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Director’s Highlights June


Finished out May. Attended the Memorial Service and laid a wreath for MCP4G.


Attended the Commissioner’s Meeting on the 31st in reference to the passing of the Infill Housing Revitalization Program


June – Continued work on the setup of the Lake Idlewild bids and grant prep. Talking with grant administration and how to get 3 bids on the trail.


Took pictures and processed pictures from others of the Riverside Market and Mustang Motors for the Grocery Summit Presentation. Got presentation ready.


Turned in Presentation Slides through Dropbox for the National Rural Grocery Summit that Jan Bergkamp and I are presenting at on the 21st. Prepared a backup.


Set up meeting (3x due to cancellations) for developer to come to county. Visited with Randy Speaker, the Commerce Housing Specialist again about our county and housing.


Met with the KC housing developer and showed him a downtown property, the Watertower Place, and Keystone Addition, along with Frankfort’s shovel ready property with the Moderate Income Housing (MIH) infrastructure already in. Met with mayor of Frankfort and president of the Care Home to discuss options about that property.


Worked with and researched grants for a new business in the healthcare field.


Attended the 2022 VAD Academy, Vacant and Dilapidated Webinar, on housing on the 15th for ideas on how to work with our county on this issue. Free and put on by the Center for Community Progress.


Worked on the website improvement page with research items to be ready to meet with group who is willing to help with graphics on the 17th.


20th and 21st - Attended the Wichita National Rural Grocery Summit and was a speaker on the breakout workshop on New Models in Grocery Stores/Success Stories.


Plan to meet with Angie Armstrong on the Smart Towns Initiative that Blue Valley is doing (23rd).


Went to the Commissioner’s meeting on the 27th to update on the Downtown Redevelopment Act and progress with the Infill Housing Revitalization Program.


Director’s Highlights May 2022

Finished out the last couple of days of April -

  • Attended RSVP open house for the retirement of Joni Spellmeier. She was good at sending over grants she found that may work for us. 

  • Worked on Lake Idlewild details - Waterville

  • Contract details - Marysville

  • Worked on Daycare for Marysville

  • *Wrote Commerce that last SHOVL incentive was not helpful to rural, and that got me a call from the KS Commerce Housing Specialist and the Lt. Governor to see how they could help.

May 2 - Attended Summerfield’s Council Meeting - Introduced the housing Initiative and explained new infill housing Neighborhood Revitalization Program.  

May 3 - May 5 - *From my email a few days before, Randy Speaker, Housing Specialist came to visit the county.  I set up a tour in Frankfort at the MIH site by FCCH, and in Blue Rapids for all the infill, and in Marysville for a couple of sites.  He said he is going to work on getting us some developers. 

May 9 - Attended the Frankfort Council Meeting and introduced the Housing Initiative and talked about the new infill housing Neighborhood Revitalization Program.  I explained the MIH site and developer interest.  

May 10 - Talked with a concerned citizen about the lack of independent senior housing.   

May 11 - Met with 3rd commissioner over lunch.  Two Partnership members joined me.  We had a really constructive conversation about the new NRP we would like to see passed. 

Talked with a housing production company on their costs of a small footprint house.  

16th - Had our meeting with the commissioners about the new NRP.  It went well, but the main concern was the additional work for the staff.  Later, I talked with the chair and suggested ARPA money be used to hire for that.  She liked that idea and said she would suggest it. 

May 17 - Attended the KS Housing Webinar to hear explanations of the money coming in for housing this year.   

Worked on the property contract.

May 18 -  Attended the Blue Rapids Council Meeting to explain the Housing Initiatives, the new NRP and the new money coming for housing.  The theme for cities is to get ready.  

May 19 and 20 - Helped a Frankfort teacher with census info for a school grant, and worked with a man starting his own business in the county.  

May 20 - Answered questions for Axtell on the new NRP and Housing Initiatives.  

May 23 - Working on Downtown Redevelopment Act reports - Frankfort and Blue Rapids.

May 26 - Will attend the NCRPC meeting because the new President asked me to address the board re: my concern that we with all the new gov housing funding, NCRPC will be inundated with new housing grant requests without having the capacity to handle them.  How can we move money from the budget to hire subcontractors or remote workers?

Director’s Highlights, April 2022


Finished out March - 24th – 31st.


I worked on the contract with Meghan Voracek re: the Business Park Sale.


Researched an Energy Grant for use with the Housing Effort REEP/Will not work


Updated the website


Talked with another local daycare manager about a local building.


Worked with Frankfort Community Care Home to confirm MIH restrictions on housing property.


Set up Grocery Summit acceptance to speak at conference.


Talked with trail planner for the Lake Idlewild project


Went to the NCRPC Board meeting in Beloit.


April 1 – 27


Worked with Waterville on Foundation research for the trail grant


Visited with Tom Parker about documenting the housing effort with OTB. 


Continued contract work Re: Business Park


Started an article for the Advocate and Frankfort Area News on the Housing Policy and Incentives effort. Set up with Blue Valley Telecommunications to help us document the OTB build.


Worked with Summerfield on a project to get their State ARPA monies.


Attended the Business Award Luncheon for Landoll recognition in Manhattan.  MCP4G nominated Landoll and they won the Regional Award for most Innovative company.  They will be in competition at the State level in Topeka next month. 


Attended the Waterville Council Meeting and explained housing effort across county. We also reported on our work with the Lake re: my work with the team to figure out the bore and measurements to start getting an estimate.


Met with Austin St. John and Jason Barnes to get their buy-in for the Housing Effort. They are encouraged by it and wanted to attend the next meeting with the commissioners on the NRP exclusively for housing.


I started the 990-EZ for our taxes. This is quite a process.


Had several conversations regarding Blue Rapids readiness for the first OTB project.


Spoke with the state’s rep for the NRP and how to set up a new one for housing.


Wrote and submitted newspaper articles about the Landoll Regional Innovation Business Award.


7:00 am. Executive council meeting. We discussed a MCP4G contract with several changes which I wrote up and submitted to the attorney. We worked on the new housing NRP that we want to submit to the commissioners that would be an Infill Housing Revitalizaton Program to spur county housing.  I will submit the development of the proposal at the Board Meeting on the 27th.

Director’s Highlights March 2022


I finished out February’s month with helping the remaining entry with the Base Grant application.


The HEAL downtown grant was now done, and I just found out that Amy Shum in Marysville did receive the grant that I helped her with and this includes renovating 2 apartments above her new floral shop. She was the only local business to receive the HEAL.


I attended the NCRPC board meeting over Zoom Feb. 24.


I met with some new members to discuss the idea of promoting a strategic housing plan that would spur housing county-wide, and how to promote it and get buy-in.


I met with an individual from Waterville that desires to build affordable housing. He believes a cost share for a demo situation would go a long way in cleaning up the lots to prepare them for housing.


I attended a Rural Housing Incentive District and a Landbank webinar this month.


Discussed the legal process for selling some property with a local member realtor.  He advised we use the county former attorney. I got a quote from them and moved forward.  


I attended the Commissioner’s Meeting on March 14th for the signing of the Cost Share Grant to receive the funding. I again advocated for using local contractors for the project road, and they agreed to do that.


Wrote a newspaper article on our new Board and future projects were mentioned with housing and daycare.


Finished document for unified incentives and policies that can spur county housing. Included is the start of affordable housing hopefully originating in Blue Rapids or another member city. 


Attended the Annual Chamber Meeting and the Legislative Meeting at Landoll Lanes on Saturday the 19th. I publicly thanked Moser and Bowers for the support letters to the Cost Share Grant and let them know we received the Marysville/county grant.


Met with Army Corps Engineer and the Waterville team working on the Lake Idlewild project on March 21 to figure out the best/cheapest way to drain the lake.


I researched using the Energy Grant from USDA for the OTB housing as an incentive.


Will attend a meeting with Mayor Zayas of Blue Rapids on March 22 regarding the County-wide Housing Initiative and a briefing of his visit to see the OTB housing.


Landoll will be receiving an award from the Dept of Commerce which I nominated them for earlier in the year.


Plan to attend the webinar for Housing from the Census on the 22nd which could be helpful for the Housing Needs Assessment for the RHID.


Board Meeting Wed. the 23rd.


I plan to attend the NCRPC Board Meeting on the 31st. They are still hiring a new director.

Director’s Highlights January 2022


  • I resubmitted a request to Evergy for a membership fee. This is a new online system and much more intensive. The last try didn’t go through.


  • Talked with another resident in Axtell about the grocery store going out of business there. They needed ideas on grants and a restart.


  • Marysville is applying for a grant to do the 7th Street Corridor and asked for other grants to help with the match the city must apply. I spent a day researching grant ideas and was able to give them about 6 good options.


