Airport consultant for airfield development projects

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe

Dodge City Commissioners passed a resolution in support of extending the Amtrak rail system through the Southwest Chief line with the Heartland Flyer rail line which goes into Oklahoma and other parts of Kansas.

According to city officials, the city supports the continuation of Amtrak passenger rail service along the Southwest Chief line, which operates between Chicago and Los Angeles.

By approving the resolution, the city feels the Heartland Flyer extension complements the Southwest Chief line as it will likely increase passengers.

"This is a follow up conversation or item following our conversation about the Southwest Kansas Coalition annual meeting in Garden City," assistant city manager Ernestor De La Rosa said to the commission. "In the past, the City of Dodge City has collaborated with BNSF and Amtrak, three state governments and local governments and grassroots groups in an effort to reinvest in infrastructure to preserve the critical passenger service beyond the Southwest Chief."

With the passing of the resolution, the city also would match $750 along with Garden City each to conduct a study on a return on investment by the Institute for Policy & Social Research at Kansas University.

The resolution passed with a 5-0 vote.

The Dodge City Regional Airport will now have an airport consultant to oversee airfield development projects that will be occurring over the next five years.

According to city public works director Corey Keller, four interviews were conducted and it is the recommendation that Burns & McDonnell out of Kansas City, Missouri, be approved as the airport consultant.

"By FAA regulations, every five years the airport is required to solicit other interested engineering firms for federally funded airport projects," Keller said.

According to Keller, the selection committee during the process were made up of city officials, Ray Slattery, Melissa McCoy, Tanner Rutschman, Kelli Enlow, Leonel Ibarra and Keller and the decision was made unanimously.

The contract will be for five years and fees will be negotiated based on projects for federal funds.

The airport consultant was approved by the commissioners unanimously.

Commissioners also approved the replatting of the Catalon Addition near Crawford Avenue and Minneola Road. The replatting will for more single-family residential development in the area.

According to city officials, there is currently one house on the property with the remaining land undeveloped.

The replatting was approved unanimously.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@gannett.com