City Wins Grant to Help Redesign Commercial Street

 In Featured News, General News, News

The City of Atchison was successfully chosen to receive KDOT grant funding as part of a redesign project that could transform the retail experience in Downtown Atchison.

The estimated $2 million project would open the 500 and 600 blocks of Commercial Street to vehicle traffic and allow storefront parking, while also maintaining space for pedestrians and special events.

The KDOT grant will fund $1.5 million of the project, which is 75% of the expected total cost.

“This would allow us to extend the successful streetscape redesign format that has done so well in the 700 and 800 blocks of Commercial Street,” City Manager Becky Berger said. “With a $2 million price tag we didn’t want to have local tax payers bear that complete burden. But this new KDOT program allows us to have a tremendous positive impact downtown with only a fraction of the price tag.”

Berger said area State Rep. John Eplee was also helpful in calling attention to the importance of Atchison’s application.

“We appreciate Rep. Eplee’s support promoting our application,” she said. “His efforts to share with KDOT officials how impactful this funding would be to our community undoubtedly helped to make our application successful.”

The grant was one of 22 awarded from nearly 100 applications throughout the state as part of the department’s new Cost Share Program. There were $39 million in grants awarded, with Atchison getting $1.5 million of those funds for this project. The awards were announced at a press conference Tuesday by Gov. Laura Kelly.

“This program … demonstrates the great things that happen when communities and the state work together,” Gov. Kelly said.

Assistant City Manager Justin Pregont, who lead the grant writing effort, said he was excited that Atchison was one of the winners.

“That’s about as competitive of a grant application that I can remember being a part of,” Pregont said. “I knew we had a strong application, but when I found out how many cities applied, I wasn’t as confident we’d wind up with an award.

“This redesign is going to be a great catalyst for new investment in downtown Atchison.”

Even with the grant award, the project must go before the City Commission for approval. With approval, construction could begin as early as Spring 2020.

For more information, please contact Joe Warren at (913) 367-5500 or