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Project Spotlight: Commercial Rehabilitation Project in Lincoln

Project Restores Historic Lincoln Building, Fulfills Community Need for a Fitness Center

image of the Post Rock Fitness location before renovations began

Many of the defining historical features were covered prior to the project in the building located at 113 W. Lincoln Avenue in downtown Lincoln, KS. (Courtesy Photo)

The need for a fitness center had been talked about in the City of Lincoln, Kansas, for several years. A committee was even formed to focus efforts on developing one, but funding challenges hindered progress.

When Kelly Gourley purchased a vacant, historic property in downtown Lincoln in 2019, opening a fitness center was not at the top of her list of ideas for the space. However, her journey to open a business brought the conversations about the need for a fitness center full circle. Today, Gourley owns/operates Post Rock Fitness in addition to serving as Executive Director of Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation.

image of interior of Post Rock Fitness, Lincoln, KS after a large renovation project

Renovations helped bring the building back to new life as a fitness center and were made possible through funding from the owner, awards from the CDBG Commercial Rehabilitation and HEAL programs, and State and Federal Historic Tax Credits. (Courtesy Photo)

Post Rock Fitness opened in August 2022 at 113 West Lincoln Avenue in the newly renovated historic building in downtown Lincoln. The fitness center is membership-based offering walk-in passes, one-week passes, or monthly memberships. Members have access to the facility 19 hours/day, 7 days a week through a mobile app.

The process to bring the vacant building to new life was long and costly. Securing outside funding was critical to success. The City of Lincoln was awarded a $250,000 Commercial Rehabilitation grant in 2020 through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Also key in helping Gourley move the project forward was the timely rollout of the Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) program, also from Kansas Department of Commerce, and the ability to apply for State and Federal Historic Tax Credits due to the designation of the community’s historic downtown district.

“Although I knew a fitness center was a need in the community, I knew it wasn’t going to be able to support the level of renovations the building required,” Gourley said. “The CDBG program was able to bridge the gap between the cost of renovations and the financing the business could support.”

According to Gourley, the project was not without its challenges.

“Because CDBG is a federal program, there are requirements that local contractors have a hard time meeting. Even more challenging was trying to launch the project right as the cost of construction was skyrocketing after COVID,” Gourley said. “Once the project finally got under construction, it was exciting to see several years’ worth of planning finally coming to life!”

Due to rising costs, the project had to be scaled back from its original scope of work. In addition to roof repairs, improvements mostly focused on the interior such as electrical and plumbing updates along with HVAC, insulating and repairing damaged floors, walls, and ceiling. Gourley has since completed additional front facade improvements.

The NCRPC provided planning assistance, grant writing and project administration for the CDBG Commercial Rehabilitation portion of the project. Other non-funding key partners involved with the project were Bruce McMillian Architects, Manhattan, Kansas; and Wiens & Company Construction Inc., Hutchinson, Kansas.

“I could not have done this without the help of the NCRPC, especially Bri Beck,” Gourley said. “She is a pro and made sure that all of us were always staying on track with the requirements of the CDBG program.”

While restoring a vacant historic building and opening a business were the primary results of this project, perhaps just as important has been enhancing quality of life for residents and bringing the community together – even if it is informally through Wednesday night yoga classes. To learn more about the business, visit postrockfitness.com.

This article appeared in the Quarter 4 2023 NCRPC Newsletter.


There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. Project Spotlight shares stories from communities around the region and how they solved challenges.
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www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight.



Project Spotlight: Weatherization

Improvements to Increase Energy Efficiency of Multi-Family Unit Completed

image of apartment complex that received energy efficiency improvements

Weatherization assistance improvements at this multi-family apartment complex in Osborne increased comfort and energy efficiency for its tenants.

Residents living in a 40-unit affordable housing complex in Osborne, Kansas, should start to see savings on energy costs thanks to improvements made possible through the Weatherization Assistance Program.

The Osborne Housing Authority, started in 1968, manages the Solomon Valley Apartments. The complex is comprised of duplexes, 4-plexes and a 6-plex, with the newest units constructed in 1982.

The Weatherization Assistance Program allowed for the installation of more than 26,000 square feet of attic insulation, nearly 8,600 square feet of sidewall insulation, and the installation of air sealing measures such as weatherstripping, caulking, and door sweeps. Throughout the apartments new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors were installed as well as 350 LED lightbulbs. Other minor health and safety measures were also completed.

