STARS grant application gets commission approval
Updated: Jul 10
The Linn County Commission on Monday approved applying for a grant that will help expand the STARS program in Pleasanton. (Journal file photo)
MOUND CITY – A public hearing was held by the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, April 10, for a community development block grant (CDBG) from the Kansas Department of Commerce for the Southeastern Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) program at Pleasanton. There were no public comments and the commissioners approved the county’s support of the program.
Since CDBG grants are only available to government entities, the county adopted a resolution to be the legal authority for the STARS program. The county will also receive and distribute the CDBG funds to the STARS program.
The grant has a 25% match of which 15% has to be cash and 10% in-kind. In the March 20 meeting with the commissioners, Allen said that the local school districts, Pleasanton USD 344 and Jayhawk USD 346, had agreed to help with the cash match.
Prairie View USD 362 Superintendent Rex Bollinger said on Wednesday that his district has also agreed to help with the cash match.
At the March 20 meeting, Allen said that they have received and continue to receive in-kind donations constantly.
STARS is applying for $100,000 from the state to improve the technical program that is available to all Linn County high school students and residents. With the $100,000 the program will purchase two desktop simulators and 25 computers, tables and chairs to create a computer lab at the facility.
Commissioner Jim Johnson asked Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission (SEKRPC) Programming and Financing Coordinator Taylor Hogue why the county had to do this.
Hogue said that only cities and counties are eligible applicants for CDBG funding. Since the program serves students from all over the county, not just Pleasanton, it seemed that the county applying for it would be the logical applicant.
Hogue told the commissioners that the application was due on May 1, and it could take from 30 to 60 days to be reviewed. Recipients of the grant should be announced by mid-summer.
She explained that the grant was highly competitive this year. The state was reducing the amount of money available and increasing the number of categories.
Hogue said that there would be $500,000 available for youth job training this year, so only five applicants would be awarded.