Author: Lila Whitmore

SBA Grant Opportunity – Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The Small Business Administration has a new grant opportunity through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which is designed to help restaurants and other food service businesses keep their doors open. The fund will provide applicants with funding equal to their pandemic-related lost revenue. This is a grant, not a loan, so as long as funds are used for eligible purposes by March 11, 2023, no repayment is required.

To help ensure equity, this program is currently in a 21 day priority period where only applications for underserved priority groups are being processed; this priority period closes Friday, May 14th. The SBA has asked for NLC’s help in spreading the word to priority group entrepreneurs: businesses that are at least 51% owned by individuals who are women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged. Applicants must self-certify on the application that they meet eligibility requirements. Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Economically disadvantaged individuals are those socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same business area who are not socially disadvantaged.

This funding is designed to support the small businesses, with $5 billion set aside for businesses with up to $500,000 in revenue, and another $4 billion for those with gross receipts up to $1.5M. $500 million is specifically set aside for businesses with no more than $50,000 in revenue. To reach these businesses, SBA has partnered with Point of Sale (POS) providers, including Square, Toast, Clover, NCR Corporation (Aloha), and Oracle, to accept applications. Business owners can also apply directly at https://restaurants.sba.gov/. Please help spread the word to food service businesses in your community, including restaurants, food trucks, caterers, bakeries, and brewpubs, that they may be eligible for funding that can help them cover operating expenses as well as construct outdoor seating and purchase supplies to help them continue to respond to the pandemic.

for more information:

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund

Important Roofing Contractor Information

The Kansas Roofing Registration Act was enacted by the Kansas Legislature and signed by the Governor on April 22, 2013. Under the provisions of this law, on and after July 1, 2013, every “roofing contractor” must obtain a roofing contractor registration certificate from the Kansas Attorney General in order to legally provide commercial or residential roofing services for a fee in Kansas.

Homeowners are encouraged to reference the following website for a listing of roofing contractors who have completed the registration requirements pursuant to the Kansas roofing registration act, or contact the Attorney General’s office at (800) 432-2310 for further questions:

www.ag.ks.gov/roofing

In addition to the registration certificate, before soliciting door to door roofing contractors must obtain a Peddler’s License issued by the City of St. Francis, which includes a background check and proof of insurance.

Here are some helpful tips to protect yourself from fraudulent door-to-door sales:

  • Never let a salesperson into your home unless you are sure of who they are and why they are there.
  • Ask to see their peddler’s license, it is required by your local city government.
  • Ask for written information on the company and salesperson and take plenty of time to read it and shop around, rather than making a purchasing decision on-the-spot. A legitimate salesperson will be happy to leave their business card and come back if you decide to make a purchase.
  • If the salesperson says it is a special deal for “today only,” it’s probably too good to be true.
  • Never pay for door-to-door purchases with cash. When possible, use a credit card, which will allow you to cancel or dispute the charge.

Filing Deadline for Local Office is June 1

The City of St. Francis will have 3 positions up for election in 2021: Three City Council positions currently held by Kale Dankenbring, Dara Carmichael, and Larry Finley. Those wanting to file for any of these positions need to do so by June 1 with the Cheyenne County Election Officer Scott Houtman:

  • Email:      cnclerk@cncoks.us
  • Hours:     8:00-12:00 1:00-5:00
  • Phone:   785-332-8800
  • Fax:          785-332-8825
  • Address1:              212 E Washington
  • City, State, Zip:    St Francis,  KS  67756

The general election will be held November 2 and those elected will take office on January 10, 2022.

Download the 2021 Candidates Guide at https://www.lkm.org/page/citycandidateguide

Goodwill Donation Drive

Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska is having a donation drive in St. Francis, Kansas beginning after noon on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 and continuing daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until noon on Monday, May 10, 2021, or until the trailer is full.  People living in St. Francis Kansas and the surrounding area can drop off their donations at the Goodwill Donation Trailer parked at the Community Recycling Center.

Virtually anything in your home or garage that you no longer use is accepted; clothing, household items, shoes, boots, purses, belts, hats, books, computers, printers, monitors and all computer accessories can be placed inside the Goodwill trailer. Due to limited storage space, furniture, televisions and large appliances are not accepted. Tax donation receipts are available at the trailer.

Goodwill appreciates the generosity of the people of St. Francis and the surrounding area. Revenue generated through the sale of donated items at Goodwill’s retail stores supports services for people.

Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska’s mission is to help people with disabilities or barriers achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. The organization fulfills this mission every day by supporting people to find jobs that match their talents and gifts, teaching skills leading to increased independence, helping people through the process of recovery and empowering people to focus on their strengths and abilities rather than a diagnosis or disability.

ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF GREATER NEBRASKA
Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska Inc. serves 55 counties in Central and Western Nebraska. Goodwill serves over 1,600 people every year. Donation centers/retail stores are located in Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lexington, North Platte and Scottsbluff. Service office locations are located in Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lexington, North Platte and McCook.

For questions please contact Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc. at (308) 384-7896.

Press Release for SPARK Funds

The Cheyenne County COVID Recovery Assistance Program is taking applications from businesses, non-profits organizations, government entities and individuals in Cheyenne County that have been affected by COVID. This program has been made possible through Phase 1 SPARK (Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas) Funding from the CARES Act and the Cheyenne County Commissioners.

In July, Cheyenne County was granted $526,610.00 through the SPARK Funding Program. The county commissioners appointed a Task Force and hired Cathy Domsch to facilitate the process. Task Force Members include: Ryan Murray, Emergency Management; Leslie Beims, County Attorney; Scott Houtman, County Clerk; and Kelley Milliken, Recovery Coordinator. Applications were accepted from major county stakeholders and submitted to the State for approval in August.
Those included were:
1) Cheylin – USD #103
2) St. Francis Community Schools – USD #297
3) City of St. Francis
4) Bird City Housing Authority
5) Cheyenne County Hospital/Clinics
6) Cheyenne County Village

Through this process, Cheyenne County SPARK Task Force and County Commissioners along with both the Bird City City Council and St. Francis City Council felt it imperative to set aside dollars to assist our local business community, non-profits, smaller government entities and individuals, so $85,827.07 was earmarked to create the Cheyenne County COVID Recovery Assistance Program. A separate steering committee consisting of Darci Shields, Teryn Carmichael, Carla Lampe, Tom Smull and Helen Dobbs has
been established to review and process the applications for this program.

Eligibility for this program is as follows:


Small Businesses: <50 employees
In operation in Cheyenne County on March 15, 2020
Negative impacts from COVID
Business must still be in operation
Eligible up to $10,000 (100% forgiven grant)

Non-Profits: In operation in Cheyenne County on March 15, 2020 Does not have to be a 501(c)3, but does need to be registered and in Good Standing with the Kansas Secretary of State
Negative impacts of COVID (non-profit must still be in operation)
Eligible up to $10,000 (100% forgiven grant)

Local Government Entities must meet 3 criteria for funding:

  1. COVID related expenses (reimbursements) March 1 – Aug 31, 2020
  2. COVID related expense not already budgeted for
  3. COVID related expense that has not already been covered by other
    funding source
    Eligible up to $5,000 for reimbursements and/or applications will be
    accepted for future expenses for overall public health of Cheyenne
    County, amount determined upon available funds (100% forgiven grant)

Individuals: Resident of Cheyenne County on March 15, 2020
Able to show two (2) forms of proof of residency and loss of employment
(or need) as of
March 15, 2020
Current annual income at or below $75,000 (or 300% the Federal Poverty
Level)
Categories of designated relief:
● Rent/Mortgage Assistance
● Utility Assistance
● Emergency Food/Prescription Assistance
● Healthcare/Childcare Assistance
Eligible up to $1000 (100% forgiven grant) Small Businesses

To apply for the Cheyenne County Recovery Assistance Program, contact Kelley Milliken at recoverycncoks@gmail.com or 303.358.9112. Applications are due by October 20, 2020. For more information on the Kansas COVID-19 Response and Recovery, see https://covid.ks.gov/

For more information on the Cheyenne County SPARK Funding and Recovery Assistance Program,
contact Kelley Milliken at 303.358.9112 or email to recoverycncoks@gmail.com.

CDBG-CV Grant Funds Available for Businesses

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are an important tool in supporting small Kansas communities. Now, as communities come together in their response to COVID-19, additional CDBG resources are being made available through the CDBG-CV program.

The City of St. Francis was awarded $173,600 in CDBG-CV funds.  Of this amount, $123,600 is designated for Economic Development.  Businesses interested in receiving CDBG-CV funds should contact the City Clerk’s office to obtain an application packet. 

The deadline for submitting applications to City Clerk Lila Whitmore is September 30 at 5PM. 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

CDBG-CV Economic Development grants provide communities with funding to help local businesses retain jobs for low-to-moderate income people.

Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a CDBG-CV Economic Development grant, the recipient business must be a for-profit business and retaining jobs for low to moderate-income people. 51% or more of the full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs retained must be for persons from low to moderate-income households as defined by HUD.

CDBG-CV Economic Development grants can be used to pay for the following expenses:

  • Working capital such as wages, utilities, rent, etc.
  • The purchase of 60 days’ worth of inventory needed to reopen (60 days will begin on the day the business is allowed to reopen).

Award Amounts

  • Businesses with five or fewer employees (including the owner) are eligible to receive up to $25,000 per FTE job in CDBG-CV Economic Development grant funding (with a maximum of $30,000 per company).
  • Businesses with between six and 50 employees are eligible to receive up to $35,000 for each FTE job in CDBG-CV Economic Development grant funding (with a maximum of $50,000 per company).

The City Council’s goal is to award grants to all eligible businesses who submit an application.  The actual amount awarded to each business will be determined after the applications are reviewed. 

Justine Benoit with Northwest Kansas Planning & Development Corporation is the Grant Administrator for these funds.  She will review applications received to determine eligibility.  

Questions?  Please contact City Clerk Lila Whitmore at 332-3142.

Governor Laura Kelly Announces Second Round of CARES Act Funding Applications to Open August 19 at 12:00 p.m.

For Immediate Release:
August 13, 2020

Contact:        
Lauren Fitzgerald, Press Secretary  Lauren.fitzgerald@ks.gov

Governor Laura Kelly announces second round of CARES Act funding applications to open August 19 at 12:00 p.m.

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly has announced businesses will soon be able to apply for a total of more than $130 million in grants to serve those most affected by the pandemic and for companies that can expand broadband access in the state.

Information on SPARK economic development and connectivity grant programs can now be found online at kansascommerce.gov/covidrelief. Grant applications will be accepted beginning at 12:00 p.m. Wed., Aug. 19, 2020.

“These funds will both provide necessary immediate relief to businesses and contribute to a more strategic, competitive Kansas economy in the future,” said Governor Kelly. “I want to thank the SPARK Taskforce for recommending these strategic investments and the State Finance Council for approving the use of these funds.”

In addition to providing financial relief, grants will be available to businesses whose products and services will be needed in greater volume to help combat the virus and its effects. Funding is also being made available to expand broadband access both through infrastructure improvements and by partnerships with internet service providers to serve low-income households. These grants are funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the federal CARES Act.

This pandemic has affected each sector differently, with industries having very different needs from one another. With this in mind, applications for grants are being made available in the following categories:

• Small Business Working Capital Grants
Kansas businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to apply for Small Business Working Capital grants. Funds can be used to pay working capital expenses such as payroll, rent, mortgage insurance, utilities, inventory and more. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.


• Securing Local Food Systems Grants
The Securing Local Food Systems grant program was created to support Kansas meat processing facilities, food processors, grocers and food banks to address food for human consumption supply chain disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

• PPE Procurement Grants
The PPE Procurement grant program will award businesses funds for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), implementation of workplace redesigns, additional signage, new technology solutions for distance working and other items to comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines on safely returning employees to work.


• PPE Manufacturing Grants
PPE Manufacturing grants will provide funding to manufacturers to reimburse certain costs to manufacture critically needed PPE. The grant funding will assist entities with creating new business while contributing to the fight against the current COVID-19 public health emergency.


• COVID-19 Bioscience Product Development Acceleration Grants
Kansas has a strong pipeline of bioscience related companies developing SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic, therapeutic and medical counter measures. This grant program will accelerate commercialization and go-to-market strategies, allowing these Kansas companies to quickly deploy novel technology by optimizing value and reducing risk through informed decision making.

• Connectivity Emergency Response Grants
The Connectivity Emergency Response Grant (CERG) was created to address the increased need for connectivity in Kansas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposed projects should improve connectivity to unserved and underserved areas of Kansas to address the needs of telework, telehealth, distance learning and other remote business services.


• Broadband Partnership Adoption Grants
The Broadband Partnership Adoption Grant will provide support for low-income households by partnering with ISPs to leverage their existing adoption infrastructure and assure connectivity to as many Kansans as possible.

• IT, Cybersecurity & IT Project Management Certification Training Grants
To mitigate the job losses in Kansas as a result of COVID-19, the Kansas Department of Commerce is seeking a rapid response training program that will provide training, certificate testing and job placement assistance in the areas of IT, cybersecurity and IT project management.


