Category Archives: Housing

BEDCO Projects: Eco Devo Director, Meat Plant, Arena, Housing

Greg Motley. President of the Bourbon County Economic Development Council. Submitted photo.

Bourbon County Economic Development Council is working to find a full-time economic development director, facilitate the starting of the new meat process plant, facilitate a new multi-purpose arena, and expanding housing in the area, according to Greg Motley, president.

 

Eco Devo

BEDCO began a search for an economic development director a few months ago and had one narrowed down, but that person has declined the position, Greg Motley, president of BEDCO said.

 

“The process was restarted,” Motley said.  “In the meantime, I will be acting director.”

“We will continue interviews until the position is filled,”he said.

 

“Since 1992, BEDCO has been at the center of Economic Development in Bourbon County, and under the guidance of a reconstituted board that represents the whole county, we are stronger than ever,” Motley said in a press release.

 

Economic development services provided by BEDCO are primarily matching resources to the economic needs of county entities and businesses, he said.

 

Motley gave some details of three other projects on the horizon.

 

Meat Processing Plant

The proposed entry to the micro meat processing plant south of the KDOT building on Hwy. 69, just off Hickory Road. The road will be extended to the south for access to the plant.
The KDOT building located on Hwy. 69.

 

“Since the Micro-meat processing plant was approved, we are moving forward with facilitating the land/lots swap between KW Cattle, Billy Madison and BEDCO,” he said.

The 7 acres owned by BEDCO is being traded with WK Cattle company for the site on Hwy. 69, south of the KDOT building. The parcel of land is at the corner of Jayhawk Road and Liberty Bell Road in Fort Scott Industrial Park.

“KW Cattle is swapping 46 acres south of the (KDOT )State Highway facility on the east side of 69 Highway for two industrial park tracts,” Motley said.  “One is about seven acres, the other is about 18 acres, currently owned by BEDCO.  They are located on either side of the Christian Learning Center.  The new micro-meat processing facility will pay BEDCO some cash considerations, approximately equal to BEDCO’s expenses in the transaction.”

KW Cattle is doing a trade with BEDCO that is advantageous to the community, Motley said.

“They are trading 46 acres, a nice piece of flat ground, for less valuable property of rough ground of 25 acres,” he said. “They wanted to help Fort Scott and Bourbon County. In addition, they can expand the property they own, Christian Learning Center, in the future.”

“BEDCO will take possession (of the land parcel), then sell to the meat processing plant,” he said. “It should be finalized this month.”

Pictured is the other business adjacent to Christian Learning Center, Reprologix, located at 3200 Liberty Bell Road in Fort Scott’s Industrial Park. Behind the sign, to the south of the parking lot, is the land that will be traded. These 18 acres currently owned by BEDCO are being traded by WK Cattle company for land on Hwy. 69.

Multipurpose Arena

 

“We are also working with local investors on a potential STAR Bonds project for Bourbon County,” he said.  “Some Bourbon County citizens are proposing the issuance of Star Bonds to partially finance a new multipurpose arena in Bourbon County, along with improvements to the downtown central business district.”

“Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) Bonds are a financing tool that allows Kansas municipalities to issue bonds to finance the development of major commercial, entertainment and tourism projects,” according to https://www.kansascommerce.gov/program/community-programs/star-bonds/

“The bonds are paid off through the sales tax revenue generated by the development.”

“The intent is to increase regional and national visitation to Kansas.”

“The bonds would cover about 50% of the project, and private investment, along with bank financing would cover the balance, he said. ” The Star Bonds would be repaid by the increase in sales tax collections in a Star Bond District, whose boundaries are yet to be determined.”

“Atchison, KS, a similar-sized community to Fort Scott and Bourbon County, issued $2.3 million in Star Bonds in 2019 to build a museum,” he said.  “Attached is a chart of all Star Bonds approved by the State of Kansas.  Preliminary estimates of the size of the Bourbon County project range from $3 million to $6 million.”

