WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita City Council approved $90,000 Tuesday morning to help remove homeless camps around the city.
Before the vote, City Council Member Maggie Ballard expressed concern about the amount.
“I thought there was about $100,000 budgeted for encampments, and this is significantly higher. Can we speak to that, please?” Ballard asked.
“In this year’s budget, we did have $100,000,” Captain Santiago Hungria, Wichita Police Department, said. “As of about a week and a half ago, we were already at $98,000. We’ve come across a lot more camps this year than in the past.”
Hungria said Interim Police Chief Lem Moore contacted the city manager about needing more money, and police were told to continue the cleanups.
Mayor Brandon Whipple asked what is done to make sure a homeless person’s personal belongings are not destroyed.
Police said that they follow federal law of due process. They give 72-hours notice. If anything is left after that, it is considered abandoned and subject to removal. If it appears to be personal property, they submit it for storage.
The City says the $90,000 covers everything from biohazard and hazardous material disposal to the storage of personal items.