Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer announced on Monday that the reimbursement rate for federal funds in the state’s KLINK program will return to its 90 percent match rather than 75 percent, which is where it has been. This will give local governments an opportunity to use more federal money for local projects by turning that money into the state.
“Governor Colyer and his staff and Secretary Carlson have worked really hard and I think listened exceedingly well to the challenges that cities have with federal funds,” said Erik Sartorius with the League of Kansas Municipalities. “The Governor said it as best it could be said. This helps cut through some red tape. It helps eliminate some of the hoops we jump through and it really allows cities to maximize the funding that comes to them for transportation.”
The federal requirements on local projects can make it difficult to get the best price for them.
“It’s a challenge to utilize those funds,” Sartorius said. “In some instances, I know as we have spoken to our members, it’s almost more of a headache than its worth at times with federal funds, by the time that you account for some of the extra costs and reporting requirements, it is almost more expensive to do the project.”
The voluntary program allows local agencies to use transportation funds with more flexibility, even banking several years worth of funds for larger projects that provide local solutions.
“We are right there on the ground,” said Sartorius. “We hear from farmers, we hear from our businesses. We hear from folks who need roads. Not just our residents, but for the commerce of Kansas, how important it is for us to be able to provide safe passage through the state.”
The change in reimbursement releases $4.5 million in state funds that are now made available for local projects.
Image courtesy KDOT on Twitter