• Kansas Tech College Advanced Manufacturing Grants
This program will support the needs of the advanced manufacturing industry in Kansas. The program will focus on reskilling/upskilling individuals affected by COVID-19 to meet economic sector needs in high-demand, high-wage occupations.


Details on each category, including award amounts, proposal requirements, eligibility and more can be found at kansascommerce.gov/covidrelief.

Ordinance No. 622

(PUBLISHED IN THE ST. FRANCIS HERALD AND BIRD CITY TIMES ON JUNE 25, 2020)

ORDINANCE NO. 622

AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS, SERIES 2020, OF THE CITY OF ST. FRANCIS, KANSAS; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND COLLECTION OF AN ANNUAL TAX FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON SAID BONDS AS THEY BECOME DUE; AUTHORIZING CERTAIN OTHER DOCUMENTS AND ACTIONS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH; AND MAKING CERTAIN COVENANTS WITH RESPECT THERETO.

            WHEREAS, the City of St. Francis, Kansas (the “City”) is a city of the third class, duly created, organized and existing under the Constitution and laws of the State; and

            WHEREAS, pursuant to the laws of the State of Kansas applicable thereto, by proceedings duly had, the Governing Body of the City (the “Governing Body”) has authorized the following improvements (the “Improvements”) to be made in the City, to-wit:

Project DescriptionRes. No.Authority (K.S.A.)Amount
Street improvements2019-06Article 12, Section 5 of the Kansas Constitution, and Charter Ordinance No. 2018-2 of the City$1,200,000

; and

            WHEREAS, all legal requirements pertaining to the Improvements have been complied with, and the Governing Body now finds and determines that the total cost of the Improvements (including issuance costs of the general obligation bonds) and related expenses are at least $850,000, with all of said cost to be paid by the City at large, to be paid for by the issuance of general obligation bonds; and

            WHEREAS, the Governing Body is authorized by law to issue general obligation bonds of the City to pay costs of the Improvements; and

            WHEREAS, none of such general obligation bonds heretofore authorized have been issued and the City proposes to issue $850,000 of its general obligation bonds, together with any bid premium thereon, to pay costs of the Improvements; and

            WHEREAS, the Governing Body has advertised the sale of the Bonds in accordance with the law and at a meeting held in the City on this date awarded the sale of such Bonds to the best bidder.

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF ST. FRANCIS OF THE CITY OF ST. FRANCIS, KANSAS, AS FOLLOWS:

            Section 1.         Definitions of Words and Terms.  In addition to words and terms defined elsewhere herein, the following words and terms in this Ordinance shall have the meanings hereinafter set forth.  Unless the context shall otherwise indicate, words importing the singular number shall include the plural and vice versa, and words importing persons shall include firms, associations and corporations, including public bodies, as well as natural persons.

            “Act” means the Constitution and statutes of the State including K.S.A. 10-101 to 10-125, inclusive, K.S.A. 10-620 et seq., Article 12, Section 5 of the Kansas Constitution, and Charter Ordinance No. 2018-2 of the City, all as amended and supplemented from time to time.

            “Bond and Interest Fund” means the Bond and Interest Fund of the City for its general obligation bonds.

            “Bond Resolution” means the resolution to be adopted by the Governing Body prescribing the terms and details of the Bonds and making covenants with respect thereto.

            “Bonds” means the City’s General Obligation Bonds, Series 2020, dated July 16, 2020, authorized by this Ordinance.

            “City” means the City of St. Francis, Kansas.

            “Clerk” means the duly appointed and acting Clerk of the City or, in the Clerk’s absence, the duly appointed Deputy, Assistant or Acting Clerk.

            “Governing Body” means the Governing Body of the City.

            “Mayor” means the duly elected and acting Mayor of the City or, in the Mayor’s absence, the duly appointed and/or elected Vice Mayor or Acting Mayor of the City.

            “Ordinance” means this Ordinance authorizing the issuance of the Bonds.

            “State” means the State of Kansas.

            “Substitute Improvements” means the substitute or additional improvements of the City authorized in the manner set forth in the Bond Resolution.

            Section 2.         Authorization of the Bonds.  There shall be issued and hereby are authorized and directed to be issued the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2020, of the City in the principal amount of $850,000, for the purpose of providing funds to:  (a) pay costs of the Improvements; and (b) pay costs of issuance of the Bonds.