  • The Rural Grocery Summit is this Spring and asked for presenters who had experience in grocery start up. I filled out the form that may include the store manager and myself in being part of the presentation of a workshop for those wanting to find creative ways to add a rural store to their area. This would give our Eco Devo organization some great exposure.


  • I worked with a Frankfort resident on grants for their Downtown building restoration.


  • Worked with an out-of-state housing investor on plans for this Spring to bring new housing to Marshall County.


  • Set up city council appointments for Feb. and started educating mayors on the Rural Housing Incentive District idea.


  • Provided another grant idea for the Alcove Springs Historical Trust project.


  • Worked with a family who want to start a new business in Blue Rapids.


  • Worked with Childcare Aware KS re: starting a daycare in Marysville and one in Summerfield. Setting up a day an agent can look over the buildings that could be used.


  • Visited with two different people about the revolving loan fund and that it may go quickly.


  • Attended the Summerfield Open House for those who helped the former school get revitalized. They have made some good progress with their 2 employees. Both just recovered from covid.

       They want to start a daycare in the building. The Border Restaurant has a new manager and things              are going well!

Director’s Highlights and Year-End Growth Summary  December 2021 

As it is the end of the year, I was going through some Jan. 2016 items, which is when I was hired six years ago.  It was encouraging to see the financial progress we have made since then.  

Budget Growth At the end of 2015, our Proposed budget was under 20k.  $19,501 to be exact.  Our expenses were budgeted at $17,538.  At the close of 2021, our 2022 budget is $84,987.  Our expenses look to be about $77,889.  Our budget/capacity has grown 4x or by $65,486 in 6 years. 

In county support we went from $5,000 a year to 50,000 a year.  This next year, we have $55,000 a year.  We also have the residual 20k in the budget item line the commissioners are willing to use for economic development.  Last year, this extra eco devo budget was approved for the new 0% Revolving Business Loan of 25k.  We won a Covid grant for $15k to boost it to 40k.  We got our first 10k loan given out in 2021.   This is a great new tool for the county.  

Membership Growth - Our membership dues in 2015 were $18,690.  Our dues are not all in yet this year, but are budgeted at $25,225 based on last year.  That’s a membership growth of $6,535.   Grants have grown much more.  As of last year we had $10,500 mostly from Evergy and Guise-Weber.  In 2015, grants were not being utilized. 

Grant Growth:  This has been a steady growth the past 3 years.  We won the tax credit of $300,000 for Transition Plus in 2019.  We won over $400k in grants in 2020 during the covid reimbursements.  The covid grants were different this year so I didn’t have to do so much grant writing, but I concentrated on the Cost Share especially.  Grants we won this year included: 

  • $300 for Transition Plus from Casey’s Foundation,

  • $25,000 “Play Space” Grant from the Topeka Children’s Discovery Center.  

  • $7,000 from Evergy for the Economic Impact Study on our Business Parks  

  • $3,000 from Guise-Weber for the Impact Study,  

  • $25k grant to Blue Rapids for Business Tech Assistance

  • $13,300 for assistance for the Pony Express Barn to receive to make up for tourism losses during the pandemic. 

  • $408,262   Cost Share Grant for Marysville 11th Terrace Build 

Total for this year: $481,862.00 added value to county

Other highlights to note in 2021:  

  • Verizon has committed to a communications tower in Frankfort and building is commencing when they can get a contractor in.  (Worth $250k to area)

  • Major Housing Study in Blue Rapids is finished (the Housing Assessment Tool or HAT) which I managed and contributed to.  They can now apply for a housing grant in 2022.

  • I finished out 3 years of helping with Transition Plus.  They have hired 2 new employees and are building the outdoor greenhouse with the tax credits MCP4G helped them achieve for business startup capacity.   

  • I wrote multiple support letters for grants around the county, some of which were awarded, but not counted as part of the county value.  

Other things I finished up this month:

  • We had an early Board meeting in Nov. so on the 18th I did a KNDY interview that aired on their stations, on the 22nd we had the first set up of the Pop-Up store.   Decorated the front window and talked through issues with the vendors and they set up a lot in anticipation of Saturday’s opening. 

  • Worked on FB posts to promote the store with Kate Tommer/Chamber&Main Street.  We hung our banners for P4G and the Chamber in the store.  I was there Sat a.m. to help open the store.  The day went well with good traffic!  

  • I met with a local business man and an investor to discuss housing work. 


  • Evergy has a new application for membership asks.  I worked on it, but it didn’t go through.  Checking why.  

  • Processed renewal and new memberships as they came in.  New so far: Hall Brothers - Doing a highlight of them in the newsletter.  


  • I did troubleshooting for the Pop-Up Store.  Went well without me having to be there much after the set up. 

  • Worked on Zillow issue with Nic’s help. Researched the FEMA flood plain land.  Since they own the land, they will not resell it back.  Marysville has tried all options to no avail.

  • Provided a grant support letter of nomination for the Alcove Spring Historical Trust’s building for the HEAL grant, Blue Rapids.  


  • Did the December KNDY interview and focused on the Cost Share Win/Jail and Business Park, as well as the Pop-up Store.  

  • Provided technical support on the grant process and a support letter of nomination for the HEAL Grant for the expanding business Farmer and Floral, Marysville. 

  • Attended a key meeting in Beloit regarding the hiring of the NCRPC Interim Director, and the hiring of Next Move Ec. Dev. Group as a headhunter. 


  • Visited with a Japanese company that is interested in growing foreign business into Marshall County or the Northeast region and manufacturing.   

Director’s Highlights – November 2021


  • This is a “short month.” We moved our meeting up a week for Thanksgiving. I attended the NCRPC meeting on the 28th. Then the Board members got notice that Emily Benedick was going to step down to be the Beloit Economic Director. So we needed to meet again on the 10th and get that talked out. It was hard hiring her the first time due to a lack of candidates, so we are trying to open the window wider this time.


  • The Axtell Grocery Store is being sold. The townspeople want to keep it open. I talked with a concerned resident and gave him some ideas.


  • A building owner in Marysville is selling his downtown building. He asked me to come see it. I did, and later that week I gave him a good lead.


  • Worked on a Google Doc for the new pop-up store. It is pretty detailed on how it needs to run. I needed to work on this daily, and talk to people about their involvement. Set up a meet up to have people bring their products in the temporary Christmas sales store on the 22nd.


  • Attended the Chamber/Main Street Retail meeting due to the pop-up store. Worked on and gave Kate Tommer a “swag bag” ad for the Small Business Shopping Day on the 27th to draw people to the pop-up store. I will work on social media to promote the store the week of the 27th and the next 2 weeks.


  • Went to BR for a downtown meeting re: downtown growth on a webinar. An Economic Developer from NE was the hostess and shared their successes. We talked afterward about how things could work in BR.


  • Worked with Summerfield to do the HEAL grant. Worked with owner of blacksmith shop to get the damaged building removed from his site.


  • Marysville Chamber/Main Street and I connected over the HEAL grant and thought of using it for the Health Dept building. However, after going through the fine print and emailing questions, I found out we can’t do it if it is for county usage.  It must be private business. 


  • Found out we won the Fall Cost Share Grant! Notified different people, and answered questions for the newspaper. Sent different info out to requesting parties about the grant.


  • We have received over 6k from membership fees so far, and I process all of that for the bank, and then record it in a hard file, and an electronic file. I update the info on the application if needed, and add new people to the email, Constant Contact and the website. All this takes time. I am excited to see some new people signing up to join MCP4G's vision for the county!

Director’s Highlights, October 2021


  • Worked on a Housing Document that the county can use to spur housing.   The specially called Housing Committee went over it with ideas for improvement.  I also submitted a new program that new home buyers may use to get into housing with no down to Frank Shoemaker to see if Citizens would be willing to sponsor.

  • Worked with Nic to be sure my files were moved to the new computer that was received. 

  • Studied ARPA rules for housing and decided that Marshall Co was not going to be able to access ARPA funds for that. 

  • Atttended the Marysville Chamber and Main Street Retail Meeting for the “Makers” Store I encouraged we set up for the downtown activities and selling of people’s items who create from home.  We will use  an empty store front down town for about a week.   It will have shared hours and rent.

  • After I felt more comfortable with the new computer, I started the membership letter and mailing process.  

  • The job page takes me more time these past weeks as employers are desparate for workers. 

  • I visited with Mayor Zayas in Blue Rapids to show him the housing ideas with the premade fabricated SIPS or Structured Insulated Panels.  We are planning to build a spec house in Blue Rapids. 

  • I visited with the Post Officer manager to understand bulk mailing.  Right now the letter is the cheapest for us, but if we do a whole county mailing, that woud be 1k at a minimum. 

