The State of the City address was made at the Boot Hill Casino and Resort Conference Center on Thursday.

Mayor Rick Sowers and city manager Cherise Tieben held court highlighting the last year of projects and developments.

Sowers made reference to Dodge City Proud and what it means to him.

"I have been more of a cheerleader with a lot of these projects," he told the crowd. "All the heavy lifting has been done by the city staff."

Sowers talked about the impending retirements of both Jane Longmeyer,  city public information officer, and Paul Lewis, parks and recreation director.

"With all of the staff combined, we have close to 280 years of service alone," Sowers said. "When these two retire we will lose a lot of that experience. They have done a phenomenal job for us and will be tough to replace."

Cherise Tieben then took over the podium.

Tieben highlighted the current and future projects for Dodge City such as the Star Bonds Power Area at 14th Avenue and Soule Street and reiterated that the Dodge City Community College land as a whole, with the exception of 3.1 acres, will be taken off the retail development list.

"It was never our intention to take over the college land completely," she said. "Now that it is off the table we hope it will end the confusion."

The Power Area will see Sutherland's home improvement store be built with three parcels in front of the future location available for additional retail.

"Construction is due to start in the fall or early 2018," Tieben said. "The Star Bonds couldn't be done without the Boot Hill Museum and they will receive expansion of 5,000-square feet with new spaces for temporary exhibits and special events and it will also help with funding for downtown infrastructure."

For street projects, Tieben talked about progress being made regarding the Fairway Drive intersection that would connect Fairway Drive with Highway 50, Central Avenue and Layton Street construction, 6th Avenue Extension and Central Avenue Reconstruction from Comanche Street to Wyatt Earp Boulevard.

Central Avenue had turn lanes and stop lights recently added from Layton Street to the entrance of McDonald's with Central Avenue from Comanche Street to Vine widened and made into a two-way street.

She also touched on the Dodge City Police Department getting body cameras for officers, and the partnership with Ford County for the upgraded radio system throughout the county.

Teiben also talked about the new water conservation and biogas facility at the southern waste water treatment plant.

The sediment removal in the Arkansas River was also mentioned along with the impact of the ice storm that hit the area in January of this year.

"The final financial total for the cleanup came to $750,000," Tieben said. "With funds of 75 to 80 percent being reimbursed by FEMA due to being a federal disaster zone."

Housing was another highlight of Tieben's.

She discussed the ongoing projects of Summerlon V, CandleTree #8 and Wagon Wheel II that will bring in 60, 30 and 60 new housing developments respectively.

"Those developments have already begun paying out 2-3 years ahead schedule," she said. "These projects were done through the Rural Housing Incentive District, something that everyone in town seems to know the acronym for."

For completed projects, Tieben mentioned the Long Branch Lagoon, Guymon Petro Bar and Grill, Boot Hill Distillery, Fort Dodge RV Park and SMH Consultants building with Dodge City Brewing and Holiday Inn Express on the horizon.

Sowers ended the address discussing something the city commissioners will be looking into in the near future; bees.

"Two young gentlemen that are 8 years old came into a city commission meeting or a work session and schooled us on bee keeping in the city limits," Sowers said. "Those two boys showed more respect and courtesy then I have seen in some adults and articulated for well to use the need and ways to maintain bee keeping inside the city limits.

"Bees are considered an ag animal and we thought they couldn't be domesticated within cities, only to do some research and find that a lot of cities have ordinances in place that allows bee keeping.

"So I praise Landon and Henry for bringing this to us and it is something we will be making a ruling on in the future."