Special to The Hays Daily News

The Kansas Department of Commerce announced today three communities have received grants through the Community Development Block Grant program. The funds, which total $554,649, have been awarded under the commercial rehabilitation category of CDBG funding.

The CDBG program allows the department to distribute federal funds to Kansas cities and counties to improve their communities. To receive funds, a project must benefit low- and moderate-income individuals, remove or prevent slum or blight condition, or eliminate an urgent need created by a disaster when local funds are unavailable.

CDBG commercial rehabilitation funding helps cities improve the quality of their downtown commercial districts by assisting private property owners with the rehabilitation of blighted buildings. The intended outcome of the investment of grant funds in key buildings is to reverse the cycle of blight and encourage adjacent property owners to improve their buildings.

The following community in northwest Kansas received CDBG commercial rehabilitation funding:

* The city of Plainville has been awarded $250,000 to improve a building located in downtown Plainville. The work will include exterior wall stabilization, roof replacement and electrical upgrades. The owners will provide $83,333 in private matching funds.