  • The clerk from the Marysvillle Council called and asked me to look into Daycare – a site and a way to do it, for Marysville.  I have worked on that this month too.  United Methodist, which is next to a park, is discussing it with their board. 

  • Did a live interview on KNDY with Jen about P4G’s progress this year. 

  • Met with Ann Walter to discuss the options I presented to Waterville on doing the lake dredging themselves.  I spoke with the Corps of Engineers and they were positive we could tackle the job ourselves.

  • Met with the Ex Board regarding the new budget for 2022.

  • Talked with PEP-C about Daycare.  They plan to do an overnight daycare which would cover the county for 2nd and 3rd shifts.  I talked with the owners of the large building by the Lincoln School that could be used as a daycare.  It has classrooms in it after a renovation by Marysville High School that used it last year.  PIP-C will use now for a 2nd and 3rd shift daycare with a large grant that they won. 

  • I boosted the jobs on FB that were our Silver members. 

  • Transition Plus Board meeting on the 26th. 

  • Our Board Meeting on the 27th in Home City.

  • The NCRPC Board meeting on the 28th. 

Director’s Highlights September 2021


  • Finished up August 30 with a visit to the Commissioner’s office to work on Cost Share Ask.  Introduced them to Sam Perry, the new Commerce Representative and looked with her at the possible Business Awards Luncheon site. 

  • Aug. 31 Transition Plus Board Meeting.  They are preparing to expand their customer base for lettuce sales, and planning the outdoor greenhouse build.  They also have an audit which I recommended that Sink & Gordon do (members).  

  • Sept. 2 Listened to the Cost Share webinar and made some adjustment to the grant. 

  • 3rd – Webinar on downtown crafters using an empty building.  Chamber/Main Street was interested in working with us on this.

  • 8th – Set up next letters of support requests. 

  • Jobs have really picked up the last couple of months and I have done a lot of work on the Jobsite with keeping up with the county’s jobs.  I have tried to put out more paid ads for our 0% loan and jobsite and promote the site.  I have seen a good uptick in FB followers and website visitors. 

  • Resubmitting the Cost Share grant and have received permission to have it at a 40% match now that it has changed for the second round. Revised narrative over this month and am working with CES on their changes and all the support letters.  

  • 16th – Board meeting with NCRPC. 

  • 22nd – Our Board Meeting

  • 23rd – Turn in Cost Share Grant

  • 28th – Transition Plus Board meeting

P4G Director’s Highlights August 2021

  • Fought covid this month.  We needed to cancel the last Board meeting as it hit me on Tues night the 27th, and from there, it’s been less than 3 weeks before the next scheduled Board meeting.
    I did an interview with Sarah for the Progress section of the newspaper the end of July and worked with her on the story.  She is really great to give us a voice and space in the paper!

  • So as an overview, I had an investor for the Frankfort housing build, and started on the MIH grant, but as we went along, I realized they were not as responsive as necessary and so probably not serious.  After sharing my concern with a Frankfort Board member, I finally got word this investor was not going to purchase the property.  I am seeing if there is any other interest as the price of $150k for that land is a great price.   It will be really too bad if I cannot submit a grant for the land to get housing on it this year. 

  • I worked to answer the clerk’s and commissioner’s questions on the Downtown Redevelopment Act.  It has a rebate on taxes, and since it’s new, and didn’t fit in existing programs, it was a hump for the office to figure out how to do. They were questioning keeping it.  I had the documentation needed, and with the clerk visiting with the Treasurer, they have a way forward.  I will make a couple of changes they requested on the application and how we look at the rebate. 

  • Nominations for Dept of Commerce were requested, so in an effort to help with their marketing and appreciation for their work in the county, I nominated Landoll Corp as a 2021 Innovative Company. I also submitted for the Appreciation Dinner to be in Marshall County.

  • The Cost Share Grant has just opened here at the end of the month, so I am working to resubmit.  I will need more support letters this time around, and I hope the commissioners will improve their match. 

Director’s Highlights  July 2021

  • We did lose the investor for the FCCH property build, and then gained another group interested in buying the lots.  Began working with this new group and the FCCH Board to determine structures of agreements and the grant situation. 

  • Advised someone interested in a business for Marysville.

  • Attended the city council meeting for Beattie.  Advised them on the ARP funding for Beattie and how to apply.  We also discussed the Hwy 99 Truck Route and decided on the county road by Smitty’s, 26th Rd., I believe, as a good alternative for the route, rather than straight south through private property. 

  • Wrote KDOT regarding the 99 Truck Route.

  • Sent requested grant and resource material to the Beattie board and Twin Valley regarding ADA sidewalks, etc.

  • Set up the HIAC or Housing Assessment Tool Administrators meeting with the city of Blue Rapids and the CDBG grant administrators.

  • Sent a list of grant ideas for the Marysville sound system for the Downtown area.

  • Set up a new vendor/customer for the Better Produce lettuce at the C’esta La Vive. 

  • Advised a new business wanting to start up in Marysville on what was available in resources. 

  • Sent Commissioners my research on what we can spend the ARP money on, that will benefit our county through economic development.

  • Attended the Frankfort City Council meeting.  Talked about our Business Park Impact Study, which they were very interested in.  Talked about the FCCH grant, which they agreed to be the pass through for.  I also gave a lot of grant and resource ideas to the group working on the restoration of the ballfield and buildings there, including the dugout.

  • Shared the HCC Tiny Home with several people who may want to bid on it in the county.

  • Connected with a developer who does world-wide affordable housing.  He will send me information.

  • Advised a third person who wants to start a business but this time in Waterville.  Researched grants in his area of ag for grants.

  • Advised a fourth person this month (a record!) who wants to start a business in Waterville.

  • Attended the Frankfort Community Care Home Board meeting to work on next steps for the property.

  • Commissioner’s meeting regarding the Rural Truck Route 99 on the 26th.  Several others who are personally affected by the route hope to join the discussion.  (I had to cancel due to quarantine, but it went on and Rose Meybrunn shared Sheriff accident reports and history of the 1939 road now with increased large equipment traffic.

  • Transition Plus Board Meeting – 27th.  Online. 

Director’s Highlights   June 2021

  • I attended a local Board Meeting in which we discussed attracting a housing developer I have been working with since February, and what steps needed to be taken to prepare for the visit.  Those items were followed up on, and I met with the members of the board and the developer that weekend.  I spent lunch and a planning meeting with the developer.  They liked the property and the people and went back home moving the project forward.  The next weeks I did a lot of planning with the developer on how the housing may be developed in an affordable way especially due to the high prices from the pandemic shortages.

  • Met June 1st with the Commissioners and visited about work in county and the idea of moving 99 straight south from Summerfield to Hwy 36 to avoid the unsafe hair pin turns on the road presently there. It’s a 2-mile stretch.  Will be working with the state to understand how to develop or not develop this idea.  Also visited with Rob Olmstead from Beattie about the idea and he suggested it be a truck route and keep 99 the state highway so that Beattie doesn’t lose the business.

  • I researched how the stimulus funding may be used.  Beattie is needing money for their water tower, and Marysville will use for their lagoon issue.  I am hoping the money will be thought through before earmarking because there are grants that could cover some of that to make it go further.

  • I did some extra work on the Blue Rapids Housing Assessment Tool project, and then we got it turned in to the state.

  • Was told we did not get the Cost Share Grant request but could reapply.   I talked with the administrator and the number of applications was the issue.   She gave me any other recommendations she could. 

  • I set up a member to use the LOIS system to promote his farmland for available property for industry.

  • Made sure all the cities received information on their government allocation from the stimulus plan. 

  • Worked with Summerfield on a housing project idea.

  • On the 22nd had an Executive Session meeting with the board on the opportunity to update our Budget with the Commissioners.  Decided on how much to request and what it would be used for.  Went on the 28 to request an increase in budget for grant writing, benefit development, office equipment, and mileage. 

  • Turned in a 10k grant for Summerfield’s project since it was able to be updated and reapplied for. 

  • Attended the Business After Hours event at the Old Courthouse that honored investor Don Landoll for his contribution of innovation and business to the city.  A new timeline of his work and growth of the business is in the basement. 

  • On the 28th, I shared the fantastic news from MarksNelson Impact Study with the Marysville city council.  It detailed how the first business park put in by the city 20 years ago has well returned Marysville's investment of around 600k through taxes and how the indirect benefits from 18.5 jobs at the 4 businesses, has multiplied into 1 million dollars a year in the local economy!  That will only continue into the future.  I did apply that idea to the future business park we are hoping to get infrastructure to, as a way to continue that type of economic development that will fund the future.
    I also applied it to the downtown area and encouraged that the new open space that will happen due to demo, should be considered for new business.  Only businesses will bring back that kind of money to the downtown.  I suggested a contest that would attract the best business to that site and the land would be given for free to the winner to develop.   They can use the simple model used by Mayor Edwards to start the first industrial park as a way to define their contest. 

