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Project Spotlight: Lincoln Power Plant

A new generator has improved the reliability of the power supply in the City of Lincoln Center.

A basic need of any community is to have steady, reliable electricity. Residents, businesses and visitors all expect and rely upon having electrical power 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

When the City of Lincoln Center was faced with continued problems on its rebuilt electrical power generating engine, the Enterprise, the city knew replacement was the best long-term solution.

The community applied for and was awarded funds from the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce to assist with the cost of the electrical generation upgrade project. The project used approximately $346,000 in CDBG funds. The city contributed nearly $442,000 in City cash and the issuance of bonds.

The older failing engine was replaced with a newer, more reliable engine that will continue to serve the community for many decades.

According to City of Lincoln Power Plant Foreman Jeff Ahring, it was necessary for the city to upgrade the generator. “Prior to the project, in the event that one of our other generators should malfunction, we would not have been able to provide the entire community with enough power to the grid, and as a result, we would have to initiate a “rolling blackout” until the issue was repaired,” Ahring said. “With the addition of the generator this project provided, we are able to provide the power required.”

Now if an incoming utility fails to provide power to the community, the power plant can restore power to the community in a matter of minutes. Ahring also noted the newer engine is a Tier 2, meaning fewer emissions while the engine is producing energy.

NCRPC Community Development Representative Nichole McDaniel administered the project in Lincoln. “The City of Lincoln has been great to work with on this as well as past improvement projects,” McDaniel said. “The recent power plant project has been able to provide the city with confidence that they can provide reliable power to their community.”

There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas communities. Periodically we plan to feature projects from around the region to share ways communities have solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit

This article appeared in the November 2018 NCRPC Newsletter.

Project Spotlight: Miltonvale Park

Tootleville Park is an important part of the City of Miltonvale.

A park is a vital part of many communities. Miltonvale, a town of just over 500 people located south of U.S. Hwy 24, has made many park improvements over the years. Those efforts received a boost when the community was awarded Kansas Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds under the 2015 Special Round category.

The $350,000 award, coupled with more than $35,500 in local contributions, allowed the city to complete a major park improvement project. This, however, was not the first time the community invested in its park. Approximately 10 years ago volunteers built the “Tootleville Playground” area with the help of more than $100,000 in donated funds. A disc golf course came later. It has become a top course in Kansas with an annual tournament. The city has also renovated a Works Progress Administration (WPA) fountain and added a RV Park using foundation and other local funding sources. The CDBG project helped the city replace band shell seating, construct accessible walkways, construct a veteran’s memorial, improve drainage, install fencing for an existing volleyball court, and construct a picnic shelter and a parking area.

According to NCRPC Assistant Director Emily Benedick, Miltonvale’s approach to solve a community need is still relevant even though the CDBG Special Round of funding no longer exists.

“They may be a small rural community, but they find ways to continuously make improvements throughout the city in order to ensure the best quality of life possible for their residents,” Benedick said. “When cities are able to prove that they can help themselves with or without grant funding, it only improves their chances of receiving grant funds.”

According to Miltonvale City Clerk Darla Bebber, the park is a hub of community activity. This summer it is the location of three free movies and a farmer’s market. It is also popular for weddings, photography, disc golf tournaments, festivals, and RV Park.

“The community is proud of the park and utilizes it extensively as well as out of town visitors,” Bebber said.

Miltonvale is home to a long list of WPA structures, many of which are located in the park. The city plans to continue its park improvements.

“On the horizon we hope to renovate the scout cabin and grill and clean up the creek wall area (all WPA structures). It’s all a part of our history and the hard working people that made this park come to life,” Bebber said. “We are also working on markers that will give the history of the park, Miltonvale and the WPA projects.”

There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas communities. Periodically we plan to feature projects from around the region to share ways communities have solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit

This article appeared in the July 2018 NCRPC Newsletter.