It’s a done deal.
The Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees voted to approve the sale of 3.1 acres of college land to the city of Dodge City for $550 at its monthly meeting on Tuesday at the college.
The land is part of a new Star Bond project which will see a Sutherland’s brought to Dodge City. As part of the agreement the city will remove all remaining DCCC property from the Star Bond eligible district.
The 3.1 acres is not on 14th Street, sitting near the water tower south of the the college campus.
The vote to approve the sale was 4-1 with Terry Malone opposing and Gary Harshberger not present at the meeting.
When debate began on the sale, Malone suggested the 3.1 acres was the perfect spot for the technical lineman program and that it should be brought back to campus.
"It’s the perfect dimension for what they have down near Beeson," Malone said of the property. "I think it would great to bring the program back to the campus."
Trustee Jeremy Presley agreed with Malone that the lineman program should return to campus, but said the sale should go through.
"You’re right, we should bring all our programs back," he told Malone. "In fact, until recently, the program was here.
"But, we have plenty of room for all our programs and we don’t need this property for anything. We have 130 acres of land and the city can use this land."
Malone had other arguments for keeping the land including by doing so the college was giving the land to a multi-million dollar company and that longtime Dodge City businesses were not getting tax breaks that Sutherland’s will.
"We are just giving away this land," Malone said. "It’s wrong."
Dr. Morris Reeves, chairman of the board, said the college must be a partner with the city.
"We sold land 30 years ago to the county," Reeves said. "We must work with Dodge City and Ford County for the betterment of all."
The lineman program was on campus until 2015 when then president Don Woodburn moved it off campus in an attempt to beautify the secondary entrance to the campus on Highway 50. According to officials, the program now is on land owned by the American Legion. In lieu of a lease, the college maintains lawn maintenance and snow removal for the site.
Trustee candidates Bill Hammond and Peter Weil both spoke against selling the land during the public remarks portion of the meeting. Both said keeping the land as part of the campus was a better decision.
During trustee reports early in the meeting, trustee Floris Jean Hampton blasted political advertising.
"I take offense to it," she said. "This college is not for sale, but those ads suggest it is."
Hampton addressed her comments to Malone, who paid for the advertising she was referring to. Malone didn’t respond to her statement.
In other business, the board approved a bid by Cook Construction to replace the roof on the Horse Science Building; used money from a federal Title V Grant to purchase new computers and software; changed policies assigning legal counsel and new organization of the board to January from June; and approved athletic/club sports insurance.
The next board meeting is scheduled for August 29.
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