Topeka – Governor Jeff Colyer today announced that the Kansas Department of Transportation is increasing the exchange rate for local public agencies seeking to fund local projects with state funds through the Federal Fund Exchange Program, returning the exchange rate to $.90 in state funds made available for every $1.00 in federal funds awarded a local agency, upon that agency’s request.
“By participating in the Federal Fund Exchange Program, we are hoping to increase the control that localities have over their transportation projects and make sure that funds are available when they need them,” said Governor Colyer. “It is important to me that local governments have access to resources for local projects with less federal regulation and bureaucratic red tape. We want Kansas solutions for Kansas transportation issues.”
The Federal Fund Exchange Program is a voluntary program allowing local public agencies the option to sell all or a portion of their federal funds for state transportation dollars, which provides greater flexibility of use and allows local agencies the opportunity to fund larger projects that may not have been possible with federal funding.
“We value the partnership we have with local public agencies and we are looking forward to maximizing our capacity to help them improve their local transportation infrastructure,” said Secretary of Transportation Richard Carlson. “We want to continue providing a statewide transportation system that meets the needs of the people of Kansas.”
Federal funds exchanged for state funds can be used for local projects such as road construction, maintenance or preservation, safety improvements, sidewalks, ADA ramps, bridge construction, rehabilitation or repair, and low water crossings. The funds exchange program allows local agencies to deposit federal funds over a period of years to bank funds for larger projects or to fund projects that would not have fallen under federal requirements.
Max Dibble, Phillips County Commissioner and Kansas Association of Counties President, said, “Restoration of the $.90/$1.00 ratio in the federal funds exchange program will allow counties to further stretch our transportation dollars. This means safer local roads and bridges for our citizens, farmers and businesses depending on them.”
Michael White, Executive Director of the Kansas Contractors Association commented that, “our economy depends on good roads and infrastructure. We appreciate the Governor and KDOT’s leadership to leverage innovative opportunities for transportation funding. This is a perfect example of how we can all work together – at the local, state and federal level – to repair and grow our economy through results-driven infrastructure investments.”
“As we travel the state and talk to cities, we repeatedly hear transportation funding and infrastructure development is critically important to maintain and grow our state,” said Erik Sartorius, Executive Director of the League of Kansas Municipalities. “We appreciate the Governor and KDOT for reinstating the 90-cent exchange rate for local projects. These funds are used to build important projects in cities including the reconstruction, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of roads and bridges.”
The exchange rate was $.90 for fiscal years 2011-2017 and was at $.75 for fiscal year 2018. Approximately $30 million in federal funds has been eligible for the program. The new rate will take effect with all new contracts.