Gov. Laura Kelly announced the creation of the Kansas Infrastructure Hub, which will coordinate Kansas state agencies and local entities as they administer and apply for funding available through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The Hub will identify statewide and regional infrastructure priorities, strategize as to how to maximize investment opportunities, and promote best practices in securing and distributing funding.
Kansas is set to receive close to $3.8 billion in direct funds for transportation, water, energy and broadband projects. It could potentially receive more by applying for competitive grants.
"Infrastructure creates opportunities, powers businesses, keeps us safe and connects people to places and each other. It's the backbone of a healthy economy," Kelly said. "By working to ensure we bring the most money possible to Kansas — and that, once we have it, we distribute it effectively and efficiently — the Kansas Infrastructure Hub will have lasting impacts on our state."
The Hub will be led by Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz. Its core is a state agency subcabinet working group comprised of representatives from the Kansas Departments of Administration, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Environment and Transportation; the Kansas Corporation Commission; and the Kansas Water Office. The working group will first focus on the direct funds going to state agencies and will then work with business leaders to apply for the competitive grants.
The Hub also will have an advisory group made of public and private sector leaders and stakeholders across the state that will help determine funding priorities, identify barriers to distributing funds and communicate the Hub's work to community members.
"BIL is an opportunity to solve long-term Kansas infrastructure issues," Lorenz said. "We can do that by harnessing the power of collaboration between public and private sectors, eliminating red tape and strategically applying for grant funds. Working together, we'll accomplish great things for all Kansans."
The Hub will provide resources and a point of connection for Kansas state and local agencies as they track funds and grant opportunities. It is not a governing body, nor will it distribute funds to individual entities.
For more information, visit KSHUB.org.
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