The Chamber’s Board of Directors supports the 1 percent sales tax referendum. Wichitans will vote on this issue on November 4. Chamber board members are utilizing this blog to provide commentary and answer questions about the sales tax. Today’s question is answered by Chamber Board member Barry Schwan in a letter to the editor of the Wichita Eagle.
We can’t wait another 20 years to develop a plan for water. Water planning is a continual planning process. It takes several decades to bring another water resource on line. Work on the current Aquifer Storage and Recovery project has been ongoing for more than 20 years, and it is not yet fully developed. Finishing the project is one of the benefits of the 1-cent sales tax.
Barry Schwan is a member of the 2014 Board of Directors for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and the President of House of Schwan.
In fact, the last major water resource brought on line was Cheney Reservoir in the 1950s. The city of Wichita has continued to plan for additional resources since that time, but state and federal laws and regulations have prohibited two other viable options. That’s why the ASR is and must remain our focus. The 1-cent sales tax will help move that project to completion.
Please visit the City of Wichita website to learn more about the proposed sales tax and to read the plans for water, roads, transportation and jobs. Visit the Yes Wichita website to see who is supporting the sales tax and to learn about upcoming events.
Our thanks to City Manager, Bob Layton, and senior members of his team for spending time with Chamber members on Tuesday afternoon providing background information and answering questions about each of the four components of the proposed sales tax: water supply, jobs initiative, public transit, and pavement maintenance. Gary Schmitt, Chairman of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, was also on hand to answer questions about the jobs initiative.
The audience posed a series of questions to the subject matter experts:
Is our jobs recovery just going to happen or is this jobs initiative necessary to get different results?
Will the funds generated by this sales tax be primarily used for capital investment rather than funding operations?
Will the city use local companies for the capital investment projects?
How sure are we that the Aquifer Storage and Recovery solution will really work?
The background information that’s been provided shows that the City is projecting an increase in water usage (7 billion gallons annually) by 2060. Is this increased demand primarily residential or commercial? Do your projections take into account increased revenues from increased usage?
Do you have similar questions? If so, we encourage you to participate in the last information session that will be held on Friday, July 18 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. This session is being offered exclusively to Chamber members, so please RSVP by noon on Thursday to Tracy Iles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 268-1114.