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Government

Sedgwick County Begins Process To Sell Greyhound Park Land

greyhound_racing_rainer_hungershausen_flickr_0.jpg
Rainer Hungershausen
/
flickr Creative Commons

Sedgwick County plans to sell the land where the former Wichita Greyhound Park is located.

Commissioners approved the process Wednesday for a public auction of the site in Valley Center but did not set a timeframe for the sale.

The greyhound park closed about 10 years ago when voters rejected a proposal to bring slot machine gambling to the park.

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Credit Sedgwick County

Commission Chairman Dave Unruh said selling the land will allow the county to reallocate its resources for current needs.

"It’s a better way to manage money, a better way to manage resources rather than rolling the dice thinking that you might get gambling," Unruh said.

The county says a tax appraisal puts the value of the land at about $1.2 million.

Commissioner Jim Howell said he’s against selling the property because the county will earn more through its long-term lease agreement than it will with a one-time payout.

"It’s much better for Sedgwick County to own it than sell it today. The future lease value of this right now, if I calculated this correctly, is over $1.8 million," Howell said.

Developer Phil Ruffin owns the Wichita Greyhound Park and pays Sedgwick County about $87,000 a year in a lease that expires in 2039.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

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