Weatherization helps reduce energy costs for households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes. Through weatherization improvements and upgrades, households save on average $283 or more every year. The Weatherization Assistance Program is offered at no charge to income-eligible families. The NCRPC administers the program for 41 Kansas counties.

“Many of our clients are residents living in single family homes,” said Kendra Ryser, NCRPC Weatherization Director. “When we get the opportunity to complete a multi-family unit project like the one in Osborne, it is rewarding knowing the program is positively impacting more residents at one time.”

Ryser acknowledges there are many similar multi-family housing units in the region that could benefit from the Weatherization Assistance Program. The first step is applying. Please note that due to program demand, there currently is a waiting list for services.

“They were on the waiting list for about two years,” Ryser said. “The work then took about three months and was completed in March of this year. The process was not quick, but the benefits will hopefully last a long time.”

To view maximum income guidelines or learn more, visit the NCRPC Weatherization page.

Did you Know?

image of lightbulb and money saving conceptOctober marks Energy Awareness Month and Weatherization Day is officially recognized on October 30. Did you know that over its more than 40-year history nationally, the Weatherization Assistance Program has weatherized more than 8.1 million homes? See energy saving tips.

This article appeared in the Quarter 3 2023 NCRPC Newsletter.


To view more Project Spotlight articles, visit https://www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight/.



Project Spotlight: Vermillion Water Project

Residents Enjoying Clean Water with Completion of First Phase of Project

image of sludge filled/corroded pipes

A two-phase project in the City of Vermillion is working to resolve many water issues, including the presence of sludge filled/corroded pipes. (Courtesy Photo)

While many take access to clean water for granted, residents in the small town of Vermillion, Kansas, located in eastern Marshall County, are celebrating the recent connection of a new source of water supply.

The original water source and systems circa 1934 were plagued with increasing concerns in recent years. The City of Vermillion (population 80) had a water well source with high concentrations of iron and manganese. To mitigate the issues, the system was flushed regularly to try to rid it of the odorous colored water. Some residents even adjusted laundry around the flushing schedule to ensure that their white laundry stayed white. More importantly, the water quality was poor and the EPA deemed it unfit for infants to drink.

The city did what it could to maintain and improve the water system and increased water rates incrementally several times. The needs, however, were great. Eventually the city turned to outside funding sources beginning with a USDA SEARCH grant to complete preliminary testing for new well sites. The city then decided to take a two phased approach to address its water needs. For Phase 1, the city was awarded $252,000 through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce. The City of Vermillion secured additional funds through a combination of a USDA Rural Development loan of $415,000 and grant of $1,890,000.

image of water being flushed

A comparison of water being flushed before (left) the new water source supply and after (right). (Courtesy Photo)

“Improving the water quality is a critical need for a community — and it was impacting Vermillion’s growth overall,” said Amanda Horn, NCRPC Community Development Representative.

A new well has been the primary focus of Phase 1 and the new source of supply is now connected in Vermillion. A new hydracone water tower is nearing completion. This first phase will also include tearing down and disposing of the old water tower.

The NCRPC, with Horn as the project lead, provided planning assistance, grant writing and project administration. Other non-funding key partners involved with the project — all from Kansas — were engineers CES Group, Inc. of Marysville, and contractors J&K Contracting of Junction City, Jadwin Construction of Hiawatha, Gerard Tank and Steel of Concordia, and Terrane Resources of Stafford.

The project has not been without challenges. Original cost estimates for the project were pre-COVID, but the cost skyrocketed with the surge in prices and material availability issues. This could have jeopardized the project, but partners worked together to find solutions to keep things moving forward.

“Huge credit goes to everyone who has assisted with this project,” Horn said. “I feel like each entity has gone the extra mile for the town in order to make things work.”

There is more work to be done and a second phase is planned, but first residents are celebrating the recent connection of the new source of water supply. “I washed a load of white clothes the other day and they came out looking as white as they did going in,” one resident commented. “I never used to buy white clothes because they would come out yellow.”

“Everyone has been wanting this for Vermillion for years,” another resident said. “Good water is a must, and now we have it!”

