Wichita City Council members will get their first look at the 2014 budget during a workshop scheduled to follow a brief council agenda Tuesday.
Also scheduled for the workshop Tuesday are the building plan for the new downtown central library and private security ordinances, including those enacted to curb Old Town violence, Mayor Carl Brewer said.
City Manager Robert Layton’s 2014 budget – plagued last summer by a $6.5 million deficit when it first began taking shape – will be rolled out. Layton and city staff balanced that budget – despite steady or shrinking revenue as valuations remained steady or slightly down – last year by leaving several vacant city positions open and by cutting some services.
The new central library at Second and McLean, delayed and scaled down due to the city’s budget crunch, also will be a subject of discussion. Almost a year ago, council members gave the library board the OK to examine options for a scaled-down facility at a cost of less than $30 million, down $10 million to $15 million from original estimates.
Despite the council’s move to cut the project last May, the original $45 million library proposal remained an issue in this month’s council elections, with candidate Dave Thomas in District 1 citing the library as an example of city overspending.
And the city’s private security laws will be reviewed, governing retail and commercial private security operations. The city is considering adjusting fees and tightening some training requirements for private security firms working around the city, from security around clubs to guarding businesses. The changes also would clarify how security officers and their guns fit into new city and stage regulations for carrying weapons.
Armored-car firms, many who collect money from local businesses for transport, will be exempted from any changes.