City grant funding denied
The Kansas Department of Transportation has denied a grant application by the city of Eudora for funding to improve the city's downtown business area.
Interim City Administrator Rich Caplan said agency officials indicated in a letter to the city that the grant funds were limited and that they were interested in giving money to cities that would also put a significant amount of their own funds into the project.
"They want leverage," Caplan said. "The more we can show we are committed to downtown, the more favorably they will look upon our application."
Brian Kingsley of BG Consultants, the city's engineering firm, said he had also been in contact with KDOT officials. He said it was suggested that city leaders take a look at KDOT's suggestions and resubmit the grant request for the next round. He said the due date to resubmit would be in November.
If the city would have been successful in its grant request, the money would have gone toward sidewalks and parking on Main Street.
Kingsley said Eudora might be more successful in securing grant money from KDOT if there was a united effort to improve downtown store fronts.
"They want to come into that kind of environment," Kingsley said. "They want the perfect project every time."
Kingsley said KDOT officials also suggested Eudora might have been denied because it was between city administrators, which might have made working with Eudora more complicated than usual.
Councilman Scott Hopson said he didn't want to keep waiting for outside money to fix up downtown.
"We need to jump start this one block," he said, pointing to the block on Main Street south of East Seventh Street. "We, as a City Council, are going to have to start this."
Hopson said the city would have to take the initiative to put some money into its own downtown and that maybe the city would have more success obtaining grants in the future.
There was no action taken on the matter.