By Sherman Smith
The Joint Economic Development Organization on Wednesday cleared the way for completion of a public plaza in downtown Topeka, granting more than a million dollars to the project and sparking debate on how countywide sales tax funds are distributed.
In a 4-3 vote, JEDO members approved recommendations made by a panel of community volunteers to award $2 million in economic development money to four projects out of 16 applicants.
One of those projects will invest $644,000 in the NOTO Arts District, assisting in efforts to add parking and establish Redbud Park.
Mayor Michelle De La Isla rebuffed criticism over pouring the bulk of available quality of place funding into jewels in the heart of the city, saying feedback from the community makes it clear residents want to make the city more attractive.