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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County seeks grant for housing, childcare coordinator

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

MOUND CITY – On Monday, August 22, the Linn County Commissioners gave Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower the approval to apply for a Kansas Champions Grant.

She explained to the commissioners that this grant was only available to counties with populations under 40,000 and that there are enough funds for 12 grants to be awarded.

Hightower said the grant would fund the salary of one part-time, 20 hours per week, person who would work on developing a program for the county. This person would work solely on this program.

She said programs that she was looking at for this grant were a childcare center or working on housing issues in the county. She said the comprehensive plan goals would be a good place for deciding on the needed program. The comprehensive plan would help back up the application.

“I think it would be a great opportunity to make some headway on one of those projects,” said Hightower.

The new grant is offered through the Office of Rural Prosperity under the Kansas Department of Commerce. The grant will pay for a half-time person from Oct. 1, 2022 to Oct. 1, 2023. The deadline for applying is Sept. 16.

The website for the grant says it will pay a stipend that is based on a 20-hour work week at $20 per hour or approximately $20,800. It will be paid out to the applicant quarterly. A 25 percent cash or in-kind match of $5,000 is required and will also be reported on a quarterly basis.

According to the website, a cash match for additional hours is encouraged. The applicant organization is expected to provide a match through in-kind, including but not limited to, necessary tools to carry out the project (computer, internet, workspace), meeting and registration expenses, travel and mileage.

Hightower said the more the county matches the more likely they are to receive the grant. She said an example of what the person would do if the grant focused on the housing stock in the county would be doing a county-wide study on what was needed, help oversee getting a plan in place for developing housing, reaching out to developers and looking for funding sources for the development.

Commissioner Rick James said that he would be more in support of housing than a childcare center because of the issue of which town would get the center and which one doesn’t.

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