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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Economic Development Corporation board presented growth and challenges

  • The Dodge City Ford County Development Corporation met last week and
    discussed a number of topics related to the growth of the community.
    Jeff Oliphant, board chair, opened the meeting and Executive Director
    Joann Knight began her reports by presenting new staff changes.
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  • The Dodge City Ford County Development Corporation met last week and
    discussed a number of topics related to the growth of the community.
    Jeff Oliphant, board chair, opened the meeting and Executive Director
    Joann Knight began her reports by presenting new staff changes.
    Kaci Davignon has left the organization to go to work at Interfaith
    Housing Services. Leslie Lomas has moved over from the City Manager¹s
    office to take over Housing. Brady Pollington, who was serving as an
    Intern for the STAR Bond Project for the City, has been moved over to
    the Development Corporation.  Pollington will continue with his work
    on the STAR Bond Project, but will be working with the Oil & Gas
    Industry and will be the Business Recruitment Coordinator for the
    Development Corp.
    Knight also reported on Main Street in Chelsey Fisher's absence. Chelsey did
    not attend the meeting due to the fact that she had just received word
    that the Kansas Main Street organization had been dissolved. This will
    not have any financial effect on Main Street Dodge City, as our funds
    are raised locally. Main Street will continue as normal with the
    exception of the training and support that will be missed from the State
    level.
    Brady Pollington reported on the latest Oil & Gas activity in the
    region.   Sandridge, Baker-Hughes, Safety Plus and Lightening Tower Rentals
    are all companies currently working in the area that have set-up local
    offices here in Dodge City.  He also briefly touched on business
    recruitment.
    Leslie Lomas gave a brief overview on the current housing construction
    in the City.  The latest housing assessment update shows that even with
    all the housing development in the past 5 years, we are still in a
    deficit of needing an additional 900 homes/apartments in the next 5
    years.
    Knight reported that there is a Small Business Tax Workshop on October
    3rd. She also reminded the board that the WSU Economic Outlook
    Conference would be in Dodge City on October 22nd.
    On other growth, Knight reported that the Dodge City Extended Stay is
    expected to open in December.   Comfort Suites, 72 room hotel, should
    begin construction in the next couple of months at the corner of Matt
    Down Lane and W. Wyatt Earp.  Marriott Towne Place Suites, 121 room
    hotel, should begin construction soon just east of the Kia dealership.
    Beeson Court Commercial Building is complete.  Ric Marboeuf
    commented that their is still some office space available for rent.
    Page 2 of 2 - ITC has located their regional office in the Military Plaza building
    and are looking to add additional staff in the future.  The Spearville
    School Expansion is expected to get begin this month.
    Board members also shared information.  Gary Turner gave an update on
    Village Square Mall. They have four new businesses going in including
    Riddel¹s Jewelry and Papa Murphy¹s Pizza.  Jeff Hiers reported that the new
    Comanche Middle School is open. The gymnasium is expected to be completed in
    December. Advised that each middle school currently has 700+ students in
    each of them.  He also shared that the High School it expected to reach its
    capacity within the next two years.  He said that the middle school
    reorganizations have gone well, but even with these changes and schedule
    adjustments, the school board did anticipate the need for 'brick and mortar'
    within the next few years.
    Chris Boy reported that the CERT training in October had been looking
    for 10 people who were interested in taking the training, and have actually
    received 50 applications.  The CERT training is designed to assist
    volunteers in responding to emergencies until  first responders can arrive.

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