Politics & Government

Wichita flag license plates raising money for city park projects

Since Wichita flag license plates hit the market in January, 718 Kansas motorists have purchased the specialty plate. Proceeds from the sales are set to fund park projects around the city.

Drivers can choose to sport the flag while renewing their tags, and a $50 royalty fee will go directly to the Wichita Parks Foundation. In turn, the foundation donates money to the city’s parks department.

The money will largely support projects such as dog parks, splash pads and playgrounds, said Director of Wichita Parks and Recreation Troy Houtman.

At Tuesday’s Wichita City Council meeting, Parks Foundation Chairman Brent Thomas presented Mayor Jeff Longwell with the first $20,000 check from the Plates for Parks campaign.

Thomas said the initiative taps into “the swelling of civic pride in the Wichita flag” to support city parks projects.

Houtman said the initial $20,000 is actually a reimbursement to the city, which loaned money to the foundation to cover state costs for establishing the specialty plate.

It was a good investment for the city, Houtman said, and he expects Plates for Parks to generate between $50,000 and $100,000 a year for the parks department. For $100,000, Houtman said, the city could put in a new playground every year.

Thomas said he’s proud of the Parks Foundation’s role in the campaign.

“It’s going to allow them to do great things in the park system,” he said.

Since January, 590 of the 18,562 specialty license plates sold in Sedgwick County have been the Wichita flag model, according to data provided by the Kansas Department of Revenue.

Excluding disabled and veteran plates, that makes the Wichita flag the third most popular model this year behind Wichita State University and In God We Trust varieties.

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