The Chamber of Commerce presented the State of the City Address on Wednesday afternoon and guests were updated and informed of several projects going on in Dodge City.
The presentation opened with a special remembrance of Commissioner Jim Sherer who died earlier in the week, then City Manager Ken Strobel began by discussing arguably the biggest issue facing the city right now — housing.
According to Strobel, Dodge City has added 59 new housing units in the past few years, another 38 are under construction and 174 are in the design/planning stage.
"We've made some huge strides recently," Strobel said, "but we still have a long way to go. The 2010 census said we still need nearly 900 housing units."
Strobel also praised the Rural Housing Incentive District (RHID) program for giving developers incentive to come to Dodge City and build more housing units.
Next, Strobel brought up the subject of infrastructure. Two major projects are in the works for Dodge City. The first, is expanding Comanche out to Highway 50. The expansion would be a four-lane road with turn lanes and a median. Strobel said the next step in this project is to figure out financing for the project.
The second infrastructure project is the reconstruction of west Trail Street. Repairs are being completed in several stages, the first was done last summer, and the second is scheduled to be done this summer.
Along with road improvements, the city is making several improvements at the airport.
"We have seen a 43 percent increase in air-travel since we've made the partnership with Garden City," Strobel said. "I think that's a great improvement, and shows that we made the right decision."
A new ramp, new hanger and a new parking lot are all planned for the airport.
Strobel also talked about how much additiional use city transportation has seen since hours were increased and the service area expanded.
"In just the past year we've seen a 300 percent increase in use," he said.
The city buses are operated on a demand/response system, meaning that to use the bus a resident must call in advance, then they will be picked up and dropped off at their exact destination.
In the future the city hopes to look into expanding their travel to even more of the surrounding communities.
Other aspects of the city were also mentioned including STAR bonds, Why Not Dodge projects, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Library, Main Street and Economic Development.
To close Strobel took a moment to thank all the city employees.
"It's great to be able to talk about all the exciting things going on in the city," Strobel said, "but none of it would have been possible without the hard work of all the city employees, and the City Commission members."