By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
With a stimulus package of maybe $350 million coming to Kansas, approximately $3 million will be set aside for Southwest Kansas. City commissioners met Tuesday evening to discuss projects they would like to be considered for improvements.
According to Public Works Director Joe Sealey, the Kansas Department of Transportation will be choosing projects throughout the state based on city participation.
“We are going to be competing against Dodge and Garden, plus all the other small towns,” Sealey explained. “Everybody is going to have some projects in.
“I think KDOT is going to take every project under consideration and maximize their end result with the amount of money they have,” he continued. “So the higher our participation, I think that will just further enhance the city’s chances.”
A round-about project on North Kansas Avenue has been discussed, improvements on Western Avenue from the railroad tracks to 15th Street has been considered as well as Clay Avenue and U.S. Highway 54 intersection.
Commissioners discussed what KDOT would most likely help fund, whether it be a 80/20 percent or 70/30 percent split.
“I don’t see the round-about as a priority right now,” Vice Mayor Doug LaFrenier said.
Due to the money involved in the project Commission Larry Koochel echoed his sentiments stating, “I don’t ever see it as a priority.”
The commission agreed KDOT may most likely help fund the intersection of Clay and Highway 54 because it is a state highway. However, they are considering adding the Western Ave. improvements to what they will submit to KDOT on the off chance that KDOT may pick up on the project.
No action was taken Tuesday evening, however, Sealey will be bringing the issue before the commission at their next meeting. At that time, commissioners will decide which projects they will submit to KDOT for consideration and what the city participation level will be.