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USDA Invests Nearly $2.3 Million in Community Infrastructure and Economic Development in Eight Rural Kansas Communities

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TOPEKA, Kan., July 25, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Kansas Director for Rural Development Christy Davis today announced that USDA is investing $2,268,200 toward eight community projects across the state.

“Investment in public infrastructure and facilities is essential for economic development in Kansas communities,” Davis said. “USDA Rural Development is proud to assist in projects that serve rural residents and businesses.”

Background:

The Rural Business Development Grant program is designed to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Small means that the business has fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue.

The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage. The program serves people and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less.

The Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program provides funding for essential community facilities and services. 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.

The SEARCH-Special Evaluation and Assistance for Rural Communities and Households program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities with predevelopment feasibility studies, design and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

The Water and Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grant program assists low-income communities with initial planning and development of applications for USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal direct loan/grant and loan guarantee programs.

Project details of today’s eight announcements are:

  • A $33,000 grant will assist Thrive Allen County, Inc. with a Feasibility Study to create an incubator/accelerator space for Allen County. The space would increase economic development by creating an inviting, supportive space for entrepreneurs in the area.
  • A $202,000 grant will assist The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team, in conjunction with partners Pittsburg State University Small Business Development Center and Kansas Works, expand services to small businesses. Assistance provided will include access to local employment opportunities, increased access in business education, workforce development, and job training opportunities. It is anticipated that 100 full time jobs will be created.
  • A $30,200 grant will help purchase a fully equipped patrol vehicle to enhance the work of the City of South Hutchinson‘s Police Department.
  • A $55,000 loan and a $35,000 grant will help purchase four transportation vehicles for individuals with developmental disabilities in Marshall and Washington Counties. The three transport vehicles and one maintenance truck will replace older vehicles with high mileage and high maintenance costs. Once all the vehicles are put into service, they will meet the basic needs of the individuals with developmental disabilities for many years to come.
  • A $577,000 loan and a $291,000 grant will provide additional funding for renovating the water and sewer system in the City of Caney. Funds previously obligated for this project include $600,000 from the Kansas Department of Commerce and loans and grants totaling $4,765,800 from USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal.
  • A $24,000 grant will be used toward an engineer to evaluate the current wastewater system for the City of Susank. A preliminary Engineering Report will outline any appropriate corrective actions needed.
  • A $479,000 loan and a $512,000 grant will supplement previous funding for improvements to the water supply system of the City of Caldwell. Funds already assigned to this project include a prior award from Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan in the amount of $1,558,000 and Kansas Department of Commerce-Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $600,000. This project ensures that the city will have safe and reliable water for many years to come.
  • A $30,000 grant will be used to evaluate the wastewater collection system and treatment facility in La Harpe. An engineer will evaluate the current system and propose a plan for repairing and modernizing the water system. Once completed the city will have the information needed to develop a final wastewater system project.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, contact a USDA Rural Development state office.

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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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