  • Transition Plus board meeting was on the 29th.   No NCRPC meeting this month. 

Director’s Highlights May 2021

  • This month was a “housing learning” month.  Everyone is interested in getting started but the supply chain issue has made it difficult.    I have been in conversations with Blue Rapids, Frankfort and Summerfield all needing housing, but the solutions are not easy.

  • Set up a zoom call and attended with Nic and Rob to visit about the Impact Study with MarksNelson and make sure it was complete and we understood it. 

  • Attended the Housing Solutions Summit with the allowed limited free pass.  This was over several days.

  • Visited with a member about his available property and how it might work on the LOIS site as a next available business property. 

  • The first interested investor decided not to go with the Frankfort site due to the cost of the land and the covid supply chain price increases. 

  • I worked with another group over a couple of weeks and had them set up with to talk with the Home’s Board, but they backed out to stay in Marysville.  Then the Home offered a better land price to the first investor and so I am back working with them.  I will be meeting with the Community Care Home on the 27th for their Board meeting about rewriting the MIH grant for the land/sale.  

  • Worked on a 10k grant for Summerfield Transition Plus.  I should turn it in this week. 

  • Summerfield is working on housing and called and asked for help.  

  • I had a 3 hour meeting with the Frankfort Foundation to discuss grants for the school project.  They want to work with their city council to promote housing as well.   We will meet with the city council to bring up things the group wants to work on for their city over the next year.  

Director’s Highlights April 2021

Finished out March

  • 30th – Attended webinar on the Shuttered Venue Grant opening in April.   This grant was taken over by a capable member of the Pony Express Museum right before opening. 

  • 31- Advised a couple from south of the county on starting up a new business.

  •  April 5 -9 The first week I was really focused on communicating with the commissioners (in and out of the public meeting), and grant supporters and getting our property in order for determining sale and/or expansion, and figuring out last details on the Cost Share Grant ask for the road build up to the new jail site and our site.  Due on the 9th.

  • Had a meeting with EPA on BR opportunity for a free business study (TBA) for the downtown.

  • Met with Sam Perry with Dept of Commerce, new to job and wanting to get to know county.

  • Visited with a local who wants to start up a business in Marysville.


  • April 12-16 – The annual Downtown Redevelopment Act is due in April so I communicated with participants and worked to get those in by the 28th this month.

  • Paid state taxes to Sec of State.

  • Started on 990-EZ taxes - different this year with increase to our support, due within month.

  • Worked with mayor on Frankfort Verizon Tower Issues

  • Submitted a Technical Business Assistance Request to EPA on behalf of Blue Rapids. 

  • Worked on Housing Assessment for Blue Rapids.

  • Worked on who would accept the Sponsor of the Year Award for Transition Plus, and attended ½ hour ceremony later in the week.


  • April 19 – 23   Commissioner’s Meeting re: 99 and 36 Grant and NHA/30x30 Issue.

  • Frankfort and Blue Rapids DRA Reports turned in.

  • 990-EZ - finished this labor intensive effort!  Glad for help from Frank Shoemaker and Melinda at Kickhaefer's tax office!!!

  • CV-3 Webinar  

  • Advised a (different) local who wants to start up a business in Marysville.


  • April 26-30   Commissioners meeting – Re: NHA and 30x30 and update on grants for state.  Wrote a press release for Advocate, Frankfort Area News and KNDY on the new grants available and on our site.

  • TPlus Board Meeting, and finish up of HAT, due this week.

  • Advised a third person this month who wants to do a business in Marysville.  Record for one month!

  • Waterville, MCP4G Board Meeting. 

Director’ Highlights  March 2021

  • I am spending most of my time between 3 projects this month:  The Cost Share Program for a road build to the jail and our Business Park Project, the Housing Assessment Tool for Blue Rapids, necessary for the upcoming housing/grant project, and the Economic Impact Study for our Business Park.  Phil Osborne and I are working with MarksNelson to prepare the latter.

  • March 1 – Visited with the Commissioners about the USDA Loan for 2.25% loan rate for the jail build as an option outside of a bond issue.  The administrator Austin Masters was in the area and joined me and the commissioners were favorable to the idea and took his contact information.  They mentioned they were interested in any grant funding for infrastructure that I may find.

  • March 8th - I had looked up what may be able for jail infrastructure and found the Cost Share Program that would build the road not only to the jail but to our business park acreage. I was able to start it, and the county was open to a local company as a local vendor doing the estimate within the confines of the city ordinances for roads.

  • March 12 – Attended a webinar on the Cost Share Program.

  • March 15  I explained the new developments on the Cost Share Grant to the commissioners and that I visited with the city administrator about it.  County Counsel advised the commissioners to talk with the city to be sure they would maintain the road in the future, and I offered him the grant to see if Keith Bramhall should legally sign it.

  • I had an Executive Committee Lunch with our Board to discuss the Cost Share Program road to the business park and the new businesses that are interested in the business park site.  

  • Worked with Frankfort on an issue involving housing.

  • Met with a business person thinking of developing some housing in Marysville.

  • 18th – Met with Marysville's city administrator for a zoom meeting with the Topeka Discovery Play project.  It is developing well with an idea to integrate our project with existing squirrels on city property. 

  • 19th – Went with some Blue Rapids stakeholders to see housing at Highland Community  College which could be a possibility for workforce housing.

  • Worked with Mayor Zayas on some free opportunities for Blue Rapids from the work we did with the Brownfields project.

  • Checked on status of Entrepreneurial Education in Marysville High School. 

  • 22nd – Attended Marysville’s council meeting.

  • 23rd – Call with Commissioner regarding upcoming grant.

  • 23rd – Transition Plus Board Meeting (in conflict with NCRPC Board Meeting this month, so not attending.  However, I needed to give a defense of and proxy vote on an important situation.)

  • 24th – MCP4G Board Meeting.  Paula Landoll reported on the JA eco devo program she has helped develop for the elementary grades.  We are wanting to be sure entrepreneurship is being covered in the public school.

  • Advised a couple from south of the county on starting up a new business.  

  • 30th – Webinar on the Shuttered Venue Grant opening in April.   This grant was taken over by a capable member of the Pony Express Museum.  

Director’s Highlights February 2021

  • Verizon Project is deciding on a site!  It started about a year ago when I asked the Frankfort Council how I could help.  What did their community need?   A cell phone tower was the answer.  For 10 years, it has been subpar.  It took a lot of calls and requests on my part, but they finally responded and with the help of Mayor Brian Smith, a site has been located and will go forward!

  • Another great thing is the acceptance and support from Evergy for the Business Park Economic Impact Study.   They are doing 7k, Guise-Weber and Helvering 2,500k, and us $500.   It can start when I sign for it and the check comes. 

  • I talked with Washburn University with their Business side and found out some more ideas for business growth.  

  • A long-term investor asked for our help with the Convention and Tourism situation to bring that group together with the Pony Express Barn to ease staffing issues and improve the museum outcomes.  I attended a key meeting with the groups and found that there may be the Shuttered Venues grant they can apply for.  I am presently pursuing that for the Pony Express Barn.  I also wrote a support letter to the city council about the 2 groups joining together and why I supported that.  After I attended the council meeting, I was glad I did that as there were some strongly dissenting voices, but it was still able to pass.

  • I spent 2 days on the Leadership class sponsored by NCRPC.  I got some good teaching and inspiration, and an issue I was dealing with became clearer.  Sarah Kessinger invited me to write about Leadership for the paper, and so I took that opportunity for the 25th’s publication.

  • Marysville's city administrator and I were able to get the Discovery Center's grant site recommendations to the Administrators by the 5th as requested. 

  • I am continuing to work on the Marysville workforce needs.  I’ve passed on multiple ideas and new contacts to the HR department.

  • The Shop Local Marshall County pages are going well with paying to boost them as a way to support businesses that will use the page.  I am pleased it is not dying after Christmas, and is growing in numbers.

  • I am keeping up the Downtown Redevelopment Act as there is some issues to keep in the requirements. 

  • Worked 2 groups looking for office space. 

  • Attended a webinar on USDA Rural Development, and how businesses can compete online with Save.yourtown, I hope to use in newsletters.

  • Worked with Mayor Zayas on upcoming council meeting and preparing for a HAT study in Blue Rapids for a Housing Grant.

  • New situation in Summerfield for some new housing is developing. 

  • KS has been suffering pandemic grant fraud and we are no different.  I dealt with having my name and SS # stolen for fraudulent unemployment benefits.  The state has finally corrected the charges against us in taxes. 

