City commissioners agreed to support the TIGER IX grant to help maintain the Southwest Chief rail line that runs through Dodge City.

The grant request is similar to that from last years for a $12,500 match.

The request for the grant was denied last year however New Mexico has partnered with the grant this time along with Colorado and Hutchinson and Garden City.

The grant would be for repairs to the Burlington Northern Santa Few railroad tracks that are used by Amtrak for passenger service.

Due to railroad work needing done, Amtrak is having to drive at lower speeds, an issue that has almost led to the closing of the Southwest Chief line according to city officials.

"We are getting support from these other states because they have seen how they work," Mayor Rick Sowers said. "New Mexico getting into this is huge."

Commissioner Jan Scoggins added, "It is very important, and we need to do it."

The grant application was approved unanimously.

The city and Dodge City Community College also reached an agreement regarding the Legend's Park turf that is being installed.

The city had requested $100,000 from the college as well as USD 443 as a partnership to pay for the installation of synthetic turf.

The college agreed to the payment over an 8-year period and the previous rental agreement between the city and college would be removed.

Commissioners also agreed to a change order of $65,300 for the full replacement of the bridge that is currently under construction on Avenue A.

The change order also added an additional 14 calendar days to the project for completion.

According to director of engineering Ray Slattery, the completion date would be Dec. 10.

Total funds for the repair and construction came to $225,981.50 and was approved at a previous city meeting.

The total was still $124,818.50 under the budget according to Slattery.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com