DALLAS - Wichita, Kan. will need about $10 billion more than currently planned to maintain its infrastructure over the next decade, according to a committee appointed to assess future funding requirements.
The Community Investments Plan Steering Committee found that the city has revenue for about $4 billion in public improvements but will actually need between $13 billion to $14 billion.
About 38% of the city's streets, utilities and other facilities are in deficient or fair condition due to "decades of under-investment in infrastructure maintenance," according to the report.
A key factor in the shortfall is diminishing federal and state program funding, slow job and population growth, and static property values, according to the study.
The committee presented its findings to the Wichita City Council Feb. 25.
Updates to the city's comprehensive plan considered three growth scenarios: continued suburban development with little emphasis on the city's core; restrained suburban growth; or a mix of urban and suburban development.
Maintaining the emphasis on suburban development with little activity in the city's core represents the pattern of the past 20 years, according to the committee. Under that scenario, the city will need to provide funding for 403 miles of new local streets and water, sewer and storm water lines, along with 42 miles of new arterial streets, water and sewer mains and more than 7 million gallons a day of increased sewer treatment capacity.
With general obligation bond ratings of AA-plus from Standard & Poor's and Aa1 from Moody's Investors Service, Wichita has about $571 million of outstanding GO debt. Outlooks are stable.
With a population of about 382,000, Wichita is the largest city in Kansas, a major center for aircraft manufacturing, and seat of Sedgwick County.