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Economic Development Notes

THE UPDATE ON THE HOUSING WORKSHOP AND THE CHANGE IN THE MEETING TIMES WERE ITEMS FOR THE NORTON CITY COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD LAST NIGHT.  DIRECTOR SCOTT SPROUL REPORTED ON THE KANSAS HOUSING RESOURCES CORPORATION WORKSHOP THAT WAS HELD IN COLBY.  HE STATED THERE WERE 15 COMMUNITIES REPRESENTED.  THIS IS TO HELP WITH HOUSING FOR MODERATE INCOME FAMILIES.  HE ASKED THE BOARD WHAT THEIR FEELINGS WERE AND WHAT THE NEEDS ARE IN TERMS OF HOUSING.  MANY OF THE BOARD MEMBERS FELT ONE AND TWO BEDROOM HOMES OR APARTMENTS ARE IN A GREAT NEED, ESPECIALLY WITH THE INCREASE IN STUDENTS FOR THE COLBY COMMUNITY COLLEGE NURSING PROGRAM.  HE SAID ONE OF THE IDEAS COMING FROM THAT MEETING WAS TO HAVE A GROUP OF COMMUNITIES TO WORK TOGETHER TO GET HOUSING BUILT AT THE SAME TIME, USING A GENERAL CONTRACTOR AND LOCAL SUB CONTRACTORS.  THE GRANT MONEY FOR THIS PROGRAM IS 2.5 MILLION DOLLARS FROM THE STATE AND IT CAN ALSO INCLUDE REHABBING EXISTING FACILITIES.  THE MOST FOR EACH GRANT IS 400 THOUSAND DOLLARS.  THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS IS DUE AT THE END OF AUGUST AND SPROUL WILL BE SPENDING LOTS OF TIME ON THAT IN THE NEXT MONTH.  ALSO, THE BOARD APPROVED THE RESOLUTION TO CHANGE THE MEETING TIME TO 5:45 AND ALSO TO CHANGE THE MEETING LOCATION TO THE OFFICE AT 205 SOUTH STATE STREET.  THAT CHANGE WAS NEVER MADE WHEN THE OFFICE MOVED.  THE BOARD ALSO ACCEPTED THE BUDGET REPORT THAT WAS WORKED ON BY THE BUDGET COMMITTEE.  THE BOTTOM LINE WILL BE STAYING THE SAME.  THE RURAL OPPORTUNITY ZONE PROGRAM CONTINUES TO WORK WELL FOR NORTON.  11 APPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND THAT IS SECOND MOST IN THE STATE.  KIOWA COUNTY IS ONE AHEAD.  THE TAXING ENTITY MEETING WILL BE HELD NEXT WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AT THREE AT PRAIRIE LEND ELECTRIC.  THAT IS TO GET ALL THE TAXING ENTITIES IN NORTON COUNTY TOGETHER TO FIND OUT THEIR NEEDS AND HOW THEY CAN WORK TOGETHER.  RYAN FLICKNER, THE NEW STATE DIRECTOR FOR U.S. SENATOR PAT ROBERTS MADE A PROMOTING NORTON COUNTY VISIT ON MONDAY.  HE HAS FAMILY TIES IN THE AREA AND THIS WAS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO SEE OTHER AREAS OF THE COUNTY AND TO DO SOME NETWORKING FOR THE COUNTY.  HIS OFFICE WILL BE IN WICHITA.  THE BOARD SIGNED UP FOR COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS FOR THE COMING YEAR.  THE RIBBON CUTTING FOR THE COLBY COMMUNITY COLLEGE NORTON CAMPUS WILL BE SATURDAY AUGUST 25TH FROM TEN TILL TWO.  THE NEXT MEETING OF THE NORTON CITY COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD WILL BE TUESDAY AUGUST 14TH AT 5:45 IN THE COLBY COMMUNITY COLLEGE NORTON CAMPUS FOR AUGUST ONLY.  PINEGAR AND SMITH WILL BE MEETING WITH THE BOARD TO UPDATE THEM ON THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION.  ALL MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.