Sedgwick County commissioners signed off unanimously Wednesday on a settlement with the city of Wichita over back jail fees.
The agreement allows the city to pay most of what it owes — more than $10.2 million — at a rate of 37 percent with property it will deed to the county.
Wichita City Council members approved the same agreement Tuesday.
Commissioners also will push for a refund to cities that paid the fees from the start so that what they paid is on par with what Wichita is paying.
The agreement will settle a lawsuit the county filed against Wichita and four other cities that refused to pay a jail fee. The county began charging a $2.09 hourly fee in 2008 to cities that brought inmates to the jail on municipal charges.
The city will give the county these properties:
* The work release center building and land at 701 W. Harry, valued at $750,000.
* The building and land where the county's Health Department is located at 1900 E. Ninth Street. The city will lease the county the property for $1 a year for a 10-year term with the deed transferring to the county and the city vacating the building at the end of the term. The lease and property together are valued at about $2.5 million.
* Unimproved parcels near Furley in the northeast part of the county that the city bought for a landfill that was never built. The county would use the land as natural habitat for a protected species, the spotted skunk, a move that might allow it to sell property near the Kansas Coliseum, currently designated as skunk habitat.
Commissioners said they were glad the city and county were able to come to an agreement.
"It's been a long, hard fight," Commissioner Kelly Parks said, commending 11 cities in the county that paid the fees all along. "That was the right thing to do from the start."
Commissioner Dave Unruh said the fees "incentivized" cities to think twice about sending people to jail for minor offenses.