City transfers Civic Center and surrounding property to USD 443. School district will formulate plans for the building.
Dodge City commissioners made quick work of their agenda Tuesday evening.
The meeting, which was moved to Tuesday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, focused primarily on two items pertaining to the city's proposal to transfer ownership of the Civic Center and surrounding real estate to USD 443.
Commissioners gave final approval to a newly-drawn plat map for the area bounded by Morgan Blvd. on the south, Soule St. on the north, Central Ave. on the east and Sixth Ave. on the west.
"The property around the Civic Center has been owned by the city for so long that there was no need to plat the area until now," said Dennis Veatch, development services administrator for the city.
When the proposal to transfer the Civic Center and adjoining property to the school district was made, it became necessary to plat the area so legal descriptions could be included in the agreement.
Veatch presented the final map, which includes technical additions suggested by city staff, mostly concerning easements for utilities and drainage.
Following a few questions about the property lines for the National Guard Armory and the adjacent north entrance from Central Avenue into the Civic Center parking lot, the commission approved the map.
Ken Strobel, city manager, presented the proposed agreement for the transfer to the commission.
He described the plan as "a cooperative effort between two government agencies working together for the good of the community."
"The Civic Center has served the city well for over 50 years. It's in good shape structurally and mechanically," Strobel said.
He pointed out that, with the completion of United Wireless Arena and the Expo Center, the city's need for the Civic Center had diminished, while the school district's use of the building has increased.
"This is an opportunity to put the building to good use," he said.
He described the agreement as "straightforward."
"The school district agrees to honor all current contracts for use of the building, and they agree to keep the use of the building the same as it currently is until such time as it may be converted to an attendance facility," he said.
In response to a question from Mayor Rick Sowers regarding how the proposal might affect the city's bonding capacity, director of finance and city clerk Nanette Pogue told the commission that bonds issued ten years ago for Civic Center improvements have all been paid off and the transfer would not affect any future bonding issues.
Commissioner Brian Delzeit summed up the unanimous opinion of the commission: "I cannot think of a better use of city property than this arrangement."
The commission voted 4-0 to approve the proposal, which will appear for approval on the agenda of USD 443's board at a meeting scheduled for Jan. 28.
In other business, the commission also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Dodge City Public Library dealing with technical considerations of the city's worker compensation package.