On Tuesday June 16, the Wichita City Council will consider whether to give a business $20,000.
The business, Delano Barbeque Partners, LLC, is renovating a building at 579 W. Douglas in Wichita, at the corner of Sycamore Street. They’re applying for special assessment financing in the amount of $60,000. While bad public policy, this financing under the city’s facade improvement program is in the form of a loan that is to be repaid by future property taxes.
What is truly outrageous is that the owners of this business are also asking for a grant of $20,000. This would be, if I understand the plain meaning of the word, a gift to the owners of this property.
How is this possible? Is everyone eligible for grants like this?
I’ve asked the city for the name of the program or law under which grants like this can be made. I’ve also asked the applicant, Delano Barbeque Partners, LLC, for comment. According to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, the resident agent for the limited liability company is W.G. Farha II, with address of 8100 East 22nd. Street North Building 1700-2, Wichita, KS 67226.
This illustrates a problem with Wichita city government, and other branches too, for that matter: Here it is, late Friday afternoon, and the city council agenda has been available for less than 24 hours. I just received the email from the city announcing its availability. I’ve made a few phone calls and sent a few email messages, but it’s not easy to contact people late on a Friday summer afternoon. So citizens just don’t have much time to do research and prepare for these meetings.
The applicants, of course, have known about this agenda item for some time. They have a lot to gain by making sure this passes. $20,000 of taxpayer money, in fact.
For convenience, I’ve excerpted the appropriate pages of Tuesday’s agenda below.
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