Category Archives: Kansas

DCF Terminates Grant Funding for Kansas Reading Roadmap Administrator

 

Audit Discovered Non-Compliance with Grant Terms and Conditions

 

Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard today terminated the agreement with Hysell & Wagner, LLC, which administers the Kansas Reading Roadmap (KRR) program. In addition, Howard also announced the agency will directly fund schools that made plans to offer the KRR program during the 2019-20 school year at the same level Hysell & Wagner was contractually obligated under the terminated grant.

 

“The Department for Children and Families is committed to ensuring that recipients of federal and state funds are spending those funds efficiently,” Howard said. “After reviewing the results of a DCF audit and despite heightened oversight during the first six months of 2019, it’s clear that Hysell & Wagner is falling short of this basic standard.”

 

The audit, initiated during the Brownback administration but never finalized or released, uncovered problems with internal controls required to achieve compliance with grant terms and conditions and applicable state regulations. All totaled, DCF auditors determined nearly $2.3 million were incorrectly claimed and paid to Hysell & Wagner during the time period from February 2014 to December 2015.

 

Since January, DCF Economic and Employment Services leadership uncovered additional concerns with Hysell & Wagner’s FY 2019 Kansas Reading Roadmap grant, including:

–          TANF funds, categorized as indirect costs, used for excessive payments to company executives surpassing federal salary limits

–          $216,000 was paid to owners as direct expenses and more than $607,000 has been charged to the grant in “guaranteed payments” as indirect expenses which would also go to the owners

–          TANF funds, categorized as indirect costs, were used for 38 trips between Kansas and the CEO’s and CFO’s residences in Washington, DC, and San Diego, CA

–          Administrative expenses charged to the Kansas Reading Roadmap grant exceeded federal and grant-specific limits of 15% of grant costs.

DCF has, in good faith, worked with Hysell & Wagner to educate and correct the identified issues. Despite these efforts, Hysell & Wagner continues to struggle with the heightened monitoring requirements and has rejected revisions in their FY 2020 contract addressing indirect costs.

 

 

“I’ve always been concerned about the use of no-bid contracts and lack of accountability under the previous administration,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “It’s clear that the State of Kansas cannot continue to support Hysell & Wagner’s administration of the Kansas Reading Roadmap program.

 

I am pleased that the Department for Children and Families is providing direct funding to schools for the coming year to ensure they receive the funds they’re counting on.”

 

Hysell & Wagner has until September 15 to complete their work with the program including providing notice of termination to sub-recipients of the award. DCF issued the draft audit to Hysell & Wagner August 15. The company has up to 30 days to respond. Once the agency receives their response the audit report will be finalized and made public.

 

Following is a complete list of schools who will receive funding directly from DCF for the 2019-20 school year.

 

Kansas Reading Roadmap Schools
• USD 210 Hugoton
• USD 216 Deerfield
USD 235 Uniontown-Bourbon
• USD 247 Southeast Cherokee
• USD 252 Southern Lyon County
• USD 283 Elk Valley
• USD 288 Central Heights
• USD 297 St. Francis
• USD 298 Valley Heights
• USD 310 Fairfield
• USD 322 Onaga
• USD 333 Concordia
• USD 341 Oskaloosa
• USD 353 Wellington
• USD 383 Manhattan
• USD 386 Madison-Virgil
• USD 404 Riverton
• USD 417 Council Grove
• USD 428 Great Bend
• USD 440 Halstead Bentley
• USD 447 Cherryvale
• USD 457 Winfield
• USD 487 Herington
• USD 493 Columbus/Highland Park
• USD 497 Lawrence
• USD 503 Parsons
• USD 504 Oswego
• USD 505 Chetopa
• USD 506 Labette County
• USD 508 Baxter Springs
• Manhattan Boys and Girls Club
• Olathe Boys and Girls Club

2019 Kansas Water Photo Contest Launched

 

Photos Featured at the Governor’s Water Conference in November

 

Kansas is blessed with an abundance of great natural resources and Kansans are encouraged to capture the most vital of these; water. The Kansas Water Office (KWO) is accepting water photos to be featured at the 2019 Governor’s Water Conference in November. The photos need to pertain to water or water use in Kansas.  Examples include all bodies of water, irrigation, agriculture, recreation and fun, or other water infrastructure.