City 2019 Pop. Project Start Date Orig. Amt (000) 2019 Out. (000) Dist. Sales Tax (000) 2019 CO. Pop 10-yr Pop. Trend 2019 CO. Sales Tax (000) 2018-19 % increase 2019 Sales Tax Per Capita 2019 Pull Fact.
Atchison- AT 10,476 Aviation Museum May-18 $2,370 $2,190 $210 16,073 -5.03% $12,939 6.30% 819 0.70
Derby- SG 24,943 Dino/Sports Zone Mar-17 $20,465 $13,230 $5,701 516,042 3.55% $628,714 4.50% 1,234 1.14
Dodge City- FO 27,104 Power Center Dec-15 $28,481 $26,395 $1,512 33,619 -0.68% $37,999 5.10% 1,086 0.99
Garden City- FY 26,408 Mixed Use Mar-19 $29,540 $29,540 $2,117 36,467 -0.84% $58,841 10.40% 1,507 1.41
Kansas City- WY 152,960 Youth Soccer Aug-15 $65,138 $83,138 $1,293 165,429 5.03% $192,921 4.50% 1,119 0.96
Kansas City- WY 152,960 Mercy Park (SKC) May-10 $150,289 $0 n/a 165,429 5.03% $192,921 4.50% 1,119 0.96
Kansas City- WY 152,960 Kansas Speedway Jan-99 $24,300 $16,835 $1,326 165,429 5.03% $192,921 4.50% 1,119 0.96
Kansas City- WY 152,960 Schlitterbahn Oct-13 $85,200 $65,755 $6,514 165,429 5.03% $192,921 4.50% 1,119 0.96
Manhattan- RL 54,604 Flint Hills Discovery Dec-09 $50,000 $10,905 $5,586 74,232 4.38% $61,112 -0.20% 814 0.76
Overland Park- JO 195,494 Prairiefire Dec-12 $64,990 $64,860 $3,059 602,401 10.70% $917,056 2.50% 1,485 1.28
Overland Park- JO 195,494 BluHawk Mixed Use n/a n/a n/a n/a 602,401 10.70% $917,056 2.50% 1,485 1.28
Salina- SA 46,550 Fieldhouse Dec-18 $18,250 $18,250 $862 54,224 -2.49% $77,717 3.50% 1,380 1.31
Topeka- SH 125,310 Heartland Park Apr-07 $10,405 $5,025 $334 176,875 -0.60% $211,893 1.00% 1,178 1.06
Wichita- SG 389,938 River District Jul-15 $46,980 $42,140 $2,097 516,042 3.55% $628,714 4.50% 1,234 1.14
Wichita- SG 389,938 Greenwich Dec-13 $107,631 $59,290 $8,251 516,042 3.55% $628,714 4.50% 1,234 1.14
Fort Scott- BB 7,697 Arena Jan-22 n/a n/a n/a 14,534 -4.21% $11,778 -2.20% 795 0.70

“Bottom line, we are looking at what has been successful elsewhere,” Motley said.

Housing

“We are examining possibilities to expand housing in Bourbon County,”  Motley said. “BEDCO is in the research and discussions phase.  Common sense would dictate that we first examine where the market is hot and see what can be done about enhancing the market in those areas.”

 

“Many jurisdictions in Kansas have a property improvement tax rebate of some sort, that rebate the increase in taxes property experiences, because of a new build or significant addition,” he said.  “Many are reluctant to improve their property because of inherent tax increases…a program like this would rebate the first five years of the increase.”

 

Motley can be contacted at 620-215-6411.

 

 

 

GNAT City Clean-Up: Curbside Limb Pick Up Starts Today

At the Good Neighbor Action Team kick-off meeting on March 18, there was lots of energy and ideas, according to Craig Campbell who is spearheading the helping group.

Following are the notes from Campbell about the meeting.

“We have started a curbside limb pick up. 

“Starts today (March 19) and will go until no longer needed. 

“We would appreciate assistance when loading at the property, if able, and a donation to the GNAT in care of the city.

“They would text 620-224-0167 to schedule the service.

 

“We lead off the meeting with a talk by (Bourbon County Appraiser) Clint Anderson.  It is a common misconception that maintaining your home such as paint, window repair, siding repair, will increase the valuation and thus increase taxes. 

 

“We had similar concerns during the East Wall Street Blitz in May 2015. 

 

“At that time, we had Judy Wallis, county appraiser, attend a meeting with residents to go over the specifics of the effects of repairs on property valuations. 

 

“If painting were to take a house on the appraiser list from sub standard to standard, that would raise the valuation slightly.  To offset that, the homeowner can apply for a Neighborhood Revitalization Program waiver of 95% of the increase for 5 to 15 years depending on the type of property. 

 

This program is available for repairs, renovations, or new construction at any time.

 

“Next, new (Fort Scott) city manager Jeremy Frazier spoke about his experience with a similar group to GNAT called Cushing Pride.  They had monthly work days to pick up trash, paint, and other things.

