TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that 24 communities in rural counties throughout the state will receive a share of nearly $7.9 million in federal grants to assist with community development projects.
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, facilitated and administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce Community Development Division, is a federal grant program that funds various local projects. The $7,897,922 will be matched with local funding, allowing more than $16.9 million to be available.
“The Community Development Block Grant program provides the funding needed for communities to make critical improvements they otherwise might not be able to afford,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We will continue leveraging all available resources that make positive economic impacts to communities across Kansas.”
“These revitalization projects will help improve the overall business and residential appeal of these communities,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Investing in these specific assets will help spur further economic development in areas of need throughout the state.”
CDBG awards were made in five program areas:
- Community Centers, Parks & Libraries funds projects to increase community engagement, health, connectedness, and vibrancy in communities. Morland, for example, was one of the 13 award recipients. The city has proposed a project to construct a looped trail/walking path around Morland City Park and the addition of new curbs, gutters, and ADA-accessible parking.
- Sidewalks & Trails funds projects that connect community members to services, community centers, schools, and recreational areas. Wathena will use this funding to construct a wide sidewalk, retaining wall, utility modifications, pavement marking, and surface restorations in their community.
- Childcare Facilities funds projects to address the childcare shortage in Kansas. These grants help fund the construction of facilities and cannot be used for operations. Hillsboro will use these funds to renovate a building that will provide childcare to 99 children in their community.
- Youth Job Training funds projects to address the needs of at-risk youth in workforce training and development. Sumner County will use this funding to assist low- to moderate-income high school students in attending classes at a local community college. Classes will focus on trade and technical skills to address workforce needs identified in their community.
- ADA Improvements fund projects that increase access to essential goods and services in downtown or Main Street districts and other non-residential buildings in the community. Cottonwood Falls will use its funding to remove barriers for nine businesses, including installing ramps and door openers and increasing door widths to improve ADA access for community members.
The CDBG program provides federal funds to local governments to develop viable communities by addressing their housing, public facilities, and economic needs. To be awarded funds, projects 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 that communities are not able to do on their own.
The CDBG funds are one of the Department of Commerce’s primary tools in supporting the state’s smaller, predominantly rural communities. To view the complete list of awardees, click here.