TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Governor Laura Kelly has encouraged communities in Kansas to celebrate National Community Development Week.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said she has proclaimed the week of April 11 National Community Development Week in Kansas. She said the week will celebrate the crucial value that community development programs and resources bring to the Sunflower State.
“Community development efforts are essential to supporting Kansas’ economy, quality of life initiatives and the growth of Kansas communities,” Governor Kelly said. “Our programs, partnerships and support help build thriving communities and we are thrilled to celebrate the success of community development across our state. »
Kelly noted that the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Community Development Division was re-established in 2019. She said the division is dedicated to building strong and vibrant communities across the state.
“Our community development team is focused on programs that create opportunities for expansion, investment, and establishing businesses in Kansas,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “Businesses and citizens choose to root themselves in dynamic communities with a high quality of life. By continuing to support community development efforts across our state, we can help set the stage for growth and prosperity that will benefit Kansans for generations to come.
Kelly said community development programs include the following:
- Community Development Block Grant – competitive annual grants awarded to cities and counties to improve communities through housing rehabilitation, infrastructure improvements and community facility upgrades. Between 2019 and 2022, more than $52 million has been awarded to 160 communities. Additionally, the program has awarded more than $18 million in COVID relief funds to 147 communities that have helped 1,313 small businesses and retained 5,300 jobs statewide.
- Kansas Main Street – focused on the revitalization and preservation of downtown neighborhoods developed to enhance a community’s culture. Since 2019, the program has added 10 Designated Communities to the program, bringing the total number of Designated Communities to 35. The program has provided nearly $650,000 to support building rehabilitation, upper-floor housing, connection arts to downtown neighborhoods and entrepreneurship. development.
- Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission – dedicated to promoting, supporting and expanding creative industries and enriching communities through arts and culture. Since 2019, 175 scholarships have been awarded for a total of $1,250,065. Additionally, the program distributed approximately $1.9 million in COVID relief funds to 154 grantees to provide operational support during the pandemic.
- Community Service Tax Credit Program – provides private non-profit organizations and public health care entities with the opportunity to improve their ability to undertake large fundraising campaigns for projects involving children’s services and family, crime prevention, youth learning, youth technical training and health care. Since 2019, 68 nonprofits in 53 counties have received over $11 million in tax credits.
- Rural Opportunity Zones – provides student loan repayment to new residents who relocate to one of 95 ROZ-eligible counties, cities, and employers to improve their workforce and recruit new residents through referrals and student loan repayment assistance.
“National Community Development Week celebrates the impact of community development resources, emphasizing opportunities to invest in Kansas communities and help our state’s economic growth,” said Kayla Savage, director of the community development division. “Community Development provides a range of programs and services to individuals and communities to improve infrastructure and housing, revitalize downtown corridors, enrich and improve quality of life, and support economic development.
The Governor encouraged Kansas communities to celebrate National Community Development Week by sharing their local community development projects on social media.
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