Sedgwick County asks for restrictions to be lifted from its parks

Sedgwick County wants the federal government to lift restrictions on Lake Afton Park and parkland in the northeast part of the county.

Commissioners approved two resolutions Wednesday to ask Congress to pass federal law to end those restrictions.

A $7,122.50 federal grant helped Sedgwick County partially construct a bathroom at Lake Afton Park in 1966. Assistant County Counselor Justin Waggoner said a part of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act restricts what can be done with property that was developed with that type of money. Commissioner Richard Ranzau said the amount of grant money was not worth relinquishing control of roughly 800 acres of parkland.

“While we don’t expect to do anything with Lake Afton, being released from this encumbrance will just guarantee we can do whatever we want with that park,” Ranzau said. “$7,000 for fifty years: I think they (federal officials) got their money’s worth.”

Chairman Dave Unruh said the restriction amounted to “absurdity.”

(Read more: Wichita Eagle)