A few days ago, Arma City Administrator Tim Schook was talking with Arma Fire Chief Mike McLeod about issues with the city’s fire truck.

A few days ago, Arma City Administrator Tim Schook was talking with Arma Fire Chief Mike McLeod about issues with the city’s fire truck.
Now, thanks to $256,255 in federal grants through the Community Development Block Grant program, those pressures have been relieved.
“It’s just fantastic,” Schook said. “I was shocked when we got it. I really didn’t think there was much a chance at all of us getting it.”
“It” will be a triple combination fire truck, a purchase that Schook said made the city “extremely happy and pleased.”
“We wouldn’t have been able to buy this anywhere in the near future (without the grant),” he said.
Arcadia, Bourbon County and Cherokee County were also among the 44 Kansas groups to receive funding through the program, which totaled $13 million, including $4,370,331 in stimulus money.
Arcadia received $400,000 to rehabilitate 16 housing units and fund the demolition of four dilapidated units. Bourbon County brought in $243,411 to construct a community center/storm shelter for Drywood Township. FEMA and the township are providing matching funds of $82,500. And Cherokee County’s $400,000 will go toward the construction of a 19,710 square-foot Health Education and Wellness Center.  The building will also include a storm shelter. The Family Life Center and Kansas Department of Emergency Management are providing $1,222,455 in matching funds.
The Kansas Department of Commerce’s announcement follows the awarding of more than $9 million in federal CDBG funds to Kansas communities earlier this year, bringing the 2009 total to approximately $21 million.
“We’re pleased to announce the awarding of these funds to some very deserving Kansas communities,” said Commerce Secretary David Kerr. “These grants allow the department to assist the small and rural communities that are so important to the livelihood to our state.”
The CDBG program provides federal funds to local governments for the development of viable communities by addressing their housing, public facilities and economic development needs. To be awarded funds, local government units must meet at least one of three program objectives: benefit low and moderate-income persons; prevent or eliminate slums and blight; or resolve an urgent need where local resources are not available to do so.
CDBG funds are one of the department’s primary tools in supporting the state’s small, predominately rural communities. The department has distributed more than $245 million in CDBG funding since 1998.
“The department remains committed to the state’s rural communities,” Kerr said. “We recognize the challenges these communities will face in the years ahead, and we are prepared to help them meet those challenges.”

Kevin Flaherty can be reached at kevin.flaherty@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 Ext. 134