 

“Bailey Lyons is organizing a downtown clean up for April 16th at 3 p.m. 

 

“It was thought that we would use that time coupled with Earth Day on the 22nd to have a GNAT clean up day on Saturday the 17th from 8-11 a.m.

 

“The location of the effort will be determined in the next couple of days. 

 

“We are most likely going to have a standing day of projects going forward. 

 

“The team liked the idea of every 3rd Saturday from 8-11 a.m. 

“We would start with a few minutes of donuts and coffee, conversation, then work. We will still assist citizens with individual projects.

 

“We are exploring having a t-shirt for volunteers and may seek corporate sponsorship to preserve the GNAT funds.

 

“We are creating a team of volunteers that will assist citizens to fill out forms from the USDA 504 Repair program. 

“Many times people contact us to volunteer but the physical work is not possible. 

 

“Helping people complete government forms and assist in the follow up is a great what for them to help. 

 

“These forms allow homeowners to apply for grants and/or low interest loans up to $15,000.  These grants or loans can be used to repair heating or cooling units, roofs, winterize windows and doors, painting, to name just a few. 

 

“We have set a goal of bringing into Bourbon County $200,000 in 2021.”

GNAT Setting Up To Help Neighbors With Outside Projects

A Good Neighbor Action Team past project, before volunteers, worked on painting the house. From the Good Neighbor Action Team Facebook page.
After the GNAT volunteers painted the house. From the GNAT Facebook page.
Good Neighbor Action Team is gathering resources and also looking forward to helping people with projects in the community of Fort Scott.
 If a person is interested in serving on the committee, organizing a group of friends, co-workers, a civic club, relatives, or your neighborhood, contact Craig Campbell on the Good Neighbor Action Team Facebook page.
The first organizational meeting of the  2021 GNAT season is at 4 p.m. on March 18 at  Fort Scott City Hall.

“Clint Anderson, the Bourbon County Appraiser, will speak on the topic of GNAT projects and the impact on assessed valuations of the property,” Campbell said. “AndJeremy Frazier, Fort Scott City Manager, will speak on his experience with a similar organization in Cushing, OK.”

 

“I am willing to meet with citizens in small groups if unable to attend the first meeting on the 18th,” Campbell said.

Interested people are encouraged to attend the meeting.
Ideas will be discussed for this year’s projects.
 

For over a decade the Good Neighbor Action Team has been helping Fort Scottians with painting, helping rid yards of debris, building handicap ramps, and other needed projects.

 

The team provides help for those who are not able to do the job themselves.

 

 

GNAT has tried to handle the project workloads using the model of Habitat For Humanity, Campbell said.

 

Work project recipients are asked to provide family and friends to assist GNAT workers.

 

For example, if GNAT provides five people, the recipient will need to bring five people to help with the project, he said in the prior feature.

 

In addition,  proof of income is required with one of the following: income tax return, pay stubs from the last two paychecks, a Vision card or Healthwave card.

 

Logo from the Good Neighbor Action Team Facebook page.

 

 

Statewide Rental Assistance Announced

Governor Kelly Announces $200 Million In Statewide Rental Assistance

~ Funding provides housing support to prevent evictions and homelessness ~

TOPEKA – Today, Governor Kelly and the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation announced $200 million in statewide rental assistance. The initiative, funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, provides the state of Kansas with $200 million to support housing stability and prevent evictions and homelessness.

“COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for Kansans, and it is more important than ever to keep our families safe in their homes,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “The $200 million funding for rental assistance will go a long way to prevent evictions and homelessness, and ensure Kansans can stay sheltered and secure while we continue to fight this virus.”

Kansans struggling to cover rent and utility payments due to COVID may qualify for up to 12 months of emergency assistance thanks to new federal relief. Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) and the City of Wichita will administer the funds.

“Home has never been more important,” said Ryan Vincent, KHRC Executive Director. “Home has always been a place of shelter, but in the midst of the pandemic it’s also become our virtual workplace, classroom, and gathering space. Rental assistance protects Kansans’ access to home when they need it most.”

Tenants may qualify for assistance if they earn no more than 80 percent of their area’s median income, are experiencing documented financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic and may be at risk of housing instability or homelessness without assistance.

“In unprecedented times of hardship, it’s imperative that we step up to provide security to those in need,” said Sally Stang, Director of Housing and Community Services for the City of Wichita. “Everyone needs a little help now and then, and we want to ensure that families and individuals who need help to stay in their homes receive it.”

