Wichitan wants to drop dollars over city

12/20/2011 5:00 AM

12/21/2011 6:30 AM

Look up! Those might be dollar bills falling from the sky over Wichita.

At least that’s the hope of a Wichitan who wants to drop dollars from a helicopter over the city before Christmas.

He called Mayor Carl Brewer before Tuesday’s City Council meeting to ask if there were any city laws against such a plan.

Brewer asked City Attorney Gary Rebenstorf to look into it.

Here comes the Grinch end of this tale.

“There could be an issue of littering,” Rebenstorf said.

But the big stumbling block to make this happen before Christmas is that the city requires a permit to hold an event when more than 250 people are gathered. It takes 15 to 20 days to get the permit, Rebenstorf said.

“Assuming there would be more than 250 people wanting free money,” he said, “it would be necessary to get a permit. I don’t think we’d be able to issue a permit before Christmas.”

Just flying around the city, the person would be bound to attract more than 250 dollar-hungry folks.

“How many people are there in the city of Wichita?” Rebenstorf asked.

The helicopter would also be required by city ordinance to take off and land at a heliport. And then there’s safety concerns. Chasing after flying dollar bills could create quite a disturbance.

“It’s something the fire and police would want to check out,” Rebenstorf said.

So who is this generous person? Brewer wouldn’t identify him other than to say he was a “prominent” Wichitan. Brewer said the person didn’t say how many dollar bills he wants to drop.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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