Governor Kelly Announces $18M for 34 Municipalities and Special Districts for Water Infrastructure

Government and Politics

April 16, 2024

From: Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

Topeka, KS - Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Water Office April 16, 2024 announced an $18 million investment into 34 municipalities and special districts related to water across Kansas. Nineteen Technical Assistance Grants and 15 Water Project Grants are being awarded.

“This investment is vital to the water resources and livelihoods of Kansans in these rural communities,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “By working together, we are making progress on our water crisis while ensuring communities have access to the resources they need to address their pressing water issues.”

The grants were made possible through the 2023 Senate Substitute for House Bill 2302, signed by Governor Kelly in April 2023.

That bipartisan legislation invested a record $35 million into the State Water Plan. It added $18 million on top of the annual $8 million for the State Water Plan and $17 million for the two grant funds. This year, the Kansas Legislature added $1 million to the program to meet the needs of additional requests that were made.

The first round of funding, which was released on November 1, 2023, received over 122 Technical Assistance applications and 187 Water Project applications. Applicants with emergent water issues, socioeconomic and community factors, conservation plans, and populations of fewer than 2,000 residents were prioritized in the review process.

“The volume of applications is a testament to the value that this funding has to Kansans,” said Connie Owen, Director of the Kansas Water Office. “We are excited to see its impact on Kansas communities. Thank you to everyone who submitted an application.”

“Infrastructure in our small town that was installed years ago is vital to keeping our rural communities alive,” said Senator Majority Leader Larry Alley, Senate District 32. “It is exciting to see these improvements being made to maintain our rural communities in Cowley County.”

“Infrastructure is always a challenge in small communities, especially with getting a local match,” Senator Rick Billinger, Senate District 40, said. I’m grateful this program will help communities get the assistance they need to take action on essential water projects.”

“The Kansas House Water Committee, in 2023, introduced HB 2302 to increase the Kansas Water Office funding, with a portion dedicated to helping leverage cost share match with federal funds to study and improve small municipal water systems,” said Chair of House Water Committee, Representative Jim Minnix, House District 188. “The Kansas Water Office did a commendable job of organizing the loan/grant program in a very short time to be able to take applications in just 5 months.  Obviously, the volume of applications demonstrates the extreme need.”

“A critical component of expanding funding for the State Water Plan is ensuring that every Kansan has access to safe drinking water,” Representative Kenny Titus, House District 51, said. “The ability to provide technical assistance and matching funds allows access to grants and funding opportunities that were previously out of reach for our smaller communities.”

“The sustainability of water is vital for the economy and residents of North Central Kansas,” Representative Troy Waymaster, House District 109, said. “I am so pleased that Osborne County Rural Water District #1a is set to receive funding for technical assistance for water system improvements.  This is a win for Osborne County.”

The Fiscal Year 2025 solicitation is anticipated to open in Summer 2024.

The following are recipients of this year’s funding:

Technical Assistance Grant Recipients:

- Bern: $30,250

- Deerfield: $464,000

- Dexter: $159,500

- Effingham: $300,000

- Fowler: $70,000

- Harveyville: $75,650

- Keats: $359,100

- Mankato: $461,548

- McDonald: $150,000

- McPherson County Rural Water District #3: $98,700

- Milford: $388,000

- Ogden: $404,710

- Osborne County Rural Water District #1a: $8,300

- Paxico: $618,240

- Protection: $78,000

- Randolph: $650,000

- Republic: $202,400

- Tescott: $407,500

- Waterville: $53,092

Water Project Grant Recipients:

- Atwood: $2,305,000

- Burden: $823,055

- Burr Oak: $1,028,749

- Chetopa: $3,704,506

- Logan: $500,000

- Paul: $505,000

- Timken: $385,035

- Wakefield: $2,521,440

- Williamsburg: $84,292

Water Project Loan Assistance Grant Recipients:

- Downs: $336,303

- Moran: $141,275

- Miltonvale: $352,500

- Ness City: $130,918

- Osborne: $92,390

- Wilson: $88,552