 

Worthy entries will be selected for display at the 2019 Governor’s Water Conference, scheduled for Nov. 7-8, 2019 in Wichita. Attendees at the conference will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite photo. The winning photo will earn feature photo at the 2019 Governor’s Water Conference. It will also, along with second and third place, be displayed in the Kansas State Capitol and KWO during the year.

 

Entries can be submitted to kwo-info@kwo.ks.gov with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. The following formats are accepted: .jpg, .png and .gif. Participants have until October 11, 2019, to enter a maximum of five photos that follow contest guidelines.

 

By submitting photos, participants grant KWO permission to freely use and share photos at the Governor’s Water Conference, on social media, web, publications and displays.

 

Updates on the contest will be provided through the KWO social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information about the categories, etc., visit www.kwo.ks.gov

 

The Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas is hosted by the Kansas Water Office, K-State /Kansas Water Resource Institute. Major sponsors for the event include Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.

 

Kansas Beyond Visual Line of Sight Drone Operation To Advance Technologies

Kansas approved for first Beyond Visual

Line of Sight drone flight in the nation

 

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) received permission to conduct the first ever Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operation in the nation leveraging only onboard detect-and-avoid systems. This is the first-ever FAA authorized operation to fly without a requirement for visual observers or ground-based radar and is the result of the 31-member Kansas Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) team efforts to advance drone technologies.

 

In a collaborative effort between Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus (K-State Polytechnic), Westar Energy, Iris Automation and KDOT, the Kansas IPP team will fly a nine-mile track to evaluate technologies to inspect power lines in rural Kansas. This approval is the first of its kind for long line linear infrastructure and is the first step to enable routine commercial infrastructure inspection across the state.

 

“The UAS industry has worked over 10 years to demonstrate the most significant commercial benefit of drone operations within the United States,” said Bob Brock, KDOT Director of Aviation. “We are proud of the joint state, university and industry team effort that made this landmark decision possible.”

 

“The ability to fly BVLOS missions without ground-based radar or visual observers is a significant advancement, and Westar Energy views this as an opportunity to play a key role in shaping the future of UAS operations within the utility industry,” said Mike Kelly, Westar Energy Senior UAS Coordinator. “Being able to operate under this waiver allows the Kansas IPP team the ability to research and develop truly scalable BVLOS UAS operations for the automated inspection of linear infrastructure.”

 

The Applied Aviation Research Center on the K-State Polytechnic Campus will be responsible for the training and flight operations with a cross-functional team from the KDOT IPP. Flights will take place over the next few months, providing the FAA with much-needed data on true BVLOS activity.

 

“We look forward to leveraging this waiver to integrate UAS technology into the transmission line inspection process,” said Kurt Carraway, UAS Executive Director of the K-State Polytechnic Applied Aviation Research Center. “We are certain that utilities will be able to quickly realize a return on investment while mitigating safety to their maintenance personnel and increasing the reliability of their infrastructure to the general public.”

 

This is the first UAV flight in history to leverage onboard sense-and-avoid systems alone for collision avoidance. It also marks the first required automated avoidance action. Historically, all FAA-issued Part 107 BVLOS waivers have required visual observers or ground-based radar. These mitigations limit the possibility of true BVLOS flights, as they are typically prohibitively expensive and limit operations to pre-defined corridor areas with radar coverage.

 

This important milestone is facilitated by Kansas UAS IPP partner Iris Automation’s Casia onboard collision avoidance system.

 

“Flying rural missions like these without a human pilot onboard or costly radar on the ground is exponentially safer and more cost effective,” said Iris Automation CEO and Co-Founder Alexander Harmsen. “The FAA is trusting us to pave the way for a safer, scalable future together with this precedent-setting second approval of our system.”

 

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Don’t Drink and Drive

Kansas Law Enforcement Warns: Don’t Drink and Drive

Impaired drivers to be tested during “No Refusal Weekend”

 

Topeka, KS – As the summer season concludes over the next few weeks, Kansas law enforcement will be doing all they can to keep the roads safe from impaired drivers. Beginning on Aug. 14 and through the Labor Day weekend, more than 150 law enforcement agencies from across the state will join forces in a concentrated effort detecting and removing the impaired driver.