Wichita residents may apply through the Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERAP) administered by the city’s Housing and Community Services division. The city’s online application will open on Monday, February 22, 2021.

Kansans living outside the Wichita city limits may apply through the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program administered by KHRC. The online KERA application will open on Monday, March 15, 2021.

The KERA and WERAP programs follow the 2020 Kansas Eviction Prevention Program (KEPP), a $20 million assistance initiative administered by KHRC with federal CARES Act funding. In the roughly 60 days that the program was in statewide operation, KHRC received 10,138 applications for more than $25 million requested in assistance, representing 27,200 Kansans financially impacted by COVID.

About the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC)

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the state’s housing finance agency (HFA), administering housing and community programs to serve Kansans. This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number ERA0032 awarded to Kansas Housing Resources Corporation by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Rural Foreclosure/Mortgage Help

Biden Administration Announces Another Foreclosure Moratorium and Mortgage Forbearance Deadline Extension That Will Bring Relief to Rural Residents

USDA Extends Evictions and Foreclosure Moratorium to June 30, 2021 and Provides Additional Guidance for Servicing Loans Impacted by COVID-19

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2021—The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on USDA Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans through June 30, 2021.

The actions announced today will bring relief to residents in rural America who have housing loans through USDA.

“USDA recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an almost unprecedented housing affordability crisis in the United States. That’s why USDA is taking this important action today to extend relief to the hundreds-of-thousands of individuals and families holding USDA Single Family Housing loans,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson said. “While today’s actions are an important step for them, we need to do more. The Biden Administration is working closely with Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan to take more robust and aggressive actions to bring additional relief to American families and individuals impacted by the pandemic.”

A recent Census Bureau survey showed that 8.2 million homeowners are currently behind on mortgage payments, and of that 8.2 million, 3 million homeowners behind on payments were Black or Hispanic.

This effort underscores a commitment by USDA to bring relief and assistance to farmers, families and communities across the country who are in financial distress due to the coronavirus pandemic

. In January, USDA took action to bring relief to more than 12,000 distressed borrowers of USDA farm loans by temporarily suspending past-due debt collections, foreclosures, non-judicial foreclosures, debt offsets or wage garnishments, and more. Learn more here.

Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for additional information on USDA’s Rural Development COVID-19 relief efforts, application deadline extensions and more.

USDA Rural Development will keep our customers, partners and stakeholders continuously updated as additional actions are taken to bring relief and development to rural America.

Homeowners and renters can also visit www.consumerfinance.gov/housing for up-to-date information on their relief options, protections, and key deadlines from USDA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

BACKGROUND:
Foreclosure Moratorium Extension

The actions announced today make it possible for the foreclosure and eviction moratorium announced by USDA, Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program (SFHDLP) and the Single
Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) on Jan. 20, 2021, to be extended until June 30, 2021. The moratorium does not apply in cases where USDA or the servicing lender has
documented the property is vacant or abandoned.

Forbearance Options
Lenders may continue to provide impacted borrowers relief by offering forbearance of the borrower guaranteed loan payment for up to 180 days.

In addition, the initial forbearance period
may be extended up to an additional 180 days at the borrower’s request. Lenders may approve the initial 180-day COVID-19 forbearance no later than June 30, 2021

.SFHGLP borrowers that received a COVID-19 forbearance prior to June 30, 2020, may be granted up to two additional
three-month payment forbearances. Lenders should outline potential solutions that may be available at the end of the forbearance period and explain to borrowers that a lump sum payment of the arrearage will not be required.

During the forbearance options outlined above, no accrual of fees, penalties or interest should be charged to the borrower beyond the amounts calculated as if the borrower had made all
contractual payments in a timely fashion.

Post Forbearance Options
Upon completion of the forbearance, the lender shall work with the borrower to determine if they can resume making regular payments and, if so, either offer an affordable repayment plan or term extension to defer any missed payments to the end of the loan.

