As I have been traveling around the community visiting with voters, a common question or concern keeps coming up. At issue is "the college selling property to the city with 14th avenue frontage." Let me be clear, the college trustees at no time were in favor of selling college land along 14th Avenue. I realize this message has been conveyed several times, I thought it would be good to explain the way it happened in the board room. The city of Dodge City made the decision to relocate the Star Bond District which was out near the casino. The new, proposed district was along 14th Avenue, from the property owned by American Ag Credit north to the bypass. At first the city had the entire Dodge City Community College campus in the district in which they ever intended to use. They did so simply because they needed the legal address of the college for the Star Bond application. The city then came to the trustees with a proposal for the college to sell to the city the tracts of land along and adjacent to 14tht. This proposal was met with little interest from the trustees and the proposal "died on the vine" for a lack of interest thereof. Shortly thereafter, Trustee Terry Malone sent president Harold Nolte and myself an email in which he expresses his concerns and opposition to selling the property fronting 14th. He goes on to propose the sale of a portion of college property to the city, west of the church and south of the child development center for retail development. After a couple of months, the city again approached the trustees, apparently taking the college up on part of trustee Malone's proposal. The city then proposed the selling of 3.1 acres of college property which sits directly west of the church. The board of trustees considered this proposal and decided that, since the college has made no use of the property in the last 50 years and had no projections in doing so, it would be a good way to work with the community in supporting economic development and growing its property tax base.
When the economic development plan considered by the city depended upon the 3.1 acres of land owned by the college, the trustees looked at the positive economic impact the project will have for the college. It is estimated that the appraised value of the project considering the home improvement store alone is approximately $7,000,000. The appraised value for commercial is 25 percent of real value so we have $1,133,540 appraised value which will result in $56,677 per year tax revenue to the college at our current mill levy. Since Sutherland’s commitment to the city is for 20 years, the tax revenue generated by the project will be $1,113,540. When the three parcels in front of the home improvement store are developed, the tax revenue will be increased.
At this time the college has no plans to convey any more property and the city is committed to removing all community college property from the Star Bond District. According to city staff, this is scheduled to occur in the spring of 2018 as the current development plan works its way through the legal proceedings.
I cannot speak for other trustees, but please rest assured that I will not vote to sell 14th Avenue frontage property now or in the future.