Archive for Thursday, May 8, 2003

City revisiting state grants as funding for downtown

May 8, 2003

Now that city leaders have an idea of what they want downtown Eudora to look like, they're trying to figure out how to get there.

City Administrator Mike Yanez said he was looking at Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing community development block grants, which community leaders had looked into in the past.

He said the KDH&C designated $400,000 to the grants annually, and $200,000 was the maximum amount any one community could receive. The grants are first-come, first-serve and rely on a three-way partnership between the city, state and downtown business owners. To do their part, proprietors and building owners pledge to upgrade their shops.

In order to get the grant money, Yanez said the city would have to organize public meetings with the Eudora City Council and downtown business owners.

"We can see if there's sufficient public interest to work with the existing proposal and see if there's interest for private entities to step forward," he said.

Yanez said the city would invite a community development block grant specialist to work with Eudora. The grant proposal must be submitted in five months, Mayor Ron Conner said. The city has tentatively scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. May 20. Changes will be posted in The Eudora News.

Council member Don Durkin raised the concern that in its financial struggles the state would take grant money away. Yanez assured the Council that the community development block grant was federal money handed out by the state.

A separate $50,000 in grant money was available for engineering and design as well, he said.

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