  • Had the Transition Plus Board Meeting and worked on several issues for them this month.

  • Attended and presented at the Blue Rapids Council Meeting.  They are going forward with the HAT and I am leading that application for them.  A Preapplication for the housing grant will be next.

  • I continue to work with Waterville on the Lake Idlewild project.

  • Attended the Blue Rapids bond meeting re: the moving of the Elementary Schools to the HS property and building there with a new gym.  I formed an opinion I shared, and then stepped out.  

  • Was asked to provide a letter of support for the Habitat for state property tax abatement.

  • NCRPC Board Meeting and MCP4G Board Meeting the last week of the month.  

Director’s Highlights  January 2021

  • Wrote a Casey’s Foundation grant for Transition Plus and was awarded shortly afterward  $300.00 to continue to work on insulation and painting the classroom used for reunions.

  • Discussed Tiny Container House with Highland’s Construction Class as an option for workforce housing. 

  • Economic Impact Study – had phone calls with 3 different groups.  MarksNelson that works with Evergy, Laurie Piper with KU Policy and Social Research, and Pat Oslund with recommendation of the IMPLAN software (  KU – you pay by the hour, or you buy implan for 1 year for 2k and do your own.  It is complicated software and you will need help from Customer Service.  There is one implan situation that uses a consultant and pays by the hour.  Will be making a choice with the Board on who will get the contract. 

  • Attended the Waterville City Council to thank them for membership and see what CBDG grant they may want to pursue this year. 

  • Attended the Blue Rapids City Council to thank and update, and encourage them to follow through with the housing/demo CDBG grant for the Brownfields buildings and town’s housing.  Will bring them info on a housing opportunity next meeting.

  • Attended Commissioner’s meeting to thank and update them.  Covid grants are all closed out. 

  • Took Minutes for the Transition Plus Board Meeting.  Encouraging them to have a basic yearly budget in order to spend the tax credit donations well.  We were able to assign them ALL!!!

  • Agreed to write a letter of support for the Frankfort Foundation that is restoring the former school in Frankfort.

  • Landoll's asked me to work with them on a key workforce project.  I am partnering with their HR person and their logistics guy to develop more workforce opportunities.

  • Attended a Webinar for economic developers with a Q and A involving housing and other questions. 

  • Council meeting with Marysville on the 25th.  Will thank and update them on the 2020 year and let them know what I’m working on for them next.  Discovery Play Space and the workforce project. 

  • I worked this month with a person interested in buying Marysville business property.  Pitched our new loan.

  • P4G board meeting the 27, and NCRPC’s on the 28th. 

Director's Highlights Nov/Dec 2020
  • The first two weeks were spent working on our membership drive. Lots of letter writing and mailings!
  • Worked on Tax Credit assignments to banks and accountants.  Had call with Verizon and they said they will build the tower in Frankfort.  Waiting on a call with the land agent. 
  • Set up projects for the new AmeriCorps Team with Blue Rapids and the Frankfort School district.
  • Did a webinar with the Jon Schallert business guru.  Will use him in next newsletter in December.
  • Worked with VP Angie Armstrong on what to do to support local shopping this holiday season.  We worked with Michelle Whitesell to use a FB page that had 650 followers already.   Updated it and made it into Shop Local Holiday Specials.  Learned how to boost it.
  • Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • Did a press release on the FB page for Shop Local Holiday Specials.
  • We are starting to get membership application checks in and that takes time to record, collect checks, add to newsletter lists, update addresses/emails, and thank people. 
  • I am also working hard to see these Summerfield tax credits assigned.  I got 4 more for $47,000, and the Transition Plus President Smith got about $17,000 and all that takes time to record, scan and document for the state.  We still have about $54k left. 
  • We had our last NCRPC meeting where I chaired.  They asked if I would stay on, but I declined per our board’s recommendation due to my workload.
  • Handled AmeriCorps details to get them to their service project at RSVP to cook for Meals on Wheels.  Coordinated pictures for the Advocate. 
  • Listened to manufacturing webinar and sent it to various manufacturers in the county as well.
  • Worked with someone wanting to start a new business in the county.
  • Visited with someone interested in our business park property.  Sent them map concept and followed up on it.
  • Worked with a family that is moving to Frankfort to find jobs.  The wife found one through our jobsite!  I sent husband other leads in his field. 
  • Worked with someone selling business property. 
  • Monitored the new FB page with the Local Sales.
  • Was on an Evergy webinar for Economic Developers.  Learned what they offer us to help development. 
  • Transition Plus Board Meeting on the 15th and ours the 4th Wed. of the month.

Director’s Highlights October 2020


  • Attended the visit from Lynn Rogers Lieutenant Gov of KS at the High School in Marysville.  In the Innovation Room we discussed recent matters including the economic development of the state.  Housing came up and he said he would advocate my suggestion for better support of those who will renovate older housing in our rural communities.   Found out that BR and BVT won the Connectivity Grant that I helped write a support letter for.  Great news!

  • Wrote the press releases on the SPARK grant.  Did a radio spot with KNDY.   Did a report on the CDBG-CV report, and updated website with SPARK info.  and jobs. Worked on Tax Credit emails to people/banks/accounting firms. 

  • Transition Plus business and talked with Kate Cost with Veterans Ascend

  •   Set up for NCRPC to have their 6 month Director Evaluation. 

  • Set up for the employees at NCRPC to also evaluate the Director anonymously.  

  • Worked on report for Marysville Council.  Talked with the Kanas Children’s Discovery Center in Topeka.  They would like to have us be a recipient of a children’s play grant I advocated for Marysville.

  • Signed about 60 NCRPC Homeland Security Forms for NCRPC that transfers safety and security equipment to the counties.  

  • Turned in a Helvering Trust Request for MCP4G for $2,500 on the business property economic impact study for engineer costs.

Gave report to Marysville City Council.

1.  Announced 15k Evergy Grant and Revolving Loan for Marysville use

2.  Submitted TDI Grant for Economic Impact Study for our business park property

3. Able to identify and prepare 5 people for the Marysville CDBG grant so that prep work was minimal for city.

4. Explained our role in administering the SPARK grant for the county and if I can share to Marysville so that the city is well represented. 

5. Shared new idea with Discovery Center wanting to do a rural grant for children’s play and wanted our commitment to work with them.   The council voted to let me pursue this opportunity.

  • Prepared Americorps details for new team with policies, signatures and updated workplans, etc.  Coming Oct. 29 with a new team of 8-9 to work in Summerfield.   

  •  Tabulated NCRPC Director Evaluations for a Zoom Meeting on Tues. the 20th.   Advised someone on their grant application.

  •  Verizon called and moving ahead with the Frankfort tower!  Great news after a long wait. 

  • KS Children’s Discovery Center wanted a support letter to pursue the grant, which I gave them.

  • Wrote up press releases for this next week for the SPARK Grant. Talked with Board member from the Frankfort Community Care Home about tax credits and a grant that could help with the repairs of the Home.   Sent a tax credit letter to a local business person.  Advised two people on their grant application.

  • Put up the Veterans Ascend link on our website with some explanation. Did a lot of advising on the SPARK grant with people. 

  • Zoom meeting with NCRPC.  Chair meeting and results of evaluation.  Made recommendations.

  • Board meeting in Waterville at Community Center.

  • Conference call with new Americorps Team Leader for Summerfield's project.

Director’s Highlights Sept. 2020

  •  I continued to give support to a new start up business planned for Marysville. 

  • I spoke to the Waterville, Blue Rapids Rotary for Frank Popejoy.  It was well-attended and Frank was given a lot of positive feedback about all that is happening in the county and our part in that.

  • I worked with someone on a start-up business for Frankfort.  Worked on a Frankfort Grant with the CDBG-CV.

  • I worked on set up of Americorps Team to Waterville and Marysville.  Marysville did not work out. 

  • Gave BR and Frankfort flyers to hang for their DTown Revitalization Act.

  •  Worked with Davanie to get Chamber information and county information to her for attracting the Tension CA employees who are getting laid off, to Marshall County.

  •  Met at Courthouse with Bill Swindaminn and others about the development of application for the County Spark Grant.   I presented what I developed, and they gave me further suggestions.  I gave it o Bill for the state’s approval on the 24th of Sept.

  • Worked on CDBG grants.  Also warned all that we need to get in, and set a final date.  This led to 2 more cities getting their things in for a total of 5 grantees through the county.  

  • Had a webinar over the EDA grant with NCRPC.  Titan is thrilled to have gotten one of the grants!  2 others from Marshall County applied due to our influence too. 

  • Doing a lot of Grant work this month for covid.  Call with Imagene Harris regarding county area funding. 

