Wichita leaders are hoping to get your opinion on developing a 14 acre plot in East Wichita as a new park space. A public meeting on the subject is scheduled for tomorrow.
The land is in the area on the far east side of Wichita near Central and Greenwich. Currently, there are a number of newer housing additions that have been built there. Because of all this movement farther east, it will allow the city to also use some of the land for public safety.
"I understand we need police and fire stations, but I hate to see them lose this wildlife area, to be frank," said Rick Sahatjian. "I moved out here because of that."
The city understands those concerns. You can't see it very well from the road, but inside the 14 acres is a wildlife habitat that the city eventually wants to make more accessible to the public.
"What we heard was a priority for keeping it in a primarily natural state," explained Dave Barber of Wichita Metropolitan Planning. "An emphasis on walking trails, a playground. Also an outdoor community meeting area."
The plans will even call for the eventual building of a new police substation, which would allow the police department to move out of the current patrol east, which is the oldest substation in the city. With the Wichita city limits now stretching out to the Butler County line, the current Patrol East substation is now on the far west boundary of the sector.
"It was our first move over two decades ago outside this city building to get our officers out in the community," said Deputy Police Chief Terri Moses. "When we did that, we located it at Kellogg and Edgemoor, which is not very centrally located in what is now the Patrol East bureau."
A fire station could also be included in the plan, but the money hasn't been allotted for that yet. Still, everything must be approved by the city council. Ground could be broken in about a year.
Thursday's public meeting starts at 5:30 PM Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 600 N. Greenwich. It is an informal, come-and-go type meeting. It will run through 7:30 PM.