News

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.

Goodwill Donation Drive

Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska is having a donation drive in St. Francis, Kansas beginning at noon on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 and continuing daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until noon on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 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.

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

Violation of Stay at Home Orders – Information from the Cheyenne County Health Department

Violation of Stay at Home Orders

March 31, 2020

Violations of the statewide Stay at Home order is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $2500 or both.  It can also include up to two years of probation.


Executive Orders executed by the Governor have the force of law. The penalties associated with a violation of said order are found in K.S.A. 48-939. Law Enforcement has the jurisdiction to enforce under K.S.A. 22-2401 and 22-2401(a). 

Executive Order 20-16 under 9(a) states “Law enforcement officers enforcing this order should use their discretion and consider the totality of the circumstances as they determine appropriate enforcement action.”  

As complaints are made, those will be reviewed by the Cheyenne County Sheriff and the Cheyenne County Health Department. 

If a violation is determined, then the appropriate paperwork will be provided to the County Attorney for prosecution. A violation of an Executive Order is a Class A Misdemeanor.

City Declares State of Emergency

PLEASE BE ADVISED, THE MAYOR AND THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ST. FRANCIS, KANSAS, have declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 this 19th day of March, 2020.

BY ORDER OF THE MAYOR AND THE CITY COUNCIL access to City Hall will be restricted immediately and until further notice. All City employees will be expected to report to work as normal and work normal business hours. City Hall will be locked during business hours and anyone who needs to enter the City Office will need to call 785-332-3142. If the business cannot be completed over the phone the citizen will be asked health screening questions. A person must answer “no” to all health screening questions to be admitted to the City Office, and such person must be admitted the same day as answering the screening questions. The doors to City Hall will be locked and the City Clerk will give access to the building if it is necessary.

This is being done in an overabundance of caution to ensure the safety of the citizens and employees of the City of St. Francis.

Utility Payments and Social Distancing

In response to the “social distancing” directives from federal and state authorities that are designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, the City of St. Francis is asking utility customers to use the following services to pay utility bills:

Electronic payments can be made using your credit card, debit card, or checking account by contacting City Hall at 332-3142.   We will be happy to assist you!  

You can also visit our website and initiate an online payment from there:

www.stfranciskansas.com   click on “PAY MY BILL” at the top and then click “Pay My Bill Online”.  This will take you to the Payment Service Network site where you can either create an account or select quick pay.  The Business ID is RT23848.  You will need your account number from your bill.  If the account number is not recognized, try omitting leading zeros.   

At this time the service fees normally associated with online transactions will not be charged to the Customer.  

You can also mail checks to: 
City of St. Francis
PO Box 517
St. Francis, KS 67756
(Please allow sufficient time for payments to be received by the 15th of the month)

Customers can also use the drop box on the West side of City Hall. If paying with case, please put your payment and payment stub in an envelope and write your name and phone number on the outside. Any amount enclosed over the amount due will be applied as a credit to your next bill. If you have any concerns regarding payments in cash, please give us a call.

Thank you for helping us keep our community safe. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call! 332-3142