Opinion Columns & Blogs

Is a one-stop shop for builders a priority or not?

Sedgwick County bought the former IRS building last year.
Sedgwick County bought the former IRS building last year.

Judging from the remarks of Sedgwick County commissioners this week, there isn’t much urgency to bring the city and county planning and code enforcement operations under one roof. The commission majority now seems ready to take its time to explore alternatives to renovating the former IRS building at 271 W. Third St., which the county bought last year to accommodate the merged code enforcement offices and the city-county planning department and also house a new downtown tag office and other personnel. Some contractors and Wichita Area Builders Association CEO Wess Galyon have said the $5 million purchase price was reasonable and that proposed renovations should proceed. County Commission Chairman Richard Ranzau, who opposed the building purchase, said at Wednesday’s meeting that taking more time was a good thing to do on behalf of county taxpayers. But the commission should not lose sight of one of the project’s main goals, which was to provide a one-stop shop for area builders and tradespeople. Is that a priority or not? – Rhonda Holman

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