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Sedgwick County Begins Process To Sell Greyhound Park Land

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.

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.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.