Project Access to get $250,000

Three weeks after rejecting it, Sedgwick County commissioners on Wednesday approved $250,000 for a program that connects the poor with access to health care.

The vote was 3-2.

Earlier votes on increasing funding for Project Access failed 2-2.

Commissioners voted last August to increase funding for the program by 37 percent, from $182,000 to $250,000.

The votes this spring were to solidify that commitment and cooperate with the Central Plains Regional Health Care Foundation and Wichita on the project.

The program expects to serve up to 2,200 this year.

In mid-April, commissioners deadlocked 2-2, with Commissioner Jim Skelton absent.

Wednesday, Commissioner Richard Ranzau continued his objection to the increase. He said funds should come from the private sector at a time the county is trimming its budget.

Ranzau moved to fund the program at last year's level of $182,000, but the motion failed. Commissioner Karl Peterjohn supported Ranzau's motion.

Skelton supported the $250,000 in funds, as did commissioners Tim Norton and Dave Unruh.