City Council to discuss proposed 2011 budget

WICHITA — This morning's City Council meeting is one of the most important of the year.

Council members will hear public input on City Manager Robert Layton's proposed $519 million budget that zaps 82 positions, holds the city's property tax rate steady and sets the stage for the financial year ahead.

Council members will also hear people's opinions on special sales tax districts that would help fund Jim Korroch's proposed Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites Hotel at WaterWalk and Christian Ablah's proposed retail development at Central and Oliver.

The districts essentially would allow the developers to charge up to 2 cents in extra sales tax and use that money to pay for construction and other eligible costs.

Northwest Wichita commuters will likely be interested in the council's vote to have a firm design the long-awaited bridge connecting I-235 to 13th Street while the city awaits state and federal approval on their plan.

And council members will vote on a contract for a company to design, build and install seven bus shelters along Douglas between Washington and Hillside.

Watch the meeting live on cable channel 7 or online at It begins at 9 a.m. at city hall.

Check back with this morning for updates on the council's debates and decisions.