Business Buzz

Chad Frey
The Kansan

City receives CDBG-CV3 grant apps

The city of Newton has received 30 applications for grant funds to be used to help Newton businesses  affected by the pandemic.

In late July, thecCity was awarded $150,000 as part of the Community Development Block Grant special coronavirus stimulus funding, also known as CDBG-CV3. The applications will now move forward to the City Commission for approval and distribution.

NMC's Schneider awarded scholarship

Jenna Schneider, NMC Health (Newton), was recently named one of 23 scholarship recipients in the 20th Annual Health Care Scholarship Program by Healthworks. Healthworks partnered with the Kansas Hospital Human Resources Association an

Healthworks partnered with the Kansas Hospital Human Resources Association and the Kansas Association of Health Care Executives to provide 23 scholarships totaling $24,800. Each application was considered by the Healthwork’s Scholarship Review Committee according to established criterion.

Schneider was awarded a scholarship in the Undergraduate Nursing category, BSN category. 

Evergy Kansas Metro solar customers will move to two-part rate design

TOPEKA – Residential distributed generation customers served by Evergy Kansas Metro will soon have a new monthly electric rate that does not include a demand charge.

Aug. 24  the Kansas Corporation Commission issued an order that will move distributed generation customers from a three-part rate design to a standard two-part residential rate. In addition, customers will receive refunds within 60 days for any difference in the amounts paid between the two rates. Evergy Kansas Metro provides power to customers previously served by Kansas City Power & Light  prior to the 2018 merger between KCPL and Westar to form Evergy Inc.

Earlier this year, the same rate design change was approved for customers in Evergy’s Kansas Central region (formerly Westar) after a Kansas Supreme Court opinion called the three-part rate design price discriminatory and sent the matter back to the KCC for further proceedings. The three-part rate design was originally implemented following separate rate cases filed by Westar and KCPL prior to the merger, but only the Westar DG rate was challenged.

Today’s order resulted from a proposal by KCC Staff, Evergy, and the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board to make the rate for DG customers consistent across both service areas.  The Commission agreed there is potential for confusion and frustration over the disparate treatment of residential DG customers between Evergy’s two Kansas service territories and that it is in the public interest to treat Evergy’s residential DG customers consistently in this regard throughout both of its service territories.

KDADS  Receives $2.7 Million to Fund New KS HEART Program

Governor Laura Kelly announced last week  that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is one of only five organizations nationally to be awarded a three-year, $2.7 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). Grant funds through the FY 2020 State Pilot Grant Program for Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women (PPW-PLT) will be used to provide evidence-based, family-centered treatment services to pregnant and postpartum women in Kansas with substance use disorders.

“This grant will expand critical treatment services to support pregnant and postpartum Kansans with substance abuse disorders - along with their children,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “By addressing the behavioral needs of mothers, we can protect mothers and their families.”

The KDADS program, which will be known as KS Helping Empower And Recover Together (KS HEART), will take effect September 30, 2021.

It’s estimated the KS HEART program will serve approximately 55 women a year at two pilot locations, for a total of 165 women over three years. Partners identified in the grant are DCCCA, Inc. and CKF Addiction and Treatment Services, with pilot sites in Salina and Wichita.

“By focusing on family-centered therapy, expanding outpatient programs, and providing community-based wraparound services, the KS HEART program aims to accomplish the goals of decreasing substance use, including opioids, among pregnant and postpartum women in Kansas,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said.

AGCO debuts new machine

AGCO Corporation,  a designer, manufacturer and distributor of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology with a manufacturing facility in Hesston, has launched the new Fendt® Rogator® 900 Series applicator with adjustable clearance, bringing North American operators a single machine for applying liquid or dry crop care products at any time, to any size crop.

The new Fendt Rogator will debuted at MAGIE and the Farm Progress Show in August.

“The Fendt Rogator 900 is the first of its kind – the only self-propelled, rear-mounted boom applicator with adjustable clearance and easy conversion between liquid and dry systems for ultimate versatility,” said David Fickel, manager of tactical marketing for application equipment at AGCO. “Because the new Rogator can be equipped for nearly any type of crop care application, customers not only optimize their investment in the machine, but have greater control over when and how products are applied. That helps ensure better product use for higher yields and an overall better return on their crop care investment.”

As crop production practices evolve and farmers make more late-season passes to apply nutrients and fungicides or seed cover crops, the need for high-clearance equipment is greater than ever to clear tall crops like corn, sugar cane, sunflowers and others. Now, farmers can use the Fendt Rogator 900 as their one machine to apply liquid or dry products any time ‒ pre-plant or postemergence in short or tall crops and after harvest for fall fertilization, burndown or cover-crop seeding.

“This new Rogator is the latest farmer-focused solution in a line of innovations from AGCO that combines the quality, comfort and reliability of Fendt with the application expertise that began with the introduction of Ag-Chem’s first self-propelled field sprayer in 1972,” Fickel says. The new applicator is the latest solution from Fendt created to meet the evolving crop production needs of today’s farmers. It joins the Fendt IDEAL® combine, the Fendt Momentum® planter and the growing family of Fendt tractors.

KDOT’s Cost Share Program applications being accepted

The Kansas Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for the fall 2021 round of the agency’s Cost Share Program.

The Cost Share Program provides financial assistance to local entities for construction projects that improve safety, leverage state funds to increase total transportation investment and help both rural and urban areas of the state improve the transportation system. The program was created in fall 2019. This is the fifth round of projects to receive funding.

“The continuation of the Cost Share Program shows KDOT’s ongoing commitment to improving transportation and creating economic growth and job opportunities across Kansas,” said Deputy Secretary Lindsey Douglas. “Past Cost Share participants have proven this program to be the financial boost that many small and large communities needed to achieve their project goals.”

An informational webinar on the program will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2. To register for the webinar, go to:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3594645876305368591

All transportation projects are eligible, including roadway (on and off the state system), rail, airport, bicycle/pedestrian and public transit. Candidate projects should include investments that provide transportation benefits and are not eligible for other KDOT programs.

The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 24. More information and a link to the application are available on KDOT’s website at http://www.ksdot.org/CostShare/CostShareProgram.asp. All applications will be completed through the online link. A sample PDF application will be available for preview. Contact Michelle Needham, Economic Development Programs Manager, at  michelle.d.needham@ks.gov with any questions.