Hutchinson City Council plans to reallocate funds

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Take the awe of two Kansas wonders. Some have said this is what could happen if funding for the Cosmosphere and Strataca were cut.

Currently, both tourist attractions receive quarter-cent sales tax money from Hutchinson. It expires in two years, but work to extend it is underway.

Leaders of the two museums said they bring thousands of people to Hutchinson and those people spend money. They said losing money to sales tax could affect their bottom line.

“It would require us to look at the operating budget and really look at the programs that we offer, the admissions that we offer, and it would require us to take a look at our income, and we would have to change things significantly. “said Jim Remar, President and CEO of Cosmosphere.

From night skies and deep underground to roads and property tax relief in Hutchinson, Quarterly Sales Tax helps pay for it all.

Councilwoman Sara Bagwell expressed concern about whether that money was properly allocated.

“A lot of people vote for roads, and they feel like they’re not getting that, and even if we use it for that, if we add a little more, that might help us with our budget as well. “, Bagwell said.

Over the next two weeks, the mayor of Hutchinson said the city council will discuss with voters how that money will be allocated.

“We did it that way for many, many years. That’s not to say it can’t change, but I’m, as I mentioned, optimistic that we can continue to support these two world-class institutions,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, Mayor of Hutchinson. .

In an economic study, the executive director of the Reno County Historical Society said that 95% of people who visited Strataca were from outside Reno County and 74% from the state.

“It’s important for city council members to realize the significance of these percentages and what it can really mean not only for our organization but also for our community,” said Michael Ables, executive director of the Reno County Historical Society.

Ables said the 5% they currently receive from the city actually equates to 10% of Stratacas’ overall operating budget. He said any cuts could be material to operations.

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