Wichita, KS– Governor Laura Kelly today welcomed Kansans to the first-ever Infrastructure Summit hosted by the newly formed Kansas Infrastructure Hub. At the Summit, which takes place July 13 and 14 in Wichita, more than 650 people from across the state are learning more about the grant opportunities available under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), discussing strategies for preparing winning grant applications, and sharing input on infrastructure priorities in Kansas.
“Local governments are on the frontlines providing the quality infrastructure that we all rely on to meet our most basic needs and generate long-term prosperity,” said Governor Kelly. “I’m grateful we could bring together infrastructure leaders from across the state to strategize how we can strengthen Kansas for years to come.”
Under BIL, Kansas will receive close to $3.8 billion in direct funds over the next five years for transportation, water, energy, and broadband projects. Kansas could potentially receive more by applying for competitive grants.
Kansas is one of the first states in the nation to convene conversations at the local level about how federal, state, and local governments and the private sector can better work together to better leverage the dollars to maximize their impact and mitigate challenges associated with delivering these infrastructure improvements.
“These dollars present a tremendous opportunity for Kansas, but with that opportunity also comes a responsibility to deliver,” said Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz. “Whether it’s workforce shortages, inflation, or red tape, we know there will be challenges to achieve the improvements taxpayers deserve, which is why collaboration at all levels of government and the private sector will be critical. I’m so pleased that Kansans from all every region are here to strategize how we can better work together.”
Summit attendees are hearing from subject matter experts about resources available for transportation, water systems, broadband, energy, resilience, and cybersecurity and are learning how to apply for the various grant programs that will become available over the next five years. During this summit, attendees are sharing how the State could better assist them in meeting their infrastructure needs and help communities prioritize their needs at a regional level.
Secretary Lorenz serves as a Chair of the Kansas Infrastructure Hub. In June, Governor Kelly announced the launch of the Hub, 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 Hub has an advisory group comprised 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. To learn more about the Kansas Infrastructure Hub, visit KSHUB.org.