  • Commissioner’s Meeting.  Updated them on county grants to private businesses in executive session, and then asked them if I could leverage grant funds to do an economic analysis/site certification study on the business park property.  They were open to it, so I will move forward.

  • Worked to get banking duties I did for Transition Plus moved to Summerfield under the Sunderlands.  I did a lot of work updating the website.

  • Americorps application was due for a new team for Summerfield today, and I worked on it over the 3 days before and submitted on time.  They offered us a team in Nov/Dec which would be huge again.  The last team was outstanding and accomplished more than hoped!

  • Wrote a support letter for Luke Mahin Republican Co for our participation in the National Heritage Area designation which would bring more tourism and money into our area.

  • Wrote a support letter for the SPARK broadband grant between Blue Rapids and Blue Valley Technologies, which they later won!   How exciting to see that project go forward after so many years!

  • Zoom meeting Executive Session over Public Relations matters with the NCRPC Board.


  • Worked with a new lady moving into town on a job she can apply for.  She was thrilled we gave her individual attention and had a jobsite. 

  • Spent most the day trying to get a Frankfort CBDG grant ready for the clerk by the 24th deadline

  • Finished 5th and last CDBG grant and turned it in!  5 made it in with requests that covered 131k of the grant, with only about 1k left over!  

  • I presided at the NCRPC Board Meeting. 

  • 25th -   Turned in a short grant request for a leadership offer from NCRPC, inspired by the now retired Doug McKinney.  Turned in a TDI grant request for the economic impact analysis for the business park

  • Commissioners meeting.  Signing for wind farm.   My update if there is time.

  • Transition Plus Board Meeting.  Summerfield visit for housing situation.

  • P4G Board Meeting, Home City.

Director’s Highlights   August  2020


  • After our last Board Meeting July 22, I updated the city of Marysville with our activities that benefited the city, especially the businesses that applied for the CV CDBG state grant.  I turned in the first application to Sandy Wilson at the county’s office for payment. 


  • I wrote a request for funds for Waterville through the Guise-Weber Foundation for their Lake Idlewild restoration project.


  • I submitted the Evergy Grant for the county in order to add money to the new Revolving Loan program.  On the 27th, I reported the status to the commissioners on the CV Grant, and reported to the Marysville Council at the 7:00 meeting. We later found out we are going to be awarded $15,000 for this effort!


  • On the 28th, I worked with Rich Anderson of Waterville on how he can apply for the playground mulch waste tire grant.  Working on applications all day.


  • On the 29th, I worked with SAVE Farm for them to provide a support letter for a grant Transition Plus is applying for.


  • On Aug 3-14, I had a lot of correspondence with the AmeriCorps group.  I finalized them working with Summerfield, Blue Rapids and Waterville.  As they are here and working, I have gotten excellent reports from all with what a positive, energetic and helpful group they are.  I tried, but was not able to get them into a project for Marysville, but will try for next year.  Meanwhile, P4G has gotten thanks for sharing them with our partners. 


  • On the 5th of August, I attended the public forum for the Wind Farm.


  • One the 7th, I worked with the Chamber to deliver brochures to Landoll to share with new or prospective employees since out of state people are applying to work here.  

  • Worked with the Transition Plus Vista Volunteer to get a website up and with content.


  • On the 12th, I found out Evergy awarded our Revolving Loan another $15,000.   I sent in the required documents after accepting.   I also was notified about the new Dept of Commerce Grant and used every media I could (including press releases) to get the news out that any business could apply if they lost 25% or more in revenue.  Took time to update our site and have the information there too.


  • The week of the 17th, I visited with Evergy on getting our business park property online on the state’s LOIS link, and talked with their partner about how to certify it and get the economic impact information on it.   Worked on the site to re-establish our site on the LOIS website.  This is an extensive process.


  • On the 19th and 20th, I worked with someone who wants to start up a new business.  I also sent out a letter to the local banks re: Transition Plus Tax Credits availability for this year.


  • On the 20th Blue Valley Technologies  asked if we would give them a letter of support RE: Providing Blue Rapids upgraded broadband.   I wrote them a letter including the economic impact it would have on the area. 


  • On the 25th, I participated in the Transition Plus Board meeting.  There is a Housing Conference online on the 26, and I may try to attend some of it. 


  • The 27th is the NCRPC Board meeting in Beloit.  As the Chair, I have been part of the executive committee and working to help with inner administrative affairs.  

Director’s Highlights July 2020

  • After our last Board Meeting June 24th, I got the 0% Revolving Loan up on the MCP4G website.  I’ve had interest in it from a couple of people so far.   


  • On June 29th, I updated the commissioners on the CBDG we are administering.  They okayed me applying for the grant through Evergy for more 0% Loan money.


  • I met on the first of July in Summerfield with the Friar and Sister who have a retreat there with about 15 young Catholic friars and sisters.  They hope to raise funds to buy the Good Shepherd home for a recovery center.  They would bring a national clientele to the area. 

  • Americorps was requesting Transition Plus reapply for Oct. due to Covid issues, but suddenly changed course when a team came free and offered it to us in Aug from the 7th to the 25th of September.  I was still required to resubmit many pages of updated forms, including covid precautions.  We had a phone conference meeting on the 16th as with the move up in schedule, the group is coming in just over 2 weeks.  They will send a team of 11 with a group that will do a lot of updating of the building and the grounds.  


  • On the 6th, I reported to commissioners on the CDBG-CV Grant.  I spent the next 2 weeks still working with businesses to see if they are eligible for the grant.  I started out with 14 candidates, and ended up with 12.  There was a lot of data to get from each and I had to certify not only the business but all their employees.  It ended up being a 3 week process in all.  Some people needed a lot of help, and there were lots of questions to the process.   I split the businesses up between 12 applicants by the commissioners into categories hardest hit, and with the most employees.  The Community Block Grant was set up to give more money to those who employ more people. They  turned in requested data such as profit/loss during the mandatory shut down months and gross adjusted revenue of their business in order to prove need. 


  • I provided a summary of 12 eligible business applications to the commissioners that showed the number of employees, amounts of received funding, present need, and request for funding amounts.   Two businesses were discussed to receive $19,000 based on need and employee base.  The next group of four businesses with the most employees and covid-related losses were marked for grants ranging between $12,000 and $15,000. There were 6 businesses with sole proprietors, and they were all marked for a $7,000 grant.  These amounts are subject to the administrators of the grant at the state level as they determine final disbursements and validity of the tax information.  The businesses were located in Marysville, Frankfort, Blue Rapids and Waterville. 


  • The next step for MCP4G to take is to submit the financial data to the Sandy Wilson, County Clerk, for the request of funds.  These will be handled in the order that the applicants turned in financial information.


  • Other highlights this month included work for Transition Plus to ready help for Vista Volunteers to do website, Face Book, LinkedIn, etc., and hire a year’s help.  I helped with the board meeting and a Zoom conversation with the Vista volunteers. 


  • I helped set up a local grower to sell in a local grocery store. 

JUNE - 2020 Marshall County WINS CDBG-Covid Block Grant.

Marshall County Partnership 4 Growth is PROACTIVE. When we heard there was a new Community Development Block Grant, we not only applied on behalf of the county, but encouraged our larger towns to apply as well. Marysville, Blue Rapids and Frankfort did as well. If any town would win an award, they would be able to spend the money on their town. When the county wins the award, it can go to any area that did not win an award.


The great news is the COUNTY WON THE AWARD! Well, not quite the $300k we applied for -- because so many applied, they halved the money -- but we GOT IN, which is amazing. We can certainly use $132,000 for our businesses to retain and strengthen them! The towns may hopefully qualify later when they open a second round.


This was a very competitive grant with 105 applicants and was based on when it was received, (which was based on when you could publish for a hearing and then wait for the hearing to take place), so it was important that we try to get in line as soon as possible. The time deadline caused me some sleepness nights, and the race to get a good application in is always stressful, so getting awarded is a beautiful thing! Marshall County P4G thanks all the businesses that called in to share their situation with us. That helped us with an eligibility survey and to qualify 23 businesses in the County.


That 3-day survey showed that the county has an eligibility need for about $820 thousand dollars. That strong show of need was a plus in our favor, as well as beating other applicants to the end of the money pool. As it is, from what the administrators said, I understand that the commissioners will be allowed to split up the awarded funds as would help the most businesses that qualify with low to moderate income employees. MCP4G will be administering the grant for the county. We will start that verification process with the businesses and inform the commissioners as to their status as the county is awarded the money in the next weeks to come.

Director's Highlights

  • What a month! So much accomplished and so much left to do!  The highlights were the rush to get the CDBG-CV grant approved by the commissioners the first week of June, inform our towns they could also apply, get the public hearing announcement in, do a 3 day county survey of eligible businesses, write it myself, and then meet the deadline in hopes of being one of the first to apply. We did it!  


