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BREAKING NEWS

Abilene Industrial Park Advances

John AndersonMarch 15, 2024

Abilene Industrial Park Advances with Approval of $1.1 Million Contingent Grant

 

Abilene, Kansas – March 14, 2024 – The Build Kansas Advisory Committee’s approval of a $1.1 million grant to the City of Abilene for the Advancing Abilene Infrastructure & Economic Development Project signifies progress for the industrial park. The award is contingent on a $9 million Federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant, part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

 

If approved, the RAISE Grant will fund the development of 18 acres into shovel-ready lots, including water, sewer, a lift station, and street construction with curbs and guttering. The project will also address transportation upgrades along NW 14th Street, enhancing connectivity and infrastructure in the area.

 

“This project is transformative for Abilene, enabling us to compete for business opportunities and expand our tax base,” said Brandon Rein, Mayor of Abilene. “Unlike neighboring communities, Abilene offers available land along I-70 for industrial development, but it lacks the necessary infrastructure.”

 

The City of Abilene has actively pursued grants for the industrial park since 2022, including Base 1.0 and Base 2.0 grants offered by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

 

“We are committed to securing external funding to support community projects,” said Ron Marsh, City Manager. “By leveraging federal and state grants, we can fuel Abilene’s economic growth and create new opportunities.”

 

Past experiences underscore the significance of infrastructure development in the industrial park. In 2018, plans by Washington-based Bradford Built to build in Abilene were withdrawn due to insufficient infrastructure, with estimated improvements costing $2 million.

 

“While federal grant competitions are extremely time-consuming and competitive, we remain dedicated to securing resources that benefit Abilene,” said Julie Roller Weeks, director of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau.

 

The City’s comprehensive plan indicates that future major industrial development will likely be near the Fair Road interchange with I-70. Developing an industrial park in this area, with pad-ready sites featuring utilities and road access, is key to attracting additional industries to Abilene.

 

Senator Jerry Moran, a Senate Transportation Committee member, has supported the project with a letter of endorsement. The RAISE Grant Awards are expected to be announced on June 27.

 

For more information about RAISE Discretionary Grants, visit www.transportation.gov/RAISEgrants.

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