$14 million from Hyatt sale going towards city improvements

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The city of Wichita made $20 million from the sale of the Hyatt in downtown Wichita. Most of that money is going toward major improvements throughout Wichita.

On Tuesday, the Wichita City Council voted to put $10 million of that money into roads and $4 million into city transit.

Alan King, Wichita Public Works director, said the money will specifically be used for residential streets. King said the $10 million will help repair about 40 percent in the city.

“This is an effort to really focus the improvements in the neighborhoods.”

And that’s good news for someone like Ken Yada who drives them often.

“There are so many potholes and so many dips.”

He believes the poor road conditions, especially on 10th street, is costing people extra money every year on car maintenance.

“People spending so much money on their suspension because the roads are so tore up and on potholes so it creates a domino effect,” said Yada.

Wichita Transit looks to capitalize on its $4 million share.

“I just think the routes would be so much better if they would cut down some of the back streets,” said Al Cheno, Wichita resident.

Stephen Spade, Wichita Transit director, said the money will be used on improving the fixed route system. He says they’ll also get creative with the money by developing a feeder system using vans, so residents in neighborhoods, who normally don’t get service, can. Also, for people trying to get to their evening jobs, he says they’re working with other agencies to provide affordable transportation.

“We could get a person to a second shift job, and rather than have to run buses between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., and take this guy home at 11 o’clock, he could use a voucher and get a ride home using Uber or a cab,” said Spade.

The city also decided that they are going to hold onto the rest of the $6 million dollars from the Hyatt sale.

The road improvements are highlighted in red and gray.

map-of-road-improvements