program is successfully helping medium and high risk juvenile offenders engage life opportunities and further keep them from incarceration.     

Openness:   New opportunities exist for you to engage your commissioners. In-district evening meetings and eNewsletters give you a chance to directly hear from us and engage us personally.

Watch my six month report on Sedgwick County’s YouTube channel.  There’s more great county news on the horizon so stay tuned to see how we are working for you!

ARC 95 Study Seeks Community Input

A South Area Transportation Study (SATS) found areas for increased mobility and economic development within our region along with the need for a new bridge over the Arkansas River at 95th Street.

The Arkansas River Crossing: 95th Street South (ARC95) study is being conducted to give Sedgwick County an opportunity to listen, plan and invest responsibly.We look forward to hearing from you, integrating those thoughts into a plan, and determining if it makes sense for Sedgwick County to invest in this part of our infrastructure.

Learn more about the project at http://arc95study.com/.

Sedgwick County Preparing for New High School
In anticipation of the new Southeast High School, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita have greatly contributed to investing in infrastructure surrounding that area. 

Sedgwick County changed the speed limit and created a school zone in front of the Christa McAuliffe Academy, installed larger stop signs and flashers at Pawnee and Greenwich Road, and funded the paving project for the southern ½ mile from South High School to 31st Street.  The City and County partnered on a project that will widen Greenwich Road from Harry to Pawnee. It is scheduled for 2018. Thanks to the City of Wichita for supporting many additional investments around the school!  

We support and thank our partners for working with us and for their investments in these improvements to help anticipated traffic increases later this year when the school opens up for the year.  
American Heart Association Recognizes Sedgwick County EMS
The American Heart Association (AHA) recognized Sedgwick County EMS (SCEMS) and its public safety partners on June 16.   Sedgwick County EMS has been awarded the Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Recognition Award by the AHA for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.   Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

Recently, the City of Wichita tried to terminate an agreement between our two entities which allows SCEMS to provide exclusive EMS services to the City of Wichita.  Fortunately for Sedgwick County, the vote did not pass. This discussion has been a wake up call to Sedgwick County and now is the time to voice your concerns regarding EMS services to your representatives from the Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners and City of Wichita City Council. 
Manager's Recommended Budget Coming July 13
The Manager will present a recommended budget to commissioners at the July 13 Board of County Commissioners meeting.   Sedgwick County residents will have opportunities to participate in public hearings on July 27 and August 4.  An online public hearing forum will be available after July 13.

The county’s budget is scheduled to be presented for adoption August 10.
Sedgwick County Dispatcher Recognized
Chelsea Barclay is our Sedgwick County Dispatcher of the Year and the State of Kansas’ 1st Runner Up for Telecommunicator of the Year as awarded by the Kansas Chapter of APCO.  I was able to present a certificate of appreciation for her  work to her this month. 

Sedgwick County 911 serves all citizens and visitors of Sedgwick County, handling approximately 800,000 calls for service each year.  Ms.  Barclay has been with 911 since 2011 and was honored this year for her exemplary work in dispatching a multi-jurisdictional traffic pursuit that lasted over an hour and spanned two counties.  Chelsea’s quick thinking and cool head helped to ensure that this incident ran smoothly, ending with the suspect being taken into custody without injury.
Sedgwick County Welcomes New Facility with Starkey, Inc. 
Sedgwick County Developmental Disability Organization (SCDDO) along with a provider welcomed the opening of a new facility which will help increase capacity for Starkey's programs.  The Marsha Lee Dill Center officially opened on Tuesday, June 28.

KPTS Series Sponsored in part by COMCARE
Tune in to KPTS Thursday evenings to watch the Stories of the Mind series.  It will run until September 1. 

Early Voting Starts this Month!

Early Voting for the 2016 primary election will be July 20 -22, July 25-29, and August 1. The 2016 primary election will be held on Tuesday, August 2.  Find your polling place here.  For more information on polling locations visit our website

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

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525 N. Main, Ste 343, Wichita, KS 67203

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525 N. Main, Ste 343, Wichita, KS 67203