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With all 5 members present, the Sedgwick County Commission voted Wednesday to approve an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for the reconstruction of a major highway interchange in west Wichita. Commissioner Jim Skelton was absent from last week's meeting, and there was a tie vote on the project for Kellogg and I-235.
Skelton was ready to support the project at Wednesday's meeting, and he called the interchange a "safety disaster." Commissioner Richard Ranzau urged the commission to approve paying the county's share of $11.6 million in cash, but the other commissioners favored bond financing. Skelton said paying cash now might affect decisions on future projects.
The agreement between the county, the city of Wichita and KDOT calls for the first phase of a 4 phase project to rebuild the interchange. Construction is not expected to begin until 2016.
Commissioners also reconsidered another issue that had a tie vote last week, and they voted 3-2 to provide $40,000 in funding for Visioneering Wichita and its efforts to boost the economy and improve the quality of life in the community. Ranzau and commissioner Karl Peterjohn were the no votes.