If the borrower is unable to resume making regular payments, the lender should evaluate the borrower for special relief measures, which include Term Extensions, Capitalization and Term Extensions, and a Mortgage

Recovery Advance.
Questions regarding program policy and this announcement may be directed to the National Office Division at sfhglpServicing@usda.gov or (202) 720-1452.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business
development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Union Lofts: Rent In February Get 2 Months Free

February Rent Promo
Announced by the new Union Lofts
Downtown Fort Scott!
2 months FREE rent if leased signed in February!
Union Lofts feature both market rate
& income based apartments.
The units currently available are income based.
Market rate units are full at this time.
See link below for income guidelines.
[Spacious Kitchen]
[Community Lobby Seating]
AMENITIES
  • BBQ Grill
  • Beautiful Courtyard
  • Fitness Center
  • Community Area
  • Laundry Area
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a viewing, call or email Rachel Wheeler…
Rachel Wheeler
Property Manager
a. 8 E. 1st Street, Ft. Scott, KS 66701
p. 620-223-1718  f. 620-223-1482

Union Loft Tours Feb. 5

The City of Fort Scott announces another significant downtown rehabilitation has been completed.  Fort Scott received back-to-back multi-million-dollar investments from Flint Hills Holdings which speaks to the character of our community and those who have represented us.

 

Elected officials, business owners, and community enthusiasts who supported the renovation are invited to tour the Union Lofts.

 

Tours will be on Friday, February 5th offered from 12pm to 2pm.

 

Governor’s Council On Tax Reform Report

Governor’s Council on Tax Reform Releases Second Interim Report

TOPEKA – A second interim report by the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform is issued in the wake of the last legislative session being cut short by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The report for consideration by the Kansas Legislature includes additional research of possible economic implications to the state caused by the pandemic.

Governor Laura Kelly established the bipartisan Governor’s Council on Tax Reform through Executive Order No. 19-11, which has since extended its formation.

The Council was tasked with conducting an in-depth assessment of the state’s tax structure, to explore strategies that increase both effectiveness and fairness, and receive input from stakeholders across the state.

The governor continues to recommend returning to the “three-legged stool” approach that relies on a sensible balance of income, sales, and property tax revenue.

The Council will continue to review aspects of state and local finances and how best to respond to federal tax law changes, the taxation of groceries as part of sales tax revenue, and how to best provide targeted property tax relief. The Council also is charged with determining how much room will be available in future budget projections for tax relief.

“I am pleased with the extensive work the Council has performed for the sound recommendations that will return the state to a balanced approach of sales, income and property taxes,” Governor Laura Kelly said.

View the Council’s report here.

Bourbon County Coalition Meets Via Zoom Jan. 6

“We will be having a Zoom meeting at noon on Wednesday, January 6, thanks to Robin and Allen County Thrive,” Billie Jo Drake, the chairwoman, said in an email.

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition

General Membership Meeting Agenda

January 6, 2021

  1. Welcome:
  1. Member Introductions and Announcements:
  1. Program (no programs for Zoom meetings)
  1. Open Forum:
  1. Adjournment: Next General Membership meeting will be February 3, 2021.

Union Lofts Apartments Open For Rental In Downtown Fort Scott

A view from the window of a Union Loft apartment. Submitted photos.
Union Lofts Apartments, 20 S. Main in downtown Fort Scott, will be available to move into in mid-January 2021.
The building has been under demolition then reconstruction since 2018, at the corner of 1st and Main Streets.
Tony Krsnich, Flint Hills Holdings, (located at 7301 Mission Rd, 326 Prairie Village Campus, Prairie Village) is the developer.
Twenty-five apartments fill the three-story historic building, and eight have already been leased.
Some of the perks for living in them?
“The tenants will be living in a newly renovated historic building,” said Mandy Maples, Flint Hills Holdings Vice President of Operations. “There will be a courtyard area with seating and a BBQ grill, indoor workout facility, every apartment is uniquely designed.
 ​No two apartments are the same. Every apartment is unique and holds its own personality.”
Residents may move in the middle of January and there are apartments available for leasing now, she said.
Applications can be picked up at 8 East First Street, at the apartment building across the street.
For questions, call 620-223-1718.
Following are prior stories on the building:
Flint Hills Holding
 ​Flint Hills Holdings Group was established in early 2014. FHHG specializes in historic preservation and multifamily developments. FHHG has developed over $100MM of real estate in Kansas and Missouri since its inception in early 2014 and currently works in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa.

New Furnished Apartments Open As Vacation Rentals

The Hole in the Wall Liquor Store, at Wall and Scott Street September 2018. The new apartments are above the retail store.

Roy and Jody Hoener have opened a new business in the historic Fort Scott downtown area.

“The name of the new apartments are called ‘H Bar Suites,'”, Jody Hoener said.  “This was Roy’s cattle brand when he had cattle.”

