• Charlene Sims, Journal staff

County applies for airport, housing, road grants

Updated: Sep 28

Linn County is applying for a grant that would help create a business plan for the county airport southeast of Pleasanton. (File photo)

MOUND CITY – Linn County Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower told the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, Sept. 19, that she applied for three different funding mechanisms the previous week.

Hightower said that she had written a grant to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) for a $50,000 Kansas Airport Improvement Program (KAIP) grant for the marketing and operation plans for the airport. She said that if they county received the KAIP grant, it would allow the county to hire an engineer to help the county create operation procedures and a business plan for the next phase of the airport development.

She also reported that she had completed the application for the Rural Champions grant from the Office of Rural Prosperity under the Kansas Department of Commerce. This grant would allow the county to hire a part-time person for a year to work on developing housing programs for the county. The grant of $20,800 would pay the person’s salary.

Hightower also turned in the application for the Federal Funds Exchange to KDOT. This is a program where the county turns the money it receives from the United State Department of Transportation (USDOT) for overlaying roads over to KDOT. KDOT then returns 90 per cent of the money, in this case $89,673, back to county. For the 10 percent it keeps, KDOT completes all the federal paperwork connected to the funds. This money will go towards the asphalt overlay the county did last year between Kansas Highway 7 and Parker.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Learned that Public Works Director Shaun West and Hightower have reviewed improvements for the senior centers to be put in the grant application to the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging (ECKAAA). The improvements include flooring and heating and air conditioning. West said they would get the estimates for the projects by the end of the week and turn in the application.

• Were informed by West that Bettis Asphalt and Construction started last week on the overlay project on Ungeheuer Road from U.S. 69 and Kansas 52 highways down to Kansas Highway 239. The end project date is supposed to be Tuesday, Sept. 20.

• Learned from West that chip and seal projects are starting. They will be working at 2200 Road at the county line going east, County Road 566 west of Kansas Highway 7, and Old Kansas Highway 52 are some of the projects the county is working on.

• Learned that the Linn County bucket truck has been repaired and is back in use.

• Learned from West that the state inspectors for the county’s transportation department (the two buses used for taking people to doctors and shopping) would be at Linn County this week. West said that the county has applied for a new vehicle and is in the process of getting it.

• Received a draft of the request for proposal for demolition of the old jail from County Counselor Gary Thompson. Discussed changes including the county being responsible for the gas line near the building, adding reduced dumping fees, and separating the tower demolition in the request. Thompson will come back with changes.

• Learned from Thompson that the Planning and Zoning Commission was going to go over the two proposals for developing zoning regulations and were going to interview each company this week.

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