City commissioners on Monday approved to match a US Department of Agriculture rural business grant for $76,960 to go towards a feasibility study and consultant aid for a possible mid-level medical college to Dodge City.

"The study will address the needs of the area as well as potential students," city special projects coordinator Melissa McCoy said. "The study would be from August through July 2018 and would be to bring mid-level healthcare providers to southwest Kansas."

Discussions have been taking place between city staff and Fort Hays State University, Wichita State University and the University of Kansas to bring the mid-level college to the area with the possible location being at Hennessy Hall.

Additional funding for the project will also come from the Dodge City Ford County Development Corporation.

Commissioners also approved a designation request from the Church of the Nazarene, 1700 W. Ross Blvd., for a Rural Housing Incentive District.

"The church has requested the designation for the land around the church for potential housing," development corporation housing director Mollea Wainscott said. "With the RHID designation they would then send to the Kansas Secretary of Commerce which would assist in expediting the process for the housing."

According to director of engineering Ray Slattery, Church of the Nazarene is on city water and sewer and the city would work to get public sewer to the area and extend into the site.

The designation was approved unanimously, Commissioner Joyce Warshaw was absent from the meeting and did not vote.

Commissioners also approved several street and traffic light improvements and installations.

For the 2017 curb, gutter and sidewalk programs, commissioners approved a bid from Dowling Construction for $48,831.25.

The construction would be for Front Street parking lot between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue; repairs from Vine Street to Spruce Street on the west side of 2nd Avenue; repairs on Walnut Street to Wyatt Earp Boulevard on the west side of 7th Avenue and construction on the Gunsmoke Trail in Chilton Park from Manor Drive.

"These are yearly programs through special streets that we try to do close to the end of the year if funds are available," Slattery said. "The bid for the project came under the engineers estimate of $51,080."

Commissioners approved a quote from Gades Sales company out of Wichita for $54,055 for traffic signal improvements.

The signals are located at 14th Avenue and Ross Boulevard; Central Avenue and University Drive/Soule Street; 6th Avenue and Ross Boulevard; 1st Avenue and Wyatt Earp Boulevard and 14th Avenue and Wyatt Earp Boulevard.

"Funding will come from special streets funds for $50,207 and $3,848 from general obligation bonds for 6th Avenue Extension," civil engineer Tanner Rutschman said. "The signals on Ross Boulevard and Central and University will be for dedicated left turn signals with the signals on Wyatt Earp to be for a railroad quiet zone."

For the installation of the traffic signals, commissioners approved a quote from Phillips Southern Electric Co. for $73,298.25.

Special streets funding will cover $68,837.44 and general obligation bonds will cover $4,461.21 as part of the Central Avenue Improvements project.

Commissioners also approved the purchasing of three trucks for the parks and recreation department.

The trucks will be for the parks department, construction department and cemetery department.

The parks truck will be for $29,733 from Lewis Chevrolet; construction truck for $26,932 from Lewis Chevrolet and cemetery truck for $26,969 from Lopp Motors.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com