 

This year’s campaign includes a No Refusal Weekend, Aug. 16 – 17, when all suspected impaired drivers who refuse breath testing may be subject to blood testing for alcohol and/or drugs. This No Refusal Weekend, law enforcement officials may work in coordination with prosecutors to obtain blood draw warrants for drivers who refuse breath and/or drug testing. No Refusal programs help ensure that prosecutors obtain the scientific evidence needed to effectively prosecute cases involving impaired driving.

“My hope is there are no impaired driving crashes or fatalities in the state of Kansas,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Herman Jones.  “Make the right decision, don’t get behind the wheel impaired. The impaired driver makes the choice to endanger themselves and everyone else on the road.”

 

According to the National Safety Council, 40 percent of car fatalities occur in the summer months. The Labor Day holiday brings increased traffic and unfortunately, a higher-than-normal number of deaths related to impaired drivers on the road. On average, impaired drivers cause about one-third of all traffic fatalities in Kansas. Across Kansas, impaired drivers injure or kill more than 2,200 people each year in car crashes.

 

“We want everyone’s summer to end on high note and not in a senseless death that is 100 percent preventable,” said Chris Bortz, Kansas Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Program Manager. “Law enforcement will be vigilant in their efforts to keep everyone safe, but everyone has a personal responsibility in this effort; not just law enforcement.”

 

The 22-day enforcement campaign will be supported with statewide education and on-the-street vigilance by law enforcement.  This year’s campaign reinforces that no excuse is a good excuse for driving impaired. Designate before you celebrate, use a ride sharing service or get a ride from a sober friend are just a few ways to get home safely.

 

Impaired drivers can face jail time, suspension of their driving privileges, fines and other costs of up to $10,000. In addition, the offender will be required to install and pay monthly services fees on an ignition interlock. Beyond the financial and legal penalties, impaired drivers face the risk of losing their own lives or taking someone else’s.

 

Taiwan Ag Youth Exchange Program Accepting Applications

Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Accepting Applications

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. —   The 2019 Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program is currently accepting applications from high school seniors or college freshmen who are passionate about agriculture and are interested in representing Kansas in a week-long exchange program October 26 through November 3, 2019.

 

Each year the National Taichung Agricultural Senior High School in central Taiwan hosts students from the U.S. Midwest for this program. Selected students will tour agricultural facilities and businesses in Taiwan and learn about Taiwanese agriculture.

 

“The entire experience was amazing,” said Sage Collins, 2018 program participant. “Immersing myself in a new culture, experiencing all the aspects of Taiwan and learning about their agricultural practices was an eye-opening experience for me.”

 

Exports play an important role in Kansas agriculture. According to Euromonitor, Kansas exported over $129 million in agriculture products to Taiwan in 2018, including beef, oil seeds, cereal grains and wheat flour. Globally, exports of agriculture products contributed over $3.6 billion to the Kansas economy in 2018.

 

“The Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program is a tremendous opportunity for students who have an interest in agriculture,” said Suzanne Ryan-Numrich, international trade director for the Kansas Department of Agriculture. “Students are able to return from Taiwan with a broader understanding of international agriculture and the role that exports play in their local communities.”

 

Two students will be selected to represent Kansas. To be eligible to apply, students must meet the following requirements:

  • High school senior or college freshman.
  • At least 18 years of age by the beginning of the trip.
  • Strong Kansas agricultural background.
  • Valid U.S. passport by time of exchange program selection.
  • Able and willing to pay for airfare costs (approximately $1,000).

 

Applications must be submitted by August 30 for the student to be considered. Students interested in applying can find more information at agriculture.ks.gov/AgEd.  The Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Kansas FFA Association and Kansas 4-H.

For more information, contact Robin Blume, KDA education and events coordinator, at Robin.Blume@ks.gov or 785-564-6756.

 

Appointees to Humanities Kansas

Governor appoints two members to Humanities Kansas

Governor Laura Kelly appointed Brad Allen and Lisa Sisley to Humanities Kansas, which was formerly named the Kansas Humanities Council.

“The Humanities Kansas board is dedicated to ensuring that people across our state have access to programs to help enrich their communities,” Kelly said. “Brad and Lisa are passionate about generating new ideas and strengthening our democracy. They will be a wonderful addition to the team.”

Brad Allen, Lawrence, has worked as the executive director of the Lawrence Public Library for seven years. Previously, he worked as the branch manager and programming coordinator for the Everett Public Library in Everett, Wash. Allen received a master’s degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Science in library and information science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in American studies and psychology from the University of Kansas.