            Section 3.         Security for the Bonds.  The Bonds shall be general obligations of the City payable as to both principal and interest from ad valorem taxes which may be levied without limitation as to rate or amount upon all the taxable tangible property, real and personal, within the territorial limits of the City.  The full faith, credit and resources of the City are hereby irrevocably pledged for the prompt payment of the principal of and interest on the Bonds as the same become due. 

            Section 4.         Terms, Details and Conditions of the Bonds.  The Bonds shall be dated and bear interest, shall mature and be payable at such times, shall be in such forms, shall be subject to redemption and payment prior to the maturity thereof, and shall be issued and delivered in the manner prescribed and subject to the provisions, covenants and agreements set forth in the Bond Resolution hereafter adopted by the Governing Body.

            Section 5.         Levy and Collection of Annual Tax.  The Governing Body shall annually make provision for the payment of principal of, premium, if any, and interest on the Bonds as the same become due by levying and collecting the necessary taxes upon all of the taxable tangible property within the City in the manner provided by law.

            The taxes above referred to shall be extended upon the tax rolls in each of the several years, respectively, and shall be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as the general ad valorem taxes of the City are levied and collected, shall be used solely for the payment of the principal of and interest on the Bonds as and when the same become due and the fees and expenses of the paying agent for the Bonds.  The proceeds derived from said taxes shall be deposited in the Bond and Interest Fund.

            If at any time said taxes are not collected in time to pay the principal of or interest on the Bonds when due, the City Treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to pay said principal or interest out of the general funds of the City and to reimburse said general funds for money so expended when said taxes are collected.

            Section 6.         Further Authority.  The Mayor, Clerk and other City officials are hereby further authorized and directed to execute any and all documents and take such actions as they may deem necessary or advisable in order to carry out and perform the purposes of the Ordinance, and to make alterations, changes or additions in the foregoing agreements, statements, instruments and other documents herein approved, authorized and confirmed which they may approve, and the execution or taking of such action shall be conclusive evidence of such necessity or advisability.

            Section 7.         Governing Law.  This Ordinance and the Bonds shall be governed exclusively by and construed in accordance with the applicable laws of the State.

            Section 8.         Effective Date.  This Ordinance shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage by the Governing Body, approval by the Mayor and publication of the Ordinance or a summary thereof in the official City newspaper.

[BALANCE OF THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]

            PASSED by the Governing Body on June 22, 2020 and APPROVED AND SIGNED by the Mayor.

(SEAL)                                                                                                                                               

Mayor

ATTEST:

Clerk

[BALANCE OF THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]

City to Apply For Grant Funding to Help Local Businesses

The Kansas Department of Commerce has recently announced Community Development Block Grant funding being made available to cities to address COVID-19 related issues.  

The CDBG funds are targeting two areas:

Economic Development – CDBG-CV Economic Development grants provide communities with funding to help local businesses retain jobs for low-to-moderate income people.

Meals Programs – CDBG-CV Meal Program grants are intended to provide Kansas cities and counties with funds to supplement various programs that provide access to nutritious foods during the COVID-19 crisis.

The City of St. Francis will be applying for this funding. We are asking local businesses who are interested in this grant opportunity to complete and return the attached questionnaire.  This questionnaire will help the City gauge interest and determine eligibility for the funding that is being made available.

The grant funds will be awarded to cities on a first come first serve basis and we are working diligently to complete the application process quickly.  For this reason we request businesses respond as soon as possible, and no later than May 27.

For any questions please contact City Clerk Lila Whitmore at 332-3142.

More information regarding the grants can be found here:

http://www.kansascommerce.gov/cdbg-cv

Temporary Process for Recreational Vehicle Permits

Currently the Sheriff’s Department is not performing VIN inspections, and along with this Recreational Vehicle Permits are not being issued.   During this time, in order to register your recreational vehicle, please contact City Hall at 332-3142.  We will ask that you provide proof of insurance and pay the $10 permit fee.   You will be given a receipt which you can carry with you as proof of registration payment.  Once the Sheriff’s office resumes VIN inspections you will be able to take the payment receipt to them to complete the permit process and obtain the necessary tag.

As a reminder, golf carts cannot be operated on U.S. Highway 36 or Washington Street. ATVs may not be operated on U.S. Highway 36, the access road or Washington Street.    A valid driver’s license is required for operation of any special purpose vehicle. 

Please reference City Code Chapter 14 Article 7 “ATV, Work Site Utility Vehicles, Golf Carts and Micro Utility Trucks”

https://stfranciskansas.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/CHAPTER_14_TRAFFIC.pdf