WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A plan to tear down a Wichita park and start fresh took another step forward Tuesday.
Naftzger Park is in Wichita’s popular Old Town area and it is seen as a gateway to Intrust Bank Arena. Tuesday the Wichita City Council approved using tax increment financing, also known as TIF District, to pay for renovations to the park.
First, the city council heard from some people who complained there’s more focus on a place for dogs in the park than on bathrooms for people.
“My problem with this project is how we can put a dog pee park over people and community,” said Wichita resident Geneva Holloway.
Wichita resident Pat Lehman also disagreed with the plans.
“We’re talking about bulldozing down mature trees, scraping up the turf, filling in the ponds. For what?” asked Lehman. “So we can put down some plastic grass for dogs to urinate on and we don’t have any place for people to urinate by the way.”
Council member Janet Miller said public bathrooms often turn into costly nuisance areas, with vandalism and crime. Miller said a new park is what people in her district have been requesting for eight years.
“This is not out of the blue, it’s not a surprise, we’re not jamming it down anybody’s throats,” explained Miller. “The public has been asking for this, we are accommodating those requests, we have some money.”
The TIF District is expected to raise about $3 million for the park. A design is still in the planning and public input stage.