  • It was exciting to find out we were awarded. Unfortunately, only the county got in at the 132k amount, and our towns did not get in at all, but there may be a second granting and so a second chance. I continue to hear there will be a second round.


  • Meanwhile I was working on the Marshall County Stronger Grant Award, and getting that up online with an application.  We did match it with another 1k from NextEra, so I accepted a number of requests for awards that were decided upon at the Board meeting.


  • The third important item was led by Frank Shoemaker and assisted by myself to get the permission of the Commissioners for a 25k Revolving Loan Fund at 0% interest the first year, 5% the second.  They voted to fund it this week, and our meeting will request final approval for the application to be placed on our website next week.


  • A large consideration this month is the NextEra Wind Farm issues as protests have motivated mayor Brian

Smith in Frankfort to try to limit the number of turbines within a 3 mile radius of the city’s limits. They have retained an attorney to help in these matters. 


  • Meanwhile, I’ve taken some time out to work with NCRPC matters. As Board Chair, I am being called on to lead in some internal matters that affect our 12-county region. I also had over 100 forms to sign for Home Land Security property transfers that built up over the covid separation.


  • I did a radio spot with KNDY on the grant, and our jobsite, and I did Face Book and newspaper press releases on the block grant and how people can apply.The past couple of weeks I have been trying to learn how to administer this grant for the $132k to the county, send in the signed documents, update the players involved as to what is expected of us, and meet the new deadlines. 


  • I put the Dept of Commerce application for the businesses on our site, and now am accepting them and tracking the eligibility requirements.  I expect this grant to take several months to work through. The commissioners are allowing until July 10 for applications at which time they will be evaluated.  

May 2020 Director's Highlights

  • I finished out April still working to keep the public updated on the latest with Covid info and stimulus plans per our website and Face Book page. 

  • I did a second interview with KNDY on the latest helps we had available and they ran that for the next week. 

  • I did the yearly tax filing for the Secretary of State ($40.00 fee) and the N990.

  • I visited the Transition Plus site at the school and saw the school upgrades and made suggestions for the cleaning room for ease of working with the plants. The next rooms (Art and Band) are being prepared for towers. They are hoping to double production in the next few weeks. We are still in need of volunteers. They want to rent out the empty classrooms for controlled air storage. 

  • I was working on a Food Grant for Summerfield’s project when the CDBG-Covid county grant came out on May 11, so I left that one to Gary Smith, and asked the commissioners if they wanted me to pursue the CDBG-CV. They had to call an urgent meeting and place it on Face Book, but it was key to the timing of the grant submission. With a yes from the commissioners, and the regional commission being overwhelmed by the number that wanted to apply, they thought I should go ahead and write it.  I worked on that non-stop and conducted a 3-day survey of businesses. I had good participation from all over the county, and talked to scores of businesses. I also shared findings with Marysville in order for them to speed their application. Blue Rapids had done a lot of their own survey through their mayor. Frankfort and Blue Rapids applied through NCRPC for their towns and so had help there.

  • There were Hearing Notices to prepare, and affidavits of the hearing publication, and about 9 documents to upload for this grant. 4 were dependent on the commissioners, so I met with them on the 27th for the final signings, so I could upload them afterward. The other documents verified our survey.

  • I am glad I worked personally to write this grant because it has given me a much better grasp of how the county is faring and which businesses need help. The survey was huge in this process. This will also be useful for our Marshall County Stronger Grant.

  • Waterville wants to make their small lake area into a park again. I talked with several sources on how to do that. Provided info to their council.

  • Met Zoom on the 15th with the Executive Committee to figure out how to start up the donation/gift we were given as a County Grant Fund. Decided to call it Marshall County Stronger. Set some parameters and was given insight on how to make a web page. Set that up the next few days to get it going.  Wrote our members first and requested they donate. Wrote the Wind farm groups in Marshall County and requested too.  Put a press release in the paper about it and Face Book ad and promoted it for a week at $15.00.

  • Did a Zoom meeting with Transition Plus to meet a Vista volunteers we are hiring this year for the summer for $400.00.  Another one is just a volunteer.  Still hoping to get a full-time Vista.

  • Transition Plus Board Meeting on the 19th.

  • Had another Executive council Meeting with P4G on the 22nd regarding new revolving loan that Frank Shoemaker our Treasurer with Citizen's Bank, is setting up for the Board to approve this Board meeting and get feedback and approval from the Commissioners on the 1st of June. 

  • On the 28th, participated in the NCRPC Zoom Board Meeting. Patty Clark, Deputy Secretary with the Department of Commerce was the guest presenter.

  • Promoted our Business Property to an interested party.

  • Wrote press releases regarding the CDBG-CV grant and the new Marshall County Stronger Fund.

Director's Highlights April 2020

  • After MCP4G was tasked with being a business information hub, there was a lot of time working on the updating of the government programs, loans and grants as they came out. The roll out was rough, so the information released was often choppy. It was key that our county applied quickly before the money ran out. The key was disseminating to the right people, and talking to businesses that called and needed answers. I made many, many personal phone calls, starting with our smallest towns and covering the county's businesses, visiting with restaurants and motels first, as they are the most vulnerable. Those mayors and clerks who were able to help me get the word out had the best results. Team efforts are key in a situation like this!

  • Others ways MCP4G reached out to the public were through newspaper members, the Advocate and the Frankfort Area News. We paid for Face Book Ads to alert people of aid, new grants, and their opening dates. I also sent out email blasts, besides making phone calls.

  • Our information website was visited by 1,130 visits the past 4 weeks. According to our analytics, our boosted FB posts reached almost 3,000 people per time and had lots of interest and shares.  

  • The KS Main Street Survey cited to our members shows that the greatest need businesses had during the Covid-19 issues was getting access to the needed information. I feel like we met a great need for the businesses in having the site updated daily with this key financial, business, and community help. 

  • I was able to see that many accessed info on the 5k grant the Chamber of Commerce offered Kansans as well. This went quickly (a couple of days,) but I think we were one of the first to get the word out. I know this grant was applied for in Marysville.

  • I feel like the majority of our businesses are doing okay because they responded right away. They were able to get the government loans and access the Payroll Protection or Unemployment. Our banks and tax accountants did a great job working with the public.

  • Those that applied for the HIRE program got money immediately. Other money has come much slower. As the Main Street Survey showed, the remainder result of that slow money is to be seen -- can we open soon enough in the next couple of weeks so that the businesses don't fail?

  • There was a small group of businesses that we could not help in Marysville as some people are not US citizens and could not apply for any help for their business. Those businesses closed pretty quickly.

  • The NCCC Americorp contract for a group of 9-11 young people to come in April/May to help with the Transition Plus project, is still on! The dates will look different, but we are working out how the new plan will look.

  • I had 3 Board Meetings online this month, and we managed the "Zoom Etiquette" which can take some getting used to! I spent extra time working on NCRPC business and Transition Plus planning.

  • I spoke to the director of the Marysville Food Pantry, Helping Hands, on several conversations and emailed her on how to access information on state monies. 

  • I also visited with her on providing our excess produce to the food pantry from Better Produce, the Transition Plus project sponsored by the Partnership in Summerfield. The project has started to sell 2 types of lettuce to our local independent grocery stores in the county. Fresh produce is harder to get for food banks, and we want our most vulnerable families to get fresh food as well. Helping Hands, Marysville was the first one to get donated fresh produce this week! 

  • I had several conversations with with Dr. Kurt Olson, the new eye doctor taking over Stan Nelson's business downtown. He was interested in downtown incentives so that he can renovate his building. We worked on the Downtown Redevelopment Act, but due to being unable to communicate for a month, that was hard to set up at this time. I directed him to the NRP, and the Main Street Loan Program. We welcome him to Marysville Downtown!

  • I sent our major manufacturers and Marysville businesses that are still working, as well as our hospital, information from Roger Marshall's office on how to obtain more Personal Protective Equipment if they were still lacking, as I heard they might be. When I learned that even orders that are already made will take 4-6 weeks to get here, I asked the women in town that are making masks if they were willing to provide sewn masks for local businesses here, and they were. They are providing for Frankfort Care Home first. Thank you, Advocate for letting us know about them, and thanks to sewing team for their willingness to help others!

Director's Highlights March 2020

  • Before the announcement of an official pandemic, (is this how we will define our lives in the future?!) I attended Summerfield's Council Meeting to discuss the demo project, and update them on the Transition Plus school renovation.

  • I accepted the NCCC Americorp contract for a group of 9-11 young people to come in April/May to help with the Transition Plus project. We had a workplan approved and the housing was set up. That has since been delayed.

