Topeka, Kan. – The city of Kechi will receive a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Kansas Department of Commerce to improve a nearly-hundred-year-old building. The grant funds are part of the CDBG funding the State receives from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. The building’s owners will provide $83,934 in matching funds to make needed repairs to the building.
The building was originally constructed in 1920 and is the former home of Kechi Methodist Episcopal Church. The live theater, Kechi Playhouse, has inhabited the building since 1983.
“This sort of restoration project is exactly what CDBG grants are made to do,” Acting Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “I’m happy that Kechi Playhouse will be able to have a more modern, updated space for its productions while still being able to enjoy the atmosphere of history that comes with inhabiting a nearly-century-old place.”
The CDBG program provides federal funds to local governments for the development of viable communities by addressing their housing, public facilities, and economic development needs. To be awarded funds, local government units must meet at least one of three program objectives:
- The grant will benefit low and moderate-income persons
- The grant will prevent or eliminate slums and blight
- The grant will resolve an urgent need where local resources are not available to do so
The CDBG funds are one of the Department of Commerce’s primary tools in supporting the state’s small, predominantly rural communities.