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Sedgwick County commissioners are having second thoughts about providing funding for a new law enforcement training center. The county and the city of Wichita had agreed to provide $15 million each to build the center as part of the Heartland Preparedness Center that is now under construction at K-96 and I-135 for use by the Kansas National Guard and Army Reserve.
Commissioners heard a staff report this week that stated the county could have some lower-cost options for providing law enforcement training. Commission chairman Jim Skelton says he's concerned about the price tag, the economic uncertainty in the community, and other county needs. Skelton said the county's share of the cost could help with needs at the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch, a center for troubled youngsters that the county may have to close unless there is financial help from the state.
Skelton said the county plans to meet with the Kansas adjutant general and Wichita leaders in the next couple of weeks to talk about the project, and he said the county will then make a decision on whether or not to go forward with its share.
Construction began in 2010 on the National Guard's Readiness Center, and it's expected to be completed this summer.