Next up in Phase 2 is to focus on the distribution infrastructure to ensure the community can grow and prosper for the next 100 years.

“I call Vermillion my “miracle” city,” said Horn. “They have gotten a lot right that not many cities could. They are an example to any small town that big things are possible.”

This article appeared in the Quarter 2 2023 NCRPC Newsletter.


There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. Project Spotlight shares stories from communities around the region and how they solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit https://www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight/.



Project Spotlight: City of Washington Completes Major Water Improvement Project

The City of Washington celebrated the completion of its water project with a ribbon cutting in June 2021. (Courtesy Photo)

Reduced water loss, reduction of water main breaks, and minimal down time due to service interruptions are all benefits that the City of Washington’s utility customers are enjoying after the completion of a major water improvement project in the city in 2021.

The City of Washington is located in North Central Kansas at the intersection of Kansas Highway 15 and U.S. Highway 36 and serves as the County seat. Nearly 80% of the city’s water distribution system dated back to the original system installed in 1914. The original system with small, cast-iron lines had exceeded its useful life. Leaks, water main breaks, and repair expenses for streets that were disturbed in order to access lines were becoming increasingly troublesome.

Improving its water system was a high priority need for the community, but also a costly proposition. The city ultimately applied for funding assistance and was awarded $600,000 through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce. The City of Washington secured additional funds through a combination of a USDA Rural Development loan of $6.3 million and grant of $1.2 million. The city also committed $200,000 in city cash to the project.

The resulting project updated critical infrastructure by installing new water lines, fire hydrants and an automated meter reading system. At the time the CDBG application was submitted (Fall 2018), the city had experienced 58 pipe failures in the previous 5 years. The city is now well positioned for minimal water distribution system maintenance for many years.

“The project has provided upgrades to our water supply system with decreased leaks and line breaks, along with less waste of precious resources. It has also provided improvements to fire protection,” Caroline Scoville, City of Washington EMT, said.

Non funding key partners involved with the project were engineers BG Consultants, Manhattan, Kansas, and contractor Orr Construction Management, Raytown, Missouri ensuring project success. In addition, Kansas Rural Water Association completed a rate study analysis and CES Group P.A. Engineering Consultants, Marysville, helped the city complete the Low to Moderate Income Survey to qualify for funding. NCRPC staff provided project planning assistance, grant writing and administration.

The project took approximately two years from start to finish. Original costs were estimated at just over $8 million, but actual project costs came in under the budgeted amount.

“The upgrades to the system were funded by USDA and CDBG projects, including grant funding and low interest loans. This provided significant cost savings to the citizens over the life of the project, which ultimately affects quality of life for our residents,” Scoville said. “The North Central Regional Planning Commission staff was extremely helpful working on this project, and provided valuable knowledge and assistance.”

For more information about the funding sources used for this project or to discuss a project need, contact the NCRPC community development staff.

This article appeared in the March 2022 NCRPC Newsletter.


There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. Project Spotlight shares stories from communities around the region and how they solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit https://www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight/.



Project Spotlight: Historic Mitchell County Courthouse Undergoes Restoration

Mitchell County utilized the State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program for an exterior restoration project on its courthouse this year. (Photo courtesy of Doug McKinney)

Construction of the Mitchell County Courthouse was completed in 1901 at a cost of $38,310. An exterior restoration project to repair and restore mortar joints completed in July 2021 came in at a cost of just over $147,000.

“Some people have lived in the county all their lives and do not remember a cleaning as thorough as what was recently done,” Tom Claussen, Chair of the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners, said. “I guess you could say it was due — but that is not bad for 100-plus years.”

Claussen took an active interest in the restoration of the county courthouse when he first took office in 2010. Between his commissioner duties and his role on the K-State Research and Extension Post Rock District board at the time, he estimates he was walking into the courthouse 2 to 3 days a week. Over time, he noticed issues with the mortar. “You could stick your hand in cracks in some places and it was pretty unsightly when you got closer to the building,” Claussen said.

The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners applied twice for grant funding through the Kansas Historical Society Heritage Trust Fund Program and were turned down both times. Ultimately, the county used the State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program instead.

