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Economic Development Notes

THE APPLICATION FOR THE KANSAS HOUSING RESOURCES CORPORATION AND THE CHANGES TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION PROGRAM WERE ITEMS FOR THE NORTON CITY COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD LAST NIGHT. THE NORTHWEST KANSAS PLANNING COMMISSION HELPED WITH THE NARRATIVE FOR THE APPLICATION FOR MODERATE INCOME HOUSING IN NORTON. THE CITY OF NORTON AUTHORIZED THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO SUBMIT THE APPLICATION. THERE WERE THREE IN NORTHWEST KANSAS INCLUDING STOCKTON TO DEMOLITION SIX HOUSES AND BUILD ONE, HOUSING FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE MCCARTNEY DAIRY IN THOMAS COUNTY AND THE 24 DWELLING UNITS IN NORTON. THE DECISION SHOULD BE MADE IN THE NEXT MONTH. THERE IS 2.75 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE FUND FOR THESE PROJECTS. 31 APPLICATIONS TOTALING 11 MILLION DOLLARS WERE SUBMITTED STATEWIDE. THE HOUSING ASSESSMENT TOOL THAT WAS DONE EARLIER THIS YEAR WAS USED FOR THIS APPLICATION. IF ANY OF THE OTHER COMMUNITIES IN THE COUNTY WANT TO APPLY FOR HOUSING GRANTS, THEY WILL NEED TO HAVE ONE OF THE ASSESSMENTS DONE. THEY SAVED TIME FINDING THAT INFORMATION FOR THE APPLICATION. ALSO LAST NIGHT, THE NORTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE CONSIDERING CHANGES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION PROGRAM. THEY ARE ASKING TO REMOVE THE CAP FOR THE COMMERCIAL IMPROVEMENTS AND RAISING THE CAP FOR THE RESIDENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS TO 150 THOUSAND DOLLARS. THEY ALSO AMENDED THE VALUATION AND APPLICATION FEE. TWO OTHER COUNTIES, THOMAS AND PHILLIPS, HAVE MADE CHANGES TO THEIR PROGRAM TO OFFER LARGER INCENTIVES. THE PROPOSED CHANGES WERE APPROVED BY THE BOARD AND WILL NOW GO BACK TO THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. THE BOARD ALSO REVIEWED THE CHANGES THAT ARE BEING PROPOSED FOR THE DEMOLITION PROGRAM THROUGH THE SOLID WASTE. DIRECTOR SCOTT SPROUL REPORTED ON A MEETING HELD WITH THE NORTH CENTRAL VO-TECH IN BELOIT, THE NATOMA CORPORATION AND USD 211 NORTON. THEY WERE DISCUSSING A TRAINING OR APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM TO TRAIN IN MANUFACTURING. MORE INFORMATION WILL BE FORTHCOMING. THE KANSAS EMPOWERMENT TOUR STOPPED IN NORTON YESTERDAY WITH THREE TIMES AS MANY ATTENDEES AS IN MANHATTAN. COMMERCE SECRETARY PAT GEORGE, REVENUE SECRETARY NICK JORDAN, LABOR SECRETARY KARIN BROWNLEE WERE IN ATTENDANCE TO TALK ABOUT TAX CHANGES COMING FROM THE STATE. THE BOARD DISCUSSED A MAGAZINE FROM KREDA, THE KANSAS RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION. THEY ARE CONSIDERING AN ANNUAL MAGAZINE, BUT HAVE NOT YET SAID WHERE IT WILL BE SENT. THE BOARD ASKED FOR MORE INFORMATION. THEY ALSO DISCUSSED THE CONTRACT WITH PINEGAR AND SMITH. THE CONTRACT PRICE IS 30 THOUSAND DOLLARS. AT THE AUGUST MEETING, THE BOARD HEARD A PRESENTATION ON THE PROJECTS THEY HAVE HELPED WITH IN TOPEKA. THE BOARD APPROVED PROVIDING 20 THOUSAND OF THE 30 THOUSAND DOLLAR CONTRACT WITH LOCAL DONORS BEING SOUGHT FOR THE REST. THE NEXT MEETING OF THE NORTON CITY COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD WILL BE TUESDAY OCTOBER 9TH AT 5:45 IN THE OFFICE AT 205 SOUTH STATE STREET. ALL MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.