Lisa Sisley, Manhattan, has worked as the principal for New Boston Creative Group, LLC, for 13 years. Previously, she worked as a writer for the dean’s office at Kansas State University’s College of Human Ecology, and owned Lisa Sisley Writing Services. Sisley earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Kansas State University.

Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit group that works to strengthen civic life by pioneering programming, grants and partnerships to connect communities with history, traditions and ideas. Kansans can visit www.humanitieskansas.org to request a speaker, explore stories about our state, find a humanities-related event nearby and more.

The governor’s appointments to Humanities Kansas are not subject to Senate confirmation.

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Appointees to Board of Mortuary Arts

Governor appoints two members to the Kansas Board of Mortuary Arts

 

Governor Laura Kelly appointed Amy Elliott and reappointed Barry Bedene to the Kansas Board of Mortuary Arts.  

 

“Barry and Amy are dedicated individuals, and we are fortunate to have them on our mortuary board,” Kelly said. “I know they will work hard to ensure safe and ethical practices among our state’s licensed embalmers.”   

 

Barry BedeneArma, is a licensed embalmer and funeral director, and the owner of Bedene Funeral Home. He is a past president of District Three of the Kansas Funeral Directors Association; a member of the National Funeral Directors Association; served as a board member of the Crawford County Fire District Number Two for more than 20 years; served as a City Council member in Arma for four years; and has served on several other boards and commissions. Bedene also served as a member of the Mortuary Arts board for many years.  

 

Amy Elliott, Lenexa, currently works as a lawyer in her firm, the Law Office of Amy E. Elliott. Previously, she worked as a legal assistant for the law firm Cohen, McNeile & Pappas, P.C. Elliott received a juris doctor, a bachelor’s degree in English and an associate degree in paralegal studies, all from Washburn University.  

 

The board ensures that licensees who work in the practice of embalming perform their services in a manner that provides maximum protection of the health, safety and welfare of Kansans.  

 

Three members of the board must hold an embalmer’s license issued by the state board of mortuary arts, must have five consecutive years of experience in the practice of embalming and must be currently engaged in the practice of embalming in Kansas. The other two members must be a representative of the general public and without an embalming license.  

 

The governor’s appointments to the mortuary arts board are not subject to Senate confirmation.  

 

Appointees to Creative Arts Industries Commission

Governor appoints four members to the Creative Arts Industries Commission 

 

Governor Kelly appointed Aubrey Streit-Krug, Abby Killingsworth, Jamie Oliver and Brittany Novotny to the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.  

 

“The creative arts industry is a very important piece of our state’s history,” Kelly said. “In difficult times, the arts bring people together – from all across Kansas. Creativity is what makes Kansas an extraordinary place to live. It amplifies everything we find important and celebrates our greatest accomplishments. When our creative arts industry thrives, so does our state. Aubrey, Abby, Jamie and Brittany have dedicated their lives to the creative arts, and I know that they will work hard to create jobs in our state and enhance Kansans’ quality of life. We are lucky to have them on the team.”  

 

The commission, which is part of the Department in Commerce, is focused on measuring, promoting, supporting and expanding Kansas’ creative industry to grow the state’s economy and foster creative industry-related jobs. The commission’s 11 members must be representative of the major arts fields. 

 

Aubrey Streit-Krug, Salina, currently is the Director of Ecosphere Studies at The Land Institute in Salina. She also has worked as a professor of writing and literature at Kansas Wesleyan University, Bethany College, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Streit-Krug received a doctorate in English and a master’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Bethany College. She has several published books, articles and essays.  

 

Abby Killingsworth, Goodland, is currently the executive director of the Carnegie Arts Center in Goodland. She previously worked as the career services coordinator at Northwest Kansas Technical College. Killingsworth received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Fort Hays State University, and was a national exchange participant at California State University in Chico, Calif.  

 

Jamie Oliver, Pittsburg, currently teaches art courses at Pittsburg State University, and is the chairperson of PSU’s Art Department. Previously, he was an assistant professor of painting and drawing at Denison University. Oliver received a Master of Fine Arts from Tulane University, a master’s degree from Easter Illinois University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Denison University.  

 

Brittany Novotny, Pratt, currently works as the co-executive director of the Vernon Filley Art Museum. Previously, she worked as a finance and administration intern at the Indiana University Art Museum. Novotny received a master’s degree in arts administration from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.

