Karg Art Glass has been on the northwest corner of 61st and Oliver in Kechi since 2003. Its owner, Rollin Karg, has lived in the city for over 30 years.

He's noticed the city has "gotten a lot bigger in the last couple of years. So seems like we're losing some of that small-town thing, which is not a bad thing. It's going to happen anyway, when Wichita does come in this way, eventually, it's just going to be one big city.”

The city of Kechi wants to take advantage of the growth Karg is seeing. It has proposed improvements to the intersection and surrounding area around 61st and Oliver to create what it's calling an arts and business district. 

Kechi city administrator Kamme Sroufe says creating a sort of downtown district like this "just creates a sense of community. It gives us one common place where we can all gather and communicate and interact with each other.”

The plan would cost $2.5 million to $3.7 million according to the city and will make improvements to several roads and sidewalks, create new parking spaces and public art throughout the district and build a new entrance point to the city when coming in from Oliver.

Sroufe says the changes are needed because “we've seen a lot of growth in this area and like every community, you know, our infrastructure gets older, it's not as attractive.”

The improvements would make several changes outside and around Karg’s business, which is something he likes. “It would be it'd be better for my business, no question.”

However, he’s not a fan of how the city wants to fund it.

Kechi holding a vote next Tuesday on a 1% sales tax increase to pay for the part of the project that isn’t being covered by a $1.5 million dollar grant the city received.

Karg tells KAKE “I never like raising taxes. I'm playing, paying plenty of tax anyway and it seems like the taxes creep up every year, even when I'm my home, it goes up just a little bit."

Sroufe understands the concerns but says the city chose the sales tax increase to try to limit the burden for residents as much as possible. “Implementing a sales tax is an opportunity for Kechi to transfer some of that tax burden off of the residents to nonresidents that are using our infrastructure as well.”

Voting on the sales tax referendum will take place from 6 am to 7 p.m. at Kechi city hall on February 7.

For more information, visit the city's website here.

You can also read through the plan below.