Stafford County Economic Development Awarded SEED Grant

Stafford County Economic Development has been awarded a $49,125 SEED grant from the Kansas Dept. of Commerce to help fund the following 3 projects in the categories of libraries and food retail:

  • Macksville City Library Carpet & Storm Door Upgrade
    The Macksville City Library was once a one-room schoolhouse/church and currently serves Macksville and the surrounding area. After 11+ years of fundraising, an addition has finally been added to the building which includes restrooms and a storm shelter! More funding is needed to improve the building and fill the space. The existing carpet in the original building is in need of replacement as it shows stains and many years of wear. The SEED grant funding will be used to purchase and install carpet and a storm door for the building as well as purchase entry mats, chairs, and books for the space. This will enable the library to recarpet the original building so that it will match the carpet in the new addition and install a new storm door that will stay open and stay closed without snagging patrons as they pass through. The current entry mats are tattered and to be replaced and new mats are needed for the doorways on the new addition. The City Council voted to approve a 10% match if the Library project is awarded funding.
  • Main Street Market & Deli Updates
    The grocery store in Stafford changed ownership this year and was rebranded Main Street Market & Deli. A number of improvements are being made including the recent deli renovation and expansion. The SEED grant funding would be used to upgrade lighting and purchase a new refrigeration unit among other things.
  • Nora E. Larabee Library Windows & Interior Foyer System
    The Nora E. Larabee Memorial Library was built in 1905 and currently serves the community of Stafford and surrounding areas. A number of interior improvements have been completed in the last five years. The Library is using an architect’s and structural engineer’s report as a guide to restoring all the necessary areas of the building– and the project list is long. There are many projects that are needing attention to revitalize and bring the building back to its full usefulness and public safety. Currently, the Library is using raised contributions and Heritage Trust Fund Grant monies for foundation and exterior front door repair, electrical upgrades, and roof repair. Restoration is expensive and additional funds will need to be raised. The current priority is to preserve the windows and fully restore the interior foyer. The SEED grant funding would be used to restore all four double-hung windows, the interior foyer system, and one beveled glass surround on the east side of the building.

About the grant program

The purpose of Strategic Economic Expansion and Development (SEED) grants is to support the economic revitalization of Kansas communities under 5,000 population through investments in quality-of-life initiatives. The funded projects are required to provide a minimum 10-percent match as well as be completed within 12 months. Projects must fit within the following categories:

  • Childcare and senior programming – projects that support or enhance these services, such as building improvements, educational materials, supplies and equipment
  • Community vibrancy – projects that refresh, re-energize and unlock the attractiveness of rural communities, such as art installations, murals and signage
  • Food retail – projects that support access to food retail establishments, including development, renovation and/or expansion
  • Libraries – projects that support providing free and open access to a broad range of materials and services, including reading material, technology, furniture and building improvements

SEED grants are funded under the Technology-Enabled Fiduciary Financial Institutions Development and Expansion Act (KS Stat § 9-2324 [2021]), which was enacted in 2021 to promote and facilitate the development and growth of trust banks in Kansas; regulate fiduciary financial activities and custodial services and Kansas; and to locate trust bank office space in economic growth zones in rural Kansas.

You can find the official Kansas Department of Commerce press release here.