The Kansas State Tax Credit is equal to 25 percent of qualifying expenses incurred during a qualified project on a qualified building. The Mitchell County Courthouse was first listed on the National Register of Historical Places on November 23, 1977, making it a qualified historic structure for the program. Stone work was the chief aspect of the improvement effort. All work was carefully done to preserve the history of the building including using period-correct mortar mix and keeping with the original trowel design.

Mid-Continental Restoration Co., Inc. based out of Fort Scott, Kansas, received the bid to do the rehabilitation work. NCRPC staff provided assistance with the project application and administration.

“The contractors were wonderful people to work with and they did a great job,” Claussen said. “Working with NCRPC helped make the process a lot easier too.”

The county now has tax credits to place. For non-profit organizations, local governments, and other property owners that do not have a Kansas state income tax liability, credits may be transferred or sold to other taxpayers.

“We have had a lot of positive comments about the project,” Claussen said. “People are proud of their courthouse wherever they are from because that is where they go to conduct business. We are especially proud of our courthouse and the work that was done.”

Other improvements separate from this project have been made to the courthouse over a period of several years. Within the last 10 years the county has replaced the windows, fixed the clock on the courthouse tower, lined the gutters to keep them functional, and added split duct heating and cooling systems allowing the removal of window units. A damaging hail storm in 2015 made it necessary to replace the roof of the courthouse. Repaving the parking lot is on the radar for a future improvement project.

Learn more about the State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program.

This article appeared in the November 2021 NCRPC Newsletter.


There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. Project Spotlight shares stories from communities around the region and how they solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit https://www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight/.

 



Project Spotlight: Disaster Training Exercise

Award from North Central Kansas Rural Development Initiative Helped Document Training

By Lacey Miller, Regional Public Health Preparedness Coordinator

The NCK Technical College Nursing Program hosted NCKTC Disaster Day in Beloit on April 29. The event provided an opportunity for leadership growth and training in North Central Kansas. The North Central Kansas Rural Development Initiative, administered by the NCRPC, provided a financial contribution in support of videography services for the event. Photo courtesy of Chandra Feldman, Marketing Director, NCK Tech.

On April 29, 2021, an explosion exercise occurred at the North Central Kansas Technical College’s (NCK Tech) Welding Department. A well-designed “Disaster Day” exercise was put on by the Nursing Department of NCK Tech and was pulled off with the collaboration of numerous partners.

Two moulage artists gave of their time to make the victims have life like injuries such as third-degree burns, impaled objects and a compound clavicle fracture. Michell County Hospital Health Systems staff volunteered and helped in the mock emergency room. An air ambulance from Life Star dispatched from Junction City came and picked up one victim for simulation purposes. Beloit Fire Department shared their knowledge and also lent their smoke machines for replication in the event. Mitchell County EMS responded lights and sirens and also assisted in teaching the NCK Tech Practical Nursing Program students about triage and transport. Mitchell County Emergency Management and Salina Regional Health Center’s Preparedness Coordinator helped with setup and coordination of the day’s events. The City of Beloit provided and set up street barricades and the Mitchell County Sherriff’s Department was there to provide assistance if needed. The Mitchell County Health Department Administrator, the Lincoln County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, and the North Central Kansas Regional Public Health Coordinator evaluated the exercise. Eberle Studios filmed and produced a professional video of the exercise.

A grant award from the North Central Kansas Rural Development Initiative helped fund the videography. The NCRPC and its affiliate, North Central Kansas Community Network Co. (NCKCN), manage the NCK Rural Development Initiative Program.

“This exercise offered an excellent opportunity for leadership growth and training in the North Central region,” NCRPC Executive Director Emily Benedick said. “We recognized the value of this event and in having a professional videographer document it to help promote future emergency preparedness and disaster management training efforts throughout North Central Kansas.”

According to NCK Tech Nursing Instructor Samantha Miller, the training built on the leadership skills of students. “During the training, our students were pushed beyond their comfort zones and forced to critically think and communicate in a high-stress environment to ensure their patients received the best possible care,” Miller said. “Prior to the start of the event, the students received a quick briefing but otherwise were left to take the initiative and make decisions from a leadership perspective. It was amazing to watch them step up and execute a successful drill. Members from our graduating class have already provided feedback on how this experience has helped them in their current practice only months after graduation.”

View the video.