 

Submitted photos of the H Bar Suites vacation rental’s interior construction.

The apartments are located in historic downtown Fort Scott, directly above Hole in the Wall Liquor, another business the couple own,  and across from the Fort Scott National Historic Site, she said.

The physical address is 8 North Scott Street.

They are fully furnished apartments.

The Hoeners have used Ruddick’s Furniture,  and local contractors: Casper Enterprises, Stoughton Plumbing, KTK Electric, and Perry Cannon to name a few. The cabinets were made by Kirby’s Cabinets.

“There are two apartments.  The two-bedroom apartment is currently available, click on the link,” she said.

https://www.vrbo.com/2121361?unitId=2685895&noDates=true&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=earned:vrbo:sharecopylink:USA&utm_content=2121361&oc=fXSJaTIjDS9f5Xk0maRRj

The furnished 2 bedroom apartment is finished. Submitted photos.

The couple hopes to have the one bedroom available at the end of this week, Hoener said.

 

“There were a few issues with furniture and appliances being back-ordered that has delayed the opening,” she said.

 

Construction on the Hole in the Wall Liquor Store at Wall and State streets  began in 2018.

History of the Hoener businesses at the site

“Our project started in 2016 when we started looking for a place to move Hole in the Wall Liquor.  (https://holeinthewallliquor.com/) ,” she said.  “One stipulation we had to move as we wanted to remain downtown.  As business owners with a vested interest in our community, we wanted to make a larger impact beyond a retail store.  Downtown revitalization’s direct impact is well documented and has shown to spur local economies.”

 

“When we took on this old and condemned building downtown, it literally had poles coming from the middle of the street, up to the side of the building, holding up the wall, for almost a decade,” Hoener said.  “This was quite the eyesore to one of the main entrances of our downtown.”

 

“Heather Smith, the city’s then Economic Development Director, showed us several downtown buildings,” she said. “It was a hard sale. All of the buildings were in such disrepair that it would be impossible for us to come up with the capital to make the needed improvements. The cost of replacing the roof was much more than the value of the whole building.  In short, we discovered what many already knew: it would be impossible to obtain a loan on a worthless building.  We learned first-hand why these buildings are sitting empty but also a few tricks, tips, and solutions to the problem.”

” Smith, through the City of Fort Scott, was able to offer us the State of Kansas Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for historic districts,” Hoener said.  “This is a state-wide grant program, highly competitive, to help cities provide financial incentives to bring these condemned buildings back to life.   After much thought and planning, working through the risks and unknowns of old buildings, and working with Smith and Dave Martin, we decided to take a leap of faith. ”

“Working with Smith (even after she took on a new job in Wisconsin!) and Susan Galemore at the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission we wrote and submitted a winning CDBG grant,” she said.  “The grant, paired with creative financing from Gregg Motley at Landmark National Bank, and lots of sweat equity, brought new life into the building, encouraging foot traffic downtown, and being a part of the momentum to spur economic growth.”

They had a plan and worked it.

“Our business plan was developed and written in phases,” she said. “The first phase was to move Hole in the Wall Liquor to the new location and open the retail liquor store.”

 

” The second phase was to then take advantage of the opportunity in the space upstairs and develop housing.  We are now, four years later, almost to the end of that final phase,” Hoener said.

“Our initial plans were to use the space as market-rate apartments,” she said.  “We have since decided to try marketing the space on VRBO as short term or vacation rental space.  We have decided we can always offer them as apartments later if that does not work out.”

 

BoCo Inter-Agency Coalition Meets Dec. 2

Billie Jo Drake, left, leads the Bourbon County Coalition, in a prior meeting.

The regularly scheduled Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition membership meeting will be this Wednesday, December 2, at noon, in the Community Room at the High Rise Apartments, 315 Scott Avenue.

The agenda is as follows:

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition

General Membership Meeting Agenda

December 2, 2020

  1. Welcome:
  1. Member Introductions and Announcements:
  1. Program (no programs until January, 2021, at the earliest):
  1. Open Forum:
  1. Adjournment: Next General Membership meeting will be January 6, 2021.

“Be sure to wear your mask and social distance as much as possible,” Billie Jo Drake, facilitator of the group said. “Due to the rise in Covid cases in Bourbon County, I certainly understand if you do not wish to attend a face-to-face meeting. If you have any announcements that you need to share, be sure to send them to me prior to 9:00 a.m. on meeting day.”