 

Two members of the Creative Arts Industries Commission are appointed by the president of the Senate; one member appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; two members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; one member appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and five members appointed by the governor.  

Kansas Infant Referral Policy

New DCF Policy Connects Families with Vital Early Childhood Services; Promotes Safe Sleep

Agency Using Universal Infant Referral Policy Across Kansas

 

The Kansas Department for Children and Families is implementing a new policy designed to take a proactive approach to connecting Kansas families with important parent skill building programs. The Universal Infant Referral policy mandates child protection workers, when working with a family that has an infant under the age of one, refer the family to community-based infant-toddler and home visitor programs.

 

“We want to meet a family’s needs before crisis sets in,” Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard said. “Providing families with services and supports early may help prevent future maltreatment.”

 

The new policy took effect July 1 and is already connecting families with programs like Early Head Start, Parents as Teachers and Healthy Families America.

 

“We are already seeing positive outcomes from this new initiative,” Crawford County Healthy Families supervisor Lindsay Restivo said. “Recently we have been able to connect 16-year-old parents with much needed support services and education in Crawford County. During weekly home visits with our family support specialist, the parents will learn more about positive parent-child interaction, safe sleep and other important health information like the dangers of sudden infant death syndrome.”

 

The new policy also requires the child protection worker to assess the infant’s sleep environment using guidance from Safe Sleep Kansas. The worker provides the family information and resources to help support a safe sleep environment for the infant.

 

“It is important to me that Kansas families know that these services are available to them,” Howard said. “We know these programs can help children and families thrive and we are excited to facilitate these connections.”

 

For additional information on infant-toddler resources visit: http://ksqualitynetwork.org/resources/child- development/.

 

Information on safe sleep is available at: http://www.safesleepkansas.org/

 

Kansas Lottery Revenue Transfers

Kansas Lottery Transfers $173.6 Million to the State of Kansas in Fiscal Year 2019

 

TOPEKA, KAN. – The Kansas Lottery is pleased to announce it transferred more revenue to the State of Kansas in Fiscal Year 2019 than in Fiscal Year 2018.

 

The combined transfer from the traditional lottery and state-owned and operated casino gaming revenue totaled $173.6 million.

 

The total revenue transferred to the State through traditional lottery game sales was $74.9 million. Revenue transferred from state-owned and operated casino gaming totaled $98.7 million. Kansas Lottery retailers saw record commissions in FY19 of $17.3 million.

 

Traditional lottery sales in Fiscal Year 2019 were $295.3 million. Lottery sales were 9.79 percent higher than in FY18 when sales were $268.9 million.

 

“It’s the Kansas Lottery’s mission to engage our players in a fun and secure way while also doing our best to try and maximize a return to the State,” said Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell. “We do that by looking at ways to keep our players interested and excited about our games. The Lottery is continuing to add new games and second-chance promotions that offer unique experiences, and we thank all of our players and retailers for their continued support.”

 

A portion of proceeds from traditional lottery sales was dedicated to paying for the 272 Lottery vending machines being rolled out to select retailers across the state. The Kansas Lottery avoided interest and financing costs by paying for the vending machines from operating funds.

 

“Our vending machine roll-out has been methodical as we try to look for the best retailers to maximize the effectiveness of the machines,” Durrell said. “We look forward to the opportunity for increasing our sales and transfer to the state through vending machine sales. Vending machines offer easier access for our players to find their favorite games and takes the burden off our retailers during times of high retail sales.”

 

The Kansas Lottery also transferred a combined $8.3 million to the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund. The transfer included $80,000 from traditional lottery games and $8.22 million from state-owned and operated casino gaming, as required by state law.

 

“The Kansas Lottery values its relationship with the four managers the State contracted with to manage these casinos,” Durrell continued. “The casinos generate millions of dollars for the state and helps the Lottery accomplish its mission by maximizing the State’s revenue.”

 

Below is a breakdown of traditional lottery sales and the distribution of revenue from state-owned and operated casino gaming as well as information on where the Lottery money goes.

FY19 Tables

Be A Part of Talks For Future Kansas Transportation

Stakeholders can discuss future transportation priorities at Local Consult meetings

 

A series of Local Consult meetings hosted by the Kansas Department of Transportation will give citizens a chance to discuss regional transportation priorities and participate in scenario planning for the future.

