The joint city, county commission meeting raised concerns regarding the Dodge City Raceway Park on Monday.
The joint commission approved a subsidy increase from $190,000 to $250,000 pending a 2018 agreement to bring World of Outlaws to Dodge City in 2018 with Triple T Promotions
However, questions were raised regarding the decline in attendance and racers as the cause of the request for the increase.
"The decline of racers and attendance is not a Dodge City issue, it is a nationwide issue with race tracks," city coordinator Melissa McCoy said. "For example, we were able to host the World of Outlaws race this year because the one they raced in last year is no longer operational."
The $60,000 subsidy increase would decrease by $25,000 if the World of Outlaws race for 2018 is not made.
"I know when we had it here it was big," city commissioner Kent Smoll said. "Ticket sales were great."
Ford County Commissioner Chris Boys asked if the $60,000 for the increase would be better suited going towards another entity such as the Long Branch Lagoon or the turf rebuild at Legend's Park — all under the Why Not Dodge? sales tax agreement.
"This is a matter of retaining the coach," city commissioner Brian Delzeit said. " Tommy (Estes) has done a great job but it may come to a point where we have to look at keeping the track.
"And if we want to keep the track, what are we willing to pay for it?
"We can do it for a year and give him a chance to salvage the race track for years to come, but if in a year the numbers aren't good, then we will have a decision to make in keeping it open."
Mayor Rick Sowers added, "Tommy has changed the philosophy out at the track with the racers and the track itself.
"It's a world class track and good entertainment for the community."
County Chairman Shawn Tasset echoed, Delzeit saying, " I just wanted to hear if we had an option in the future."
The subsidy increase was approved unanimously.
The county also agreed to contribute not more than $760,860 of incremental property tax to the repayment of the Star Bond project.
The project would only be for the area where 3.1 acres was purchased from the Dodge City Community College, Farm Credit bank and First Assembly of God Church along 14th Avenue for retail development.
If any overages of the $760,860 occur, the city would cover those overages.
The agreement was approved by a 2-1 vote. Commissioner Ken Snook was the lone nay vote.
A shared road agreement was tabled for a later meeting that would see several border roads shared by the city and county to be annexed into the city.
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