City, county vote on budgets this week

If you want to weigh in on how the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County plan to spend taxpayer dollars next year, this week is your last chance.

City and county leaders will vote Tuesday and Wednesday respectively on next year's budgets.

Public hearings are scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall and the courthouse. The city hearing is in council chambers on the first floor of City Hall, 455 N. Main. The county hearing is in commission chambers on the third floor of county courthouse, 525 N. Main.

The City Council will vote after its hearing. County commissioners will vote at their meeting Wednesday, which starts at 9 a.m.

The city's proposed budget for next year is about $519 million, and the county's is about $415 million.

The city will furlough many of its employees to get through lean times and plans to cut about 65 positions.

The county will draw from reserves to weather the economy. It does not plan to lay off or furlough employees.

You can see the city's budget at www.wichita.gov and the county's at www.sedgwickcounty.org.

If you are unable to attend the city's hearing, you may e-mail questions or comments to budgetquestions@wichita.gov. If you want to comment on the county's budget but can't attend the commissioners' meeting Tuesday, you can participate in an online public hearing at www.sedgwickcounty.org. Click on the "2011 recommended budget" link and then on "online public hearing."