Commission gets updates on community grants

Monday’s Marion County Commissioner’s meeting focused on funding and administrative tasks for the region, including varying financial information for workers of the county and different programs that will continue throughout the year.

COVID-19 positivity rates have dropped again for Marion County, now at 7% with more vaccine points of dispersal to continue distribution out of the Marion County Fairgrounds or at Tabor College, County Clerk Tina Spencer said.

County commissioners discussed the 2020 Community Development Block Grant to different businesses within Marion County in efforts to aid small and private businesses during tumultuous financial environments. Marion and Hillsboro have reached the limit this grant provides, but the rest of the county is still eligible for aid.

Spencer reported a little over $2,000 is still available and suggested local food pantries be the focal point of the rest of the funds; one suggestion was a location in Peabody. Spencer said she plans to share more information about how to apply to the grant online.

Angie Tatro, director of the Central Kansas Community Foundation, updated the commissioners on how funds were to be allocated for the leadership program, dating back to 2016. The program focuses on both youth and adult development led by chambers of commerce, independent non-profits and other leadership installations.

Tatro said the grants would continue to fund projects, outings and speakers for both youth and adult leadership programs within the county and cited different cities that are included in the program.

NCKCF (North Central Kansas Community Foundation) aids multiple leadership programs throughout the county, visit centralkansascf.org for more information regarding leadership programs in the region.

Tatro said that those who go through this leadership program were described as hard workers and better employees, which overall would continue to serve the people of Marion County. “Leadership and public service has always been on my mind,” Tatro said when commissioner Kent Baker (First District) asked about her experience with this program.