Ramona street grant from state ‘just what we needed,’ says mayor

According to Connie Smith, Ramona’s mayor, “The third time really is the charm.”

After two previous applications, the community of Ramona in northern Marion County has been approved to receive a Street Grant Award of $189,600 from the Kansas Community Development Block Grant Program. This grant will allow Ramona to rebuild and repave its city streets.

“This is just what we are needing,” Smith said. “Our community has to come up with $47,400 in matching funds to put with this grant. It is an 80/20 grant. But the money is already earmarked.”

Once the roadwork is completed, the state will maintain the roads for one year to monitor for faults or problems.

A good portion of the matching funds will come from the money the community will save as a result of the project itself, and the year of state maintenance.

Smith said the application process had been a learning process for herself and the city council.

“We had Reiss & Goodness, a consulting firm from Wichita, help us and show us what grants were available and what we could do. They were a lot of help.”

To apply for this type of grant, the state requires a population and income survey every two years.

“We did it the first time, then had to do it again to make this last application,” said Smith. “And the numbers did change.”

Two businesses had closed and a number of residents had left the area between the two applications which left the numbers looking poor to request such a grant.

“We just almost didn’t even qualify for the grant,” said Smith.

Then things started to change. Rental property began to fill up and people started moving back in.

“Just before it was time to make the decision we had two businesses sold in the same week, meaning we would have two new businesses,” said Smith, “I know God had his hand in all this.

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