Learn more about the NCK Rural Development Initiative.

This article appeared in the September 2021 NCRPC Newsletter.



Project Spotlight: City of Blue Rapids Enhances Summer Recreation Opportunities

The City of Blue Rapids swimming pool project was completed earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of Tom Parker)

A recently completed project in the City of Blue Rapids is making a splash this summer.

The project was made possible, in part, through a special round of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding awarded in 2019. The grant award was $763,411. The Small Cities CDBG program is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce. The city also contributed more than $580,000 through general obligation bonds and local fundraising efforts.

The project included demolition of the existing swimming pool and construction of an accessible, zero entry swimming pool. The newly constructed pool opened on May 25 with 200 people attending the opening ceremony. The pool closed a month early last summer to begin project demolition and construction.

“The best part of the project is that people are really glad to be able to come to a clean pool and a fun environment,” Blue Rapids City Clerk Chrystal Busey said.

The original facility was built in the early 1950s and repairs had become increasingly burdensome for the community. Local fundraising efforts had been underway for a number of years to update the swimming pool.

“Blue Rapids was presented with a unique opportunity when Kansas Department of Commerce announced this special round of funding,” NCRPC Executive Director Emily Benedick said. “The community had already been working toward updating its pool and that commitment helped pave the way for a successful application.”

The resulting project has enhanced summer recreation opportunities for residents and visitors to the community. The swimming pool is located in Blue Rapids’ City Park located at one of the main entry points into the city along KS HWY 9/US HWY 77. It is also adjacent to the Marshall County Fairgrounds and baseball fields and playgrounds.

On its own, the city also financed a bath house separate from the swimming pool project.

Key partners involved with the project included project engineers CES Group of Marysville and Trinium Contractors, Inc of Manhattan. NCRPC staff provided project planning assistance, grant writing and administration.

There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. Project Spotlight shares stories from communities around the region and how they solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit https://www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight/.

This article appeared in the July 2021 NCRPC Newsletter.



Project Spotlight: City of Frankfort Completes Project to Improve Truck Route

frankfort truck route project spotlight

The City of Frankfort completed a project in Fall 2020 that improved one of its existing truck routes. The project was funded through a combination of a CDBG grant and a USDA Rural Development loan. (Photo courtesy of Frankfort Area News)

What had been one of the roughest streets to travel in the City of Frankfort is now one of the smoothest after the city completed a major project to improve an existing truck route.

Highways 9 and 99 intersect in the heart of Frankfort’s downtown district. Having two state highways running through town, the city sees a tremendous amount of truck traffic. An east truck route was previously updated and already approved by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) as an official truck route. The city’s truck route on the west side of downtown was another story.

“The street had tons of pot holes and we couldn’t keep it repaired enough for trucks or even local traffic to use,” Frankfort City Clerk Melody Tommer said. “We wanted it to be an approved KDOT truck route and it is in the process of getting approval from them now.”

The city believes its efforts to improve the route will ultimately help preserve the roads downtown from the wear of heavy truck traffic and decrease congestion in the downtown area.

A 2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) award of $265,656 helped make this street project possible. Funding for the project came in the Community Facilities category of the Annual Competitive Grants offered by the Kansas Department of Commerce. In addition, the city put in an equal amount of funds it secured through a USDA Rural Development loan.

The resulting project upgraded the existing highly trafficked west truck route to concrete pavement. Corresponding storm sewer, sidewalks and curb and gutter improvements were also made. The truck route reopened in September 2020. According to the city, the benefits of completing the project have been noticeable.

“It has been a huge improvement,” Tommer said. “Some water and sewer lines were also replaced, along with storm sewer improvements. Trucks and heavy equipment are using it more and more and therefore saving our downtown streets from all the wear and tear.”

Key partners involved with the project included Inline Construction and project engineers CES Group, Inc., both of Marysville. NCRPC staff provided project planning assistance, grant writing and administration.

For more information about the funding sources used for this project or to discuss a project need, contact the NCRPC community development staff.

There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. Project Spotlight shares stories from communities around the region and how they solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit https://www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight/.

This article appeared in the May 2021 NCRPC Newsletter.



Project Spotlight: City of Tipton Solves Drainage Issues

image from City of Tipton, KS drainage system improvement project

A recent project in the City of Tipton improved the city’s storm drainage system.

