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USDA Invests Nearly $23 Million To Improve Community Infrastructure For Rural Towns Across Kansas

Date:

TOPEKA, Jan. 27, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Acting State Director Kansas Dan Fischer today announced that USDA is investing $22,965,600 to build and improve critical community facilities in 15 communities. This infrastructure funding will increase access to health care and public safety while spurring community development and building sound infrastructure for people living in rural communities.

“These loans and grants will help rural communities invest in facilities and services that are vital to all communities,” Fischer said. “When we invest in essential services in rural America, we spur opportunities and prosperity for the people who call rural communities home.”

The programs assisting these communities include Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants, Community Facilities Loan GuaranteesCommunity Facilities Disaster Grants, and Economic Impact Initiative Grants. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics and help fund other essential community facilities.

These are the Kansas projects receiving financial assistance:

 
·         A $475,000 loan, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in completing street improvements, curb, guttering and storm water grading within the city of Cottonwood Falls. Streets have warped cross sections, reduced storm water capacity and irregular profiles resulting in potholes and ponding. This project will address the most immediate street needs through patching, replacement and storm sewer installation. The project includes approximately 13,850 square yards of asphalt milling, 2,710 tons of hot mix asphalt surface replacement, 3,510 square yards of concrete pavement, 31,200 square yards of chip and seal, 3,350 feet of sidewalk, and storm water grading and improvements.
·         A $14,600 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing and installing a boiler system for the Hodgeman County Courthouse. The courthouse was built in 1929 and is on both the Kansas Historic Register and the National Historic Register. The new system will come with a one-year warranty and the county has entered a contract for continued maintenance, eliminating emergency costs of parts and labor.
·         A $98,300 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing and installing heating and air conditioning systems and new lighting in the junior and senior high school facilities in Burlingame. Installation will include flat panel LED lights, to improve lighting quality and efficiency, and replacement of the entire heating and air conditioning system with a variant refrigerant flow zoning system.
·         A $175,000 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will rebuild and repair two existing boiler units and address a safety issue of a third at the Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center. Two boilers must be repaired to prevent failure and possible hospital closure. Additional work to be completed includes new diesel pumps, new boiler skins and re-insulating two boilers. A third boiler will be repaired. This project will add an additional 20-year lifespan to the medical center’s power infrastructure.
·         A $93,400 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in replacing a fire engine. Currently Southeast Rush County, including the town of Timken, is serviced by an old fire engine requiring a great deal of maintenance. Reliability of the truck in an emergency is questionable. The purchase of a new Quick Attack Fire Body truck will provide updated equipment to the volunteer firefighters.
·         A $90,600 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in renovating a facility for the City of Moundridge public library. The existing library is housed in a building that was constructed in 1929. The city’s Public Building Commission purchased a 4,500 square foot facility, built in 1979, and would need interior renovations before becoming the city’s new public library. The new facility will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and include accessible shelving, tables, chairs and other furnishings. The new facility will have interactive child and technology areas. The facility will have study spaces, community room and an outdoor classroom.
·         A $5,200 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing a replacement sanitation truck for the waste department in the City of Sharon. The city’s current truck, a 1999 GMC model, has reached the end of its useful life and is requiring weekly repairs and maintenance. The new truck is a 2006 International model.
·         A $26,400 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing a previously owned 2012 Ford F-450 4X4 Type 1 Wheeled Coach Ambulance for the Sedan area Emergency Medical Service. The new ambulance will replace a 1997 model. The old ambulance is not dependable and requires upgrades, that are cost prohibitive to keep it in service.
·         A $12,000 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing a previously owned fire engine for the City of Sedgwick. This vehicle will replace a 1991 model with a water leak in its holding tank. The current truck does not meet testing standards leaving only one fully functional truck. The city is purchasing a 2009 LaFrance with only 600 hours of use.
·         A $15,900 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist  the City of Cawker City in replacing the roof on their fire station. The existing roof leaks, causing damage to the structure of the building.
·         A $34,500 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing a new fully equipped vehicle for the City of Norton‘s Law Enforcement Department. This vehicle will replace an older vehicle with maintenance issues and outdated equipment. The new vehicle will come fully equipped with items that will meet the current needs of the department.
·         A $2,200 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing and installing a new heating and air conditioning unit for the senior center in Burdett. This facility’s current heating and air conditioning system is failing and has become financially more difficult to maintain. The facility provides the area’s aging population with meals, services and activities for a better quality of life in the community.
·         A $50,000 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing a new Jetter Vac truck for the City of Belleville. This will replace an existing, 18-year-old truck. This truck is used by multiple city departments and is critical for cleaning sewers and vacuuming wastewater. The new truck will hold 1,300 gallons of waste or water, has a ten-foot aluminum telescoping boom, debris tank and other features.
·         A $35,500 grant, along with a contribution from the applicant, will assist in purchasing equipment for the Neodesha Law Enforcement Department. Offices are currently housed in a temporary storage area at the city hall with evidence stored in a shipping container. The container is not climate-controlled, and evidence is deteriorating due to the conditions. Funds will be used to purchase security cameras, evidence equipment and office equipment.
·         A $19,869,000 direct loan and a $1,968,000 guaranteed loan through Western Alliance Business Trust, along with a contribution from the applicant, will construct a critical access hospital facility in Caldwell. The project will construct a new 41,000 square foot facility, with 16-beds and include clinic services.

Background:

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program.

Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB) for a detailed overview of the application process.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. Follow us on Twitter at @RurDev_Kansas

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

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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