  • I attended a Commissioner's Meeting and updated them on a grant.

  • I attended Frankfort's Council Meeting and we discussed Wind Farm issues and future grants for the city.

  • I attended Blue Rapids Community Action meeting with the mayor and PRIDE committee, and was able to follow up on some important situations they discussed.

  • I met with member Ann Walter who is working on some grants for the Waterville community.

  • I met with a couple who are working toward a grant to help with local housing.

  • After the pandemic announcemennt, MCP4G was tagged by Bill Schwindamann of the Emergency Management in Marshall County to be the organization who will make sure our local businesses stay in business. We met (as the last in-person meeting now for a long time) with many of the county's mayors and Commissioner Keith Bramhall to discuss the situation. I presented a plan to the group which the Executive Committee came up with on how we could reach the businesses and public with the needed information. A large communication key will be the mayors and city clerks who help me to identify at risk businesses and who will help pass information on. Since then, all my meetings, from the NCRPC to Board meetings with Transition Plus and MCP4G have been online. All others were cancelled.

  • I work hard daily to keep the site with the latest information in the ever changing news cycle on the government stimulus. I have fielded a lot of questions on the info, and guided businesses every day on how they can stay afloat.

  • The Board has okayed advertising dollars to get the news out to the public through Face Book, newspaper, radio and Blue Valley's TV station that there is business help out there and we don't want to let one business in Marshall County fail!

February 2020 Director's Highlights

  • I’ve shared grants through MCP4G's new grant subscription site with the Blue Rapids/Frankfort Police Dept. through Ryan Woodyard at his request, and several library grants to Jerry Zayas for the Blue Rapids efforts. Searched nursing home grants for Frankfort, but there was nothing.


  • I met with Krista Mann and Patrick Caldwell on the Invenergy Wind Route and found they want an office in this area. Put her in touch with two of our members to pursue the idea.


  • Went to the Marysville council meeting about membership and they came in at $2,500, a new Silver Investor.


  • I updated the Advocate with Blue Rapids Brownfield’s progress and that was published as well along with our Board’s new 2020 Leadership, and the article I wrote on Lessons from the Super Bowl. I am so grateful we have such a true "Advocate" for economic development with the local press!


  • I attended and led the NCRPC Board meeting on the 30th of Jan.  Emily Benedick will be the new Director after Doug McKinney retires. Amanda Horn will become the new Administrative Assistant to help with grants, etc.


  • Got Tax Credits Certificates out to Donors for this year's tax deadline.


  • Spoke at the Marysville and Blue Rapids Legions about our Transition Plus Project. 


  • Submitted finalized NCCC grant for a group of Americorp to come to Summerfield this summer to help with renovations of the school.


  • Attended the FCCH Board meeting on Wed. p.m. about the financial crisis the Home is in. Told new President Micah Kee I would help with the marketing committee being set up. Later, a group was formed, and since they are an investor, I said I would set up a new Wix Website for them.  We had 2 meetings since and I got content and a plan for them to move ahead for better marketing/google exposure. Spent time building their site and with their support with pictures and testimonials, it will be neat!

  • Attended Blue Rapids 6:15/7:00 meeting on the Feb 6 with the Mayor Zayas and a possible developer for Blue Rapids from Junction City, and the Brownfields/TAB people, Mettling and Martin to discuss the 7 properties that were assessed. Nothing toxic, but all 6 buildings downtown need Phase 2 to determine if okay for residential on that land or not. 


  • Worked on the P4G website and updated with new investors and 2020 changes.


  • Did Face Book job post for investor Marshall County.


  • Spoke on the 10th at Rotary in Marysville for Ryan Smith. Updated on our projects and Transition Plus progress via Power Point.


  • Zayas and Woodyard are on the Transition Plus Board and worked with their school so that 3 Towers are being bought for the VH School district to use for ag and science. The Transition Plus Board added a sixth member, Dick Brumbaugh from Kansas City as having shared Treasurer duties especially with taxes and future payroll.


  • Worked with Cara Baker at Highland Community College for a Partnership between the College and Transition Plus. The people who come to live and learn at the Summerfield Transition Project can also easily access the HCC Educational Side. Construction Arts and Diesel, Welding and all sorts of Tech can be accessed with the GI bill, and the college has experience with that. It is just 20 min. from Summerfield. We can promote their programs as well.


  • Worked with Katie Sawyer in Roger Marshall’s office to help the FCCH situation.  She gave us some good steps to look into. Met with her at Wagon Wheel as well to discuss county issues for help. 


  • Transition Plus Board Meeting on the 18th. We are going to prioritize getting the water lines tested in the school building next. The State requires water cleaning stations, cold storage and sewage storage for Food Inspection to pass. The sewage seems fine, but the water is not yet turned on due to the weather. Will air test the lines first. 


  • Visited Dan Hargrave at his office to discuss jail build and our property opportunity. 


  • On the 24th, Frank Popejoy, Rob Peschel and I met with the commissioners to formally offer the property to them as a way to move the jail project forward and see that land eventually used as the first in business growth in that area.

January 2020 Director's Highlights

  • NCRPC – As Board Chair right now I’ve been involved with advising on the new hire for the replacement of Doug McKinney. We did an interview with a great prospect, but in the end they did not take the job. It was decided to pursue Emily Benedick and so she was interviewed and passed with flying colors.  I felt very honored that the Board voted me to be Chair to finish out the former Chair's term.


  • I’ve had 2 calls with a SCORE mentor, which is a business mentor with the state to help with marketing ideas for Transition Plus. 


  • I’ve set up to help develop the partnership of Beekeeping with the Manhattan SAVE Farm with the Transition Plus group. Transition Plus would partner for training with SAVE and the veterans can sell their bee products back to SAVE for profit.


  • I've been working a lot with Cindy Lavelle to finish a State Farm grant request for Transition Plus. We are also working on getting an Americorp group here to help set up the towers, paint, and renovate the school. 


  • We are also working on a VISTA volunteer who would help the Transition Plus Chair with Project Development and Admin.  My learning this process can help me apply for a VISTA to help with our county’s grant writing in the future.


  • Met with a local person to discuss ideas of a start up he would like to do. He was really appreciative and felt it was helpful.


  • Attended Rotary as a guest of Alan Feldhausen. The KS Treasury visited and informed the public about unclaimed monies.


  • Talked with KSWorks about workforce training for pay. Currently their grant does not extend to Marshall County.


  • Wrote 5k grant to NCRPC for a Blue Rapids City pass-through for the renovation of the building for the Riverside Market building to be converted to a grocery store. The Commission said it will go most likely go through. (It did and NCRPC gave the grant check to the city for Riverside Market's building upgrade to the grocery store.)


  • Visited with Bruce Mitchell about demo building needs. Called NCRPC and they put me onto Brad Smith with experience to pull something like that down. Bruce also asked me to talk with Commissioners about it.


  • Turned in check to Riverside Market for the signage from the $2,500 Guise Weber grant we requested for them.


  • Attended Blue Rapid’s City Council Meeting and reported on Brownfield’s options and next steps.


  •  With Summerfield's mayoral approval, set up appt. with Brad Smith Construction to estimate the demo of the Summerfield site. Highly insured. 


  • Contacted all investors that had not yet paid their dues. Most responded. 


  • Had a call with Gladys Godinez about attracting the Latino base here to work.  Main obstruction is if we have enough social services covering our schools with the language barrier, medical help and affordable housing. It appears our county is tight in these areas, so it would be hard to promote a minority group here.


  • Attended Waterville City Council to confirm membership, get possible Water and Sewer CDBG started, and confirm 5k to grocery store for plumbing renovation. I set up with Nori the Clerk and Emily at NCRPC to start survey for LMI to see if Waterville can qualify for a CDBG.


  • Met with Brownfields owners in BR, mayor and 2 council members to ask owners what report showed and how they may want to move forward with Phase 2. 


  • Marketed produce food option with Transition Plus to a local pet food manufacturer. They will get back to me.


  • I requested same grant from NCRPC for a VISTA for TPlus to help Gary Smith for a year with Operations. They liked it and granted us, if we can hire one, we ask NCRPC to pay Washburn's program for the administration of that grant.


  • Caught up on press releases:  5k Grant from Waterville to store, and NCRPC 5k Grant to store.  Blue Rapids Brownfields meeting for public and latest developments.


  • The 20th and 21st I was in Summerfield all day. The days entailed planning meetings for the arrival of Americorp volunteers, Tower Farm discussion with an Advisor from Lincoln, and Board meetings. We also gave SAVE Farm representative and CEO a tour of campus, and we had the presentation of the NextEra 6k Grant to Gary Smith of Transition Plus. The majority of this grant will pay for the insurance needed on the building in order to start work in there.