In just another step leading to the development of the Sutherland's home and garden center, city commissioners held a public hearing and vote approving the project plan.

The Power Center as it is being called by the city will be for Sutherland's, a 75,000-square-foot home improvement store along with a 35,000-square-foot garden center, to be constructed in Dodge City.

The land owned by Farm Credit, First Assembly of God and 3.1 acres owned by the Dodge City Community College, were sold to the city by the owners and the DCCC Board of Trustees leading up to the public hearing and eventual vote on the development project.

There will also be three out lots in front of the home improvement store available for other retailers.

One of the three lots was purchased by Casey's General Store with the other two being purchased by Dodge Partners LLC, the group that recently put in the new location for AT&T, Great Clips and Gloss Nail Salon along 14th Avenue.

According to city staff, spring 2019 is the projected open date for both Sutherland's and Casey's with the other two lots looking for a spring 2020 opening.

The Star Bonds funds will be one of the main funding sources along with other private investors into the project.

An additional incentive will be for funds to go into the Boot Hill Museum expansion, which is part of the Star Bonds statute.

With the approval of the project plan, according to the statute, city staff would have 90 days from the approval to issue to bonds for the project.

"It is one more step of many to come for the project," city manager Cherise Tieben said.

According to project developers, a feasibility study was done regarding the amount of projected visitors that the project for both Sutherland's and Boot Hill Museum, would bring into the community.

The feasibility consultants stated that the project would bring one million visitors annually into Dodge City with 500,000 for Sutherland's and 500,000 to the museum.

There will also be a possible gateway entry that could be put in place in as part of the expansion project that would lead to a walk-way that goes over the top of Wyatt Earp leading to Boot Hill Museum as well as downtown locations of Guymon Petro and the Long Branch Lagoon.

With the approval, the next step will be the issuing of the bonds for the project. A date has not been set for when that will take place at this time.

The commissioners approved the project plan unanimously with a 4-0 vote. Mayor Kent Smoll was not in attendance at the meeting and did not vote.

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