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For Immediate Release
December 16, 2020
CONTACT
Kate Flavin

316-660-9370

This Week in Sedgwick County - December 16, 2020

Board of County Commissioners

  • Commissioner received an update on the 2020 General Election.
    • More than 225,000 ballots were cast for the election, a majority of which were ballots-by-mail or early voting.
    • 14 ballot drop boxes were installed for voters to cast a ballot-by-mail without sending it via USPS or dropping it off at a poll place.
    • The Elections Office was awarded $420,307 in Help America Vote Act CARES funding. Notable projects include the ballot drop boxes, PPE, unbudgeted postage expenses, and temporary staff.
    • The Center for Tech and Civic Life provided an $816,458 grant to the Election Office. Notable projects include 100 voting machines, costs associated with a mega vote site, drop box installation and security cameras. 
  • A public hearing for the Aerospace Industrial District was set for January 20, 2021.
    • Arrangements will be made for residents to provide comments by phone.
  • The amendment to the INTRUST Bank Arena’s management agreement for 2021 was approved.
    • Next year, the County will pay SMG the annual management fee of $200,000 plus any monthly net operating costs – if monthly revenues are more than costs, SMG will pay the County any net operating revenues.
    • At the end of 2021, the County can accept the balance of monthly activity or revert to splitting the operating profit as any other year would be handled.
    • The amendment extends the agreement between the County and SMG from 2030 to 2032, with an auto-renewal if the County receives $1.7 million from 2020 to 2031.
  • An amendment to the Community Investments Plan was approved. 
    • The Metropolitan Area Planning Department met with area cities to amend the Plan.
  • An economic development incentives policy and guidelines were approved.
    • Language was streamlined to be in line with the state to make our region more competitive.
    • The guidelines make it easier for businesses to move to our area.
    • The City of Wichita previously approved the policy.
  • Commissioners received a report of CARES funding. 
    • Four social services entities were awarded a total of $608,254.
    • So far, $5.2 million in safe operating grants have been distributed to local businesses and nonprofits.
    • An additional payment to reimburse startup costs of the WSU molecular diagnostics lab was approved, bringing the total paid to $3.9 million.
    • Sedgwick County has spent $64 million for the response and recovery from COVID-19.
      • County CARES funding expenses total $54.2 million.
      • Of that, $35.2 million was used for County needs (increases from last week include family first coronavirus aid relief leave, personnel, saliva testing lab fees, cleaning services, and a single audit).
    • The spending plan was revised to reflect the actual spending and future needs.
  • A compensation item was considered by Commissioners. Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the year, full-time employees will receive a one-time bonus of $300 at the end of 2020, while part-time employees will receive a bonus of $150. All salaries are frozen in 2021. 
    • The total cost to the organization is estimated at $901,000, one-half of a budgeted 2020 compensation increase that was tabled earlier this year due to the anticipated financial fallout of COVID-19. Elected and appointed officials, contract employees, and senior leaders will not be eligible for the bonus.
  • An off-agenda item related to letters to Federal delegations related to Census deadlines and stimulus funds was approved.

 

 

Additional Information

  • The Health Department’s drive-through sample site will not operate on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 17 and 18. Rather, residents are encouraged to visit a walk-in mobile site for COVID-19 testing from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 – 4 p.m. at the K-State Research and Extension Center (7001 W 21st) on those two days.
  • Residents may schedule a free COVID-19 test at GoGetTested.com/kansas. There are four locations in Wichita. 

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View the meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AslmazMkZ6Q
For questions, contact Public Information Officer Kate Flavin at (316) 660-9370.