The Wichita city council will consider spending $250,000 on maintenance for Century II. There are questions regarding the source of funding.
This week the Wichita City Council will consider spending $250,000 on maintenance items for Century II and the attached expo hall. The items are mostly ventilation, air conditioning, and plumbing. 1 There is some uncertainty as to how the city plans to fund these projects.
In a Facebook conversation, an unknown city official was quoted: “We are using Transient Guest Tax funds for these repairs. The bonding resolution provides us with the flexibility to cash fund or debt fund the improvements. But in either case it will be paid from the TGT.” 2
This seems at odds with material from the agenda packet for the meeting, which states: “Financial Considerations: The 2019-2028 Adopted CIP includes $250,000 in General Obligation bond funding for Century II Repairs in 2020. Staff recommends initiating $250,000 at this time”
The city’s 2019-2028 Adopted Capital Improvement Program shows these amounts as either actual or adopted for the category “Cash Transfer to CIP Projects” from the Tourism and Convention Fund”
The same document notes for this fund: “Revenues are received primarily from the Transient Guest Tax, currently set at 6% of gross receipts.” From other city documents, the fund receives no dollars other than the transient guest tax in some years, 2019 and 2020 specifically. In 2021, the city budget projects the fund will receive $350,000 in other revenue and $7,635,348 from the transient guest tax.
As is common with these expenditures, even as small as this, the city plans to borrow the funds: A related ordinance states: “Section 2. Project Financing. All or a portion of the costs of the Project, interest on financing and administrative and financing costs shall be financed with the proceeds of general obligation bonds of the City.”
As you can see, there is some confusion. One source says the funding is the transient guest fund, while other sources state funding is general obligation bonds, which could, of course, be paid with transient guest funds revenue. Hopefully, city staff will clarify this at the July 14, 2020 meeting.
I’ve gathered relevant pages from city documents and present them here.
Painting courtesy Goffrier Studio.
- The bonding resolution, number 20-192, states: “Facility repairs and improvements to Century II (District I). Including, but not be limited to, prioritized critical building system improvements, renovation and repairs as well as replacement of Expo Hall HVAC Roof-Top Unit systems and Century II circulation pumps throughout the facility and mechanical, electrical and plumbing and fire/life safety and structural concerns where hazardous conditions may develop.” ↩
- Facebook. Available at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CenturyII/permalink/1439270942947133/. ↩