It didn't take long for the three additional lots in front of the impending Sutherland's Home Improvement store to get proposals.

At the city commission meeting on Monday, two bids were put in for the three lots, one from Casey's General Store for one lot and one from Dodge Partners LLC for the other two lots.

Dodge Partners LLC is the same group that put purchased the area at the old A&W location on 14th Avenue that will see the relocation of AT&T, Great Clips and Nail Addiction.

For lot one, the city approved to enter into a letter of intent with Casey's while authorizing to begin negotiations with Dodge Partners for the other two.

"The property can't be developed until the (First Assembly of God) church is done," JoAnn Knight with Dodge City/Ford County Economic Development Corporation said.

The church had sold their land to the city and will be relocating their church to an area off of Ross Boulevard.

The Sutherland's development will begin construction while the new church is being built.

Once the church is built, the demolition of the previous church will take place.

"I want to make it clear to people that the businesses come to us," Mayor Rick Sowers said. "We meet with a lot of companies throughout the year and the one thing they all kept telling us was, 'We aren't investing in small towns anymore.'

"So we are fortunate to have these businesses come to us that are willing to invest."

Once the lots are sold, the proceeds from that sale will go to reimbursing Dodge City Community College, as part of the agreement of the college selling 3.1 acres of its property for retail development near 14th Avenue and Soule Street.

In other business, commissioners voted to approve new fencing to go in at the six soccer fields at the St. Mary of the Plains campus.

The bid from Denton Construction for the project was for $74,072.63. Five other companies had placed bids with Denton being the lowest.

What the fencing would do is enclose the soccer complex from outside use except for league and tournament play, something Commissioner Kent Smoll wasn't in approval of.

"I have a problem with these being public fields," Smoll said. "I am fine with two tournament fields but fencing everything in is kind of like what USD 443 did and every baseball field around here you can't get to now.

"So I just have a problem with it."

Assistant lands director with parks and recreation Daniel Cecil said, "Part of what we are looking at from our stand point is the maintenance and that of the fields.

"It's great to have the excitement and the people in the community enjoying the sport and getting out there and participating but for what we're trying to run as far as our tournaments go and providing the best facility that we can on the weekends for those tournaments and those championships, we're not being able to do that because we have grass thats worn out, it's not given time to heal, the goal mouths around the soccer goals are having issues, we are having issues of the grass being torn up.

"They just aren't allowing us to have our fields at the level that they should be with the maintenance program that we have."

Cecil did say that practice fields will be open and are available at Wright Park as well as the allowance of controlled practices for soccer being available at the soccer complex with permission.

"It is a way to rehab the ground for league play," Sowers said. "We would be able to let the guys know, 'Hey we have to keep off the ground for 90 days' but it is really hard to do that when we don't have any fencing with signs saying to keep off because people won't see that.

"If there is a field that's open they are going to go kick the ball around but I understand Commissioner Smoll's concerns about it because we used the facility with Why Not Dodge but it also seems like it is fair to say we need time to rehab the grounds to control the fields.

"We are not stopping the play 100 percent, it just gives us the opportunity to keep the fields in decent shape."

The soccer complex fencing was approved 4-1 with Smoll the lone nay vote.

Commissioners also approved to rehab two municipal water wells at wells 21 and 29 in town.

The low bid for the rehab was from Hydro Resources for $92,000.

Commissioners also approved a fairway lawn mower for Mariah Hills Golf Course for $52,411 from KGT with a $3,000 trade-in of the current 2006 mower.

Commissioners also approved an amendment with the Fraternal Order of Police as well as a Community District Incentive for a 1 percent sales tax for the Sutherland's property.

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