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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 27, 2018

KECHI RESIDENTS TO ADVISE USE OF ARTS AND BUSINESS DISTRICT FUNDS

Residents will soon have an opportunity to turn their long-awaited vision into a reality.  In the 2015 Kechi Strategic Plan, residents expressed their vision of a vibrant, downtown Arts and Business District in the heart of the city.  Original graphic renditions captured elements which will expand downtown opportunities for artists, crafters and different types of small business.

Concepts for the $1.8 million project will take place an open public meeting, in which, residents will review collective ideas to advise City leaders on how the district should look and feel.  The meeting to design the Kechi Arts and Business Master Plan will be held Wednesday, September 12th at 6:00 PM in the Kechi Community Center, 220 W. Kechi Road in Kechi. Light dinner snacks will be provided for all participants.  For those who cannot attend, thoughts and ideas may be shared through September 30th at www.surveymonkey.com/r/KechiDistrict.

Kechi Arts and Business District streetscape from the Kechi Arts and Business District Redevelopment Design Concept*.

After a lengthy process, City leaders recently secured funds for the project design and construction.  In 2014, Kechi first submitted a plan to the Wichita-Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMPO) to improve the Oliver and Kechi Road (61st St.) intersection.

“The City Council and staff members have been going the extra mile over the last few years to get to this point,” said City Administrator Robert Conger.  “Once the planning phase is complete, things should move rather quickly since the funding has already been approved.”

Kechi Mayor John Speer added, “I highly encourage our residents and business owners to mark September 12th on their calendars.  Public input is critical and will guide the decisions of the Kechi City Council.  We want the character and feel of the Arts and Business District to reflect their preferences.”

During the meeting, community members will be able to explore projects that could help make the Kechi Arts and Business District more active, identifiable, and easier for residents, visitors, and others to access.  Specific projects may relate to parking, safe biking and walking options, the look and feel of the District, and more. Representatives from the City and project team will be present to explore ideas, answer questions, and discuss issues or concerns.

In 2017, WAMPO awarded a Walkable Places planning grant to Kechi for improving the movement of pedestrians and bicycles throughout the older part of town, including the central core area.  WAMPO notified Kechi in 2018, that the Oliver and Kechi Road project was approved for $1.5 million in funding.  Both projects will complement each other in achieving an improved accommodation of traffic along with improved pedestrian and bicycle safety.

For more information, please contact Robert Conger, Kechi City Administrator, at (316) 744-9287, cityadmin@kechiks.com or Laura Hill, Kechi City Clerk, at 316-744-9287, cityclerk@kechiks.com.

* The Kechi Arts and Business District Redevelopment Design Concept may be accessed in its entirety at http://www.kechiks.com/images/departments-images/ArtsBusinessConcept_FINAL_Web.pdf.

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