Carrie Rengers

City of Maize building new public works facility

Maize city offices, near 37th and Maize
Maize city offices, near 37th and Maize The Wichita Eagle

The city of Maize is getting its first public works building.

Not that it doesn’t already have a building where public works operates.

“It’s actually the first public works building that was specifically built for that purpose,” says city administrator Richard LaMunyon.

The approximately $850,000, 10,000-square-foot building will go between the existing public works facility and the city’s wastewater plant at 5600 N. Maize, where the city has 19 acres.

The entire project, which includes some new equipment, technology and the refurbishment of the current public works space, will cost about $1.2 million.

“We’re pleased to announce we can do it without any tax increase,” LaMunyon says.

“We haven’t raised our taxes, but our base continues to increase. That’s the secret to any successful municipality.”

LaMunyon says the public works building has long been needed.

“We’ve been talking about this for the last four years,” he says.

“This was a project that was on our list. … It was just a little bit down.”

LaMunyon says the current public works building “is certainly less than desirable” because it can’t house all of the city’s vehicles and equipment or wash them, and its bathrooms are not up to code.

The new building – along with space at the refurbished existing building – will be able to hold and take care of everything with a large garage area, a wash bay and a back-up generator.

“It’ll have everything you need in a maintenance building,” LaMunyon says. “It’ll be a really nice, state-of-the-art facility for our guys who are out in the elements all the time.”

The building will have showers and a safe room – “Things that you should be able to provide your employees as a matter of routine.”

The public works office also will get new technology that allows it to tie into the rest of the city’s systems.

“Right now they’re kind of out on their own,” LaMunyon says.

He says the more a city grows, the more maintenance needs it has.

“It’s a great issue.”

The new building will be ready in April.

The city’s next project will be increasing the size of its sewer plant.

“We couldn’t do all these things at once,” LaMunyon says. “All these things take time.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers