Sedgwick County Approves Fishing Dock Upgrades

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

County leaders clear a hurdle for a new handicap accessible dock at the Sedgwick county park.

Commissioners voted in favor of the project during a meeting in downtown Wichita Wednesday. The $53,500 price tag includes a parking area and an asphalt drive.

While some commissioners questioned whether there was a need to spend tax payer dollars on the project, all commissioners agreed on the upgrades.

"It's a matter of priority and timing," said Richard Ranzau, commissioner. "We have no accessible docks, the dock also needs to be replaced."

The six docks in the park are all about 20 years old.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The project is part of the Sedgwick County's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan to ensure access to accessible recreation features at Sedgwick County Park.

"I know we don't have that much money now, it doesn't seem like, but some things are important. I guess I think that's important for the disabled," said Loretta Golledge, park visitor.

Some Sedgwick County Commissioners, like Richard Ranzau, are not completely sold on the idea that a dock alone should cost $26,000. The whole project, which includes a parking area and an asphalt drive, is expected to cost $53,500.

"That seemed kind of high to me. I know it's part of our overall ADA program, which I support," said Ranzau. "But wanted to make sure we're using the funds appropriately, particularly at this time with our economic problems that we're having."

The proposal is for Vic's Lake Area, which is on the north end of the park. County officials said the fishing docks were not compliant with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

"Legal choice are either to do it or not do it. If we don't do it, then we would need to shut down or tear down all the other fishing docks at Sedgwick County Park," said Bill Buchanan, Sedgwick County manager.

The Commissioners hope to get some answers this week that will help them make a decision.

"The vast majority, if not all [ADA projects], will be done, but the question is do we want to postpone some of them or delay the time, so that we can spread the cost out over a greater period of time, so that we can save money and get through these difficult times," said Ranzau.

Voting for the proposal is on the agenda for Wednesday's Sedgwick County Commission meeting.

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