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Morning Sun
  • County to send out surveys

  • In order to move forward on applications for certain grants, the Crawford County Commission will need a little help from its residents.

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  • In order to move forward on applications for certain grants, the Crawford County Commission will need a little help from its residents.
    The county is pursuing grants for both storm sirens and for new ambulances for its EMS department. In order to further pursue these grants, surveys will be send out in the coming weeks to ask residents their interest in the projects.
    These surveys will ask residents in the affected areas if they want the storm siren (or ambulances) and also ask the household’s income level, grouped into certain ranges. The grants may receive additional weighting if a certain percentage of the affected residents earn below a percentage of the federal poverty level.
    At Tuesday’s meeting, Sandy Erbe, with Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission, told the commissioners what was needed in these surveys, and ways to improve the response rate, such as including self-addressed, stamped envelopes. Erbe also suggested avoiding the use of names in the surveys, and having the completed surveys sent to a third party, the SEK-RPC rather than back to the county.
    Looking closer at the grants, they both will be focused on particular geographic areas with the help of the county’s Geographic Information Systems office.
    The first is an application for grant funding for two new ambulances for EMS station 1, which would make up most of the western portion of the county, including McCune, Hepler, Walnut, and portions of Girard.
    The second is for grants to fund four storm sirens, largely in the southeast quadrant of the county. The four tentative locations for these sirens are near Radley, at Craig Road and Rondelli Street, at Langdon Lane (220th St.) between 510th and 520th streets, and at Opolis Road (260th St.) between 510th and 520th streets.
    The surveys will be sent out to gauge interest in the project and to see if the area qualifies for additional funding.
    “If you don’t fill it out, it’s hurting the project,” Erbe said. “Once 51 percent of the ones sent out are back, we’re done.”
    Commissioners briefly wondered if applying for both grants would create a conflict, but decided to press forward.
    “It sounds like we know what we need to do. If we’re going to apply, we’re going to apply for all that’s available,” said Commissioner Bob Kmiec.
    Commissioners also heard a brief update by Jim Triplett on the latest events at the SEK Recycling Center. Triplett said that two positions, including operations director, had to be laid off because of tough times in “the amount of material we’re getting and what we’re getting for that material.”
    “A year ago, prices were high, so we set up money market accounts and had money stashed to get us through hard times. We made an advance payment on our mortgage,” Triplett said. “But we’ve chewed through all that... We’re doing all we can to stay afloat.”
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