City commission purchases utilities with SPARKS funds

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe

The Dodge City Commission passed 4-1 a proposal by Director of Administration Ryan Reid to allow the city manager to execute the purchase of items utilizing SPARK funding at its Sept. 8 meeting. Commissioner Rick Sowers was the dissenting vote.

In August, the City of Dodge City received the first level of approval for the use of the SPARK (Strengthening People & Revitalizing Kansas) funds from Ford County so that staff could develop a plan for those funds to improve city operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, while protecting residents and staff as they carry out services.

The resulting projects conceptualized through those funds are meant to benefit multiple city departments, while increasing safety, hygiene and communications procedures and include:

• A replacement phone system for City Hall, allowing improved communications efforts for those working from home.

• Upgraded permanent windows for main counters to improve the safety of residents and staff.

• Improved remote access technologies, allowing improved communications efforts for those working from home.

• Upgraded email system, allowing improved communications efforts for those working from home.

• Installed kiosks, allowing a more safe and convenient method for residents’ utility bill payments.

• New sprayers, gloves, and disinfectants.

• Installation of in-car police mobile data terminals, allowing for improved efficiency and safety of officers.

• Installation of generators for City Hall, police station and fire stations, ensuring operations for facilities during crisis without interruption due to power failure.

• Swipe cards for Time Clocking system, allowing for improved safety for working on-site staff.

Reid also brought to discussion the approval of a bid to Shor-Line for $56,792.62, to purchase new cages for the Dodge City Animal Shelter as part of the ongoing improvements to the shelter over the last year.

“These cages include both dog and cat units, 12 cat units and 20 dog cages, and should be an improvement for the animals and the staff,” said Reid. “They are larger, they meet state requirements and are easier to clean.”

The Dodge City Police Department is reallocating a portion of its own budget to fund the cages.

The overall purchase represents half of the new cages, and some of the Animal Shelter’s older cages will still be maintained with the new ones.

The motion passed 5-0.

The last order of new business presented by director of engineering Ray Slattery was the approval of crossing agreement with the Iron Wind Star Project, which passed 5-0.

This will allow the wind farm developers to cross previously granted key areas of easements, while in accordance with the parameters of the original agreement.

Mayor Joyce Warshaw proclaimed Sept. 9, 2020, to be Dodge City Community College Day in honor of the school’s 85 years as a staple of the community.

“I urge all citizens to join me in recognizing the tremendous influence Dodge City Community College has had since opening in 1935,” said Warshaw. “We acknowledge the wonderful opportunities it has provided students to pursue and to conquer higher education, and we salute every student — past and present — on this important milestone.”

Dodge City Community College is in its 50th year at its current location at 2501 N. 14th Ave.

A special event was planned for this week to celebrate Dodge City Community College Day, but considering weather was instead rescheduled for Oct. 18.