Five Kansas communities have been awarded a share of $440,000 in funding from the Small Communities Improvement Program, administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce.
“This grant funding will have a significant and tangible impact on the quality of life in these communities,” said Commerce Secretary Pat George. “We know they have the capacity and desire to complete their projects.”
SCIP sets aside up to $500,000 each year for small communities that undertake improvement projects through sweat equity and volunteerism. The program is designed to assist communities with populations of 5,000 or less that are not eligible for other Department of Commerce assistance and might not have the capacity to provide matching funds. The maximum award for a single project is $125,000.
Part of the requirement to receive funding is to determine which parts of the project communities can complete by themselves. The community acts as the general contractor, organizing local labor and equipment, as well as coordinating work that needs to be done by a subcontractor. Department of Commerce staff provide direction, technical assistance, guidance and support. The sweat equity and volunteerism components must save at least 40 percent on the project’s normal marketplace cost.
The five communities and funds awarded are:
Larned ($125,000)—Renovations to Doerr-Vernon Park.
Erie ($105,065)—Phased improvements to the city park, including new playground equipment, multi-sport courts and a walking trail.
McFarland ($70,102)—Improvements and new equipment to the city park.
Tampa ($64,126)—Building new city park.
Ashland ($75,617)—Building new community fitness center.