 

“These meetings are an important opportunity for stakeholders to help set the vision for transportation in Kansas,” said Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz.  “This is a transformational time in transportation, and we need you to help chart our success into the future.”

 

At the meetings, stakeholders will review facts and trends and explore alternative future possibilities through scenario planning. Stakeholders will also have the opportunity to present information about transportation projects not discussed during last fall’s Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force meetings.

 

“I strongly encourage you to attend KDOT’s upcoming local consult meetings, so we hear your thoughts and create a transportation system that works for all Kansans, regardless of where they live,” said Gov. Laura Kelly.

 

The Local Consult meetings are scheduled to take place in August in Salina, Hutchinson, Independence, Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita, Dodge City and Hays. A list of the dates, times, locations and a map are below.

 

To view an invitation to the meetings from Gov. Kelly and Secretary Lorenz, click https://vimeo.com/351478294/033c1e70dc

 

If possible, please contact Mike Moriarty, KDOT Chief of Transportation Planning, at 785-296-8864 or Michael.Moriarty@ks.gov to let us know which meeting you plan to attend.

 

Meeting schedule –

Salina – Monday, Aug. 19

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Kansas Highway Patrol Academy, 2025 East Iron

 

Hutchinson – Tuesday, Aug. 20

9 a.m. – Noon, Atrium Hotel & Conference Center, 1400 North Lorraine St.

 

Independence – Wednesday, Aug. 21

9 a.m. – Noon, Independence Civic Center, 410 N. Penn Ave.

 

Overland ParkThursday, Aug. 22

9 a.m. – Noon, Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty Street

 

Topeka – Monday, Aug. 26

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Capital Plaza, 1717 SW Topeka Blvd

 

Wichita – Tuesday, Aug. 27

9 a.m. – Noon, Eugene Metroplex, 5015 East 29th Street N

 

Dodge City – Wednesday, Aug. 28

9 a.m. – Noon, Dodge House Convention Center, 2409 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd.

 

Hays – Thursday, Aug. 29

9 a.m. – Noon; Fort Hays State Union, 700 College Drive

 

Program To Replace/Rehabilitate Deficient Bridges Reinstated

KDOT program will replace and rehabilitate deficient bridges on a local road system.

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has reinstated a popular program designed to help replace and rehabilitate city and county deficient bridges. KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz announced the program today at an event in Butler County joined by leaders from the Kansas Association of Counties, the Kansas County Highway Association and the Kansas Contractors Association.

 

The Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program is a $5 million state-funded program that helps cities and counties by providing up to $150,000 toward the replacement or rehabilitation of a bridge on the local roadway system. To qualify, bridges must be rated as deficient, have a daily vehicle count of less than 100 and be 20 to 50 feet in length.  Cities and counties can garner an additional $50,000 by closing a deficient bridge. Local jurisdictions that are awarded funds must provide a 10 percent match.

 

“Kansas’ local road system is critical for getting people and goods where they need to go,” said Gov. Laura Kelly regarding the program. “I’m pleased to see state and local government working together and combining resources to replace aging infrastructure – creating healthier communities and economies.”

 

Funding for the program is part of the $216 million in sales tax authorized by Gov. Kelly to remain in the state highway fund in fiscal year 2020. Those funds will be used to increase highway preservation, help complete delayed T-WORKS projects, improve safety and provide new funding opportunities for cities and counties.

 

“This was a popular program when it was offered in 2014 and I’m very happy that we’re able to bring it back,” said Secretary Lorenz. “Reinstating the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program was one of the top recommendations coming out of last year’s Joint Legislative Vision Task Force and is a great way for us to work together with cities and counties to address needed improvements.”

 

There are approximately 19,000 bridges on Kansas’ local road systems. About 20 percent – or 3,800 — of those bridges are in poor condition – or unable to meet today’s weight and vehicle requirements.

 

Under the previous program, 110 bridges were replaced or permanently closed during the two years it operated.

 

“The counties are excited and appreciative of this new bridge replacement program,” said Justin Mader, Saline County Engineer and president of the Kansas County Highway Association. “It will be good for agriculture, good for safety, will put construction workers to work and boost the Kansas economy while building and rehabilitating bridges that will benefit Kansas for decades into the future.”

 

Applications will be accepted through mid-September and KDOT will select projects in early October. Details are posted on KDOT’s website and can be seen at the links below:

Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program

Guidelines

Fact Sheet

Application

Reimbursement request form