$300,000 Grant Awarded City Of Frankfort For Infrastructure For Senior Housing


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The Frankfort Community Care Home located in Marshall County, and a business partner with Marshall County Partnership 4 Growth, had a vision to expand their non-profit through providing needed independent living senior duplex housing. The plans for the Frankfort Community Cottages were drawn up, but then came to a stand-still for nearly two years. The land across from the Frankfort Community Care Home and situated next to the Nutrition Center needed infrastructure first. The cost would be about $300,000 and neither the city of Frankfort, nor the Care Home could afford it.

Laura O’Neil, Administrator of the Frankfort Community Care Home, shared this with issue with Ellen Barber, Director of Marshall County Partnership 4 Growth. Jarrod Smith of JD Construction, a partner investor of the group, was also the developer and could not move forward with the build. So Barber found the Moderate Income Housing Grant that would provide infrastructure as long as it was connected to housing, and presented it to her Board. They approved Barber and Smith to advocate with their investor partner, the City of Frankfort. After Barber and Smith presented the details of the grant to the Frankfort City Council last August, the council agreed unanimously to be the pass-through for the grant monies for the needed infrastructure. The Partnership would handle the coordination, writing and reporting of the grant with O’Neil and JD Construction.

Barber says, “Besides the many financials, the grant required proof of need, and O’Neil did an outstanding job of documenting the need for housing in Frankfort. There were numerous letters from employees who verified that they couldn’t live in the community near work due to lack of housing. There were statements from many older residents in town stating their housing had become unsafe for them and they needed senior-adapted housing. There were letters of support from Mayor John Horigan, the Frankfort Area News, and many residents.”

Other verification included the number of jobs available, but not filled due to lack of housing. This was documented by three local housing studies that Barber pulled from to show the lack of housing affected local employment. She explained that with eight new homes for seniors, eight homes in the community would open up for needed local use. JD Construction’s James Kroeger provided the number of jobs the build would create and provided the estimates of the build.

The KS Housing Corp recognized the Frankfort area housing need, and awarded the full amount of $300,000 exclusive to infrastructure in late November. Barber states, “We are really pleased to see that this million dollar project that was on hold, can now move forward. This is how we envisioned the Marshall County Partnership 4 Growth to work. The partners of our organization, public and private, all worked together to pull this off for the community of Frankfort, and now a new senior community is in the works to start in the spring of 2018. You can’t get better than that!”

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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