Perseverance paid off for the City of Tipton. When the first attempt to secure project funding for a storm drainage system improvement project was denied, the city council went back to the drawing board and narrowed the scope of work. Those efforts were rewarded with funding from the Kansas Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in the community facilities category. The 2019 award of $101,665 was matched with an equal amount from the city.

The resulting project improved the city’s storm drainage system by installing new culvert pipes, a portion of enclosed storm sewer, area inlets, ditch grading and minor street repairs. It was completed in Fall 2020.

Residents and visitors alike have noticed and appreciated the changes. Prior to the project, there were significant problems with erosion, silting, drainage, standing water and mowing. This project eliminated those issues and solved a problem that had been on the city’s radar for many years.

“When I started on the city council in 1993, one of the first requests I received was to do something about the ditch on Main Street,” Tipton City Clerk Joanne Brummer said.

image from City of Tipton, KS drainage system improvement project

The addition of area inlets on Main Street help collect the water coming off of the road.

According to city council members, the project benefits have been numerous. The overall appearance has improved, the system is easier to maintain, safety issues with the deep ditches were resolved, and there is also potential for growth with improved access to empty lots.

Jessica Krier, a member of the Tipton City Council, is a homeowner on south Main Street adjacent to the recent project.

“We have been very pleased with the results of the recent drainage project in Tipton,” Krier said. “Since moving in to this home, I have stressed about the water collecting in the ditch with younger children. Thankfully, this project has not only upgraded the appearance of our home, but it has also greatly improved the safety of our yard for my family.”

Key partners involved with the project included Ron Schlaefli Construction and project engineers Schwab Eaton. NCRPC staff provided project planning assistance, grant writing and administration.

The City of Tipton, a small community located in the southwest corner of Mitchell County, is no stranger to improvement projects.

“Tipton’s citizens demonstrate a great deal of pride and commitment to solving problems and continually improving their community,” NCRPC Community Development Representative Amanda Horn said.

The Tipton City Council says they have been fortunate to receive a number of grants over the years to help fund various projects.

There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. Project Spotlight shares stories from communities around the region and how they solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit https://www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight/.

This article appeared in the March 2021 NCRPC Newsletter.



Project Spotlight: City of Hope Improves Water Distribution System

Image of City of Hope water tower

A project to improve the water distribution system in the southern Dickinson County City of Hope was completed earlier this year. New waterlines were installed and the water tower was painted and repaired.

Having a safe and dependable water system is necessary for any community. The City of Hope recently completed a project to improve its water distribution system that will benefit current and future residents for many years.

Like many rural communities across Kansas, the City of Hope was faced with an aging water distribution system. The original system in Hope was made up of cast iron pipe that was installed in 1916. Improvements had been made over the years as needed. However, maintenance was becoming increasingly difficult and expensive due to the age and condition of the system. Line breaks were frequent and water loss high.

Recognizing the substantial cost involved with replacing the existing cast iron water mains, the city explored possibilities for funding assistance. In 2018, the city was awarded a $600,000 grant through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). The CDBG program is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce. The city also provided a substantial project match of nearly $1.2 million, which it secured through a USDA Rural Development loan.

The project included the installation of approximately 23,200 lineal feet of new PVC water mains, 5,600 lineal feet of water service lines, as well as new valves, fire hydrants, and an updated metering system. Water tower painting and upgrades were also completed.

NCRPC staff provided project planning assistance and administration. Other key partners involved with the project include general contractor J & K Construction LLC and project engineer BG Consultants, Inc.

Since project completion earlier this year, the city has experienced lower water loss and fewer issues. “It has been a positive change and it was way overdue,” Mayor Larry Ryff said. “The community seems very thankful and happy that there has been less interruptions with the new system.”

Ryff has advice for other communities considering options for their own water improvement projects. “You definitely need determination and patience with the process,” Ryff said. “Infrastructure is a very important component to any community.”

For more information about the funding sources used for this project or to discuss a project funding need, contact the NCRPC Community Development staff.

There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. The Project Spotlight series features projects around the region to share ways communities have solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit https://www.ncrpc.org/tag/project-spotlight/.

This article appeared in the November 2020 NCRPC Newsletter.



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