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.
(This is a Scribd document. Click on the rectangle at the right of the document’s title bar to get a full-screen view.)
If you will look at the campaign reports you will find these folks have made large contributions to the campaigns of our city council. This might be another one of those real good returns on investment. This repayment for a political contribution needs to stop! Our city needs this $20,000.00 to help keep our pools open this summer.
[…] which a local business, Delano Barbeque Partners, LLC, is likely to receive a grant of $20,000. See Wichita to consider grant to business for more. So far that business has not returned telephone calls asking for information about its […]
Mayor Brewer and the other Council members won their elections and it is time for certain contributors to reap the benefits of their investments. Elections have consequences. If you don’t like it run for office, or support someone that has honesty and personal integrity.
Is there a form that anyone can use to apply for $20k from city hall?
A public emergency to approve this? This is outrageous.
One should fault not the business for applying for the grant but the City Council for offering such grants. So much for fiduciary trust or responsibility.