Newly installed Flint Hills Regional Council Executive Director Jerry Lonergan, provided his inaugural update to the Pottawatomie County Commission Monday.

Lonergan says the council recently received a $500,000 Brownfields grant from the Environmental Protection Agency Region 7.

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The EPA officially presented the check to the council, during a ceremony Wednesday at the Geary County Commission Chambers.

The Flint Hills Regional Council was selected for community-wide assessment work and the development of reuse plans for Junction City, Manhattan and Ogden and other communities throughout the region. In a release from the EPA Wednesday, it noted priority assessment sites include Junction City’s Historic Downtown along the Republican River; East and Central Core Districts in Manhattan; and the Riley Avenue Revitalization area in Ogden.

“This Brownfields grant is a significant step toward revitalization of the rural Flint Hills communities of Junction City, Manhattan, Ogden and others,” said EPA Land, Chemical and Redevelopment Division Director DeAndré Singletary. “We are proud to partner with the Flint Hills Regional Council, and we share their commitment to enhancing rural economies through reuse and redevelopment.”

The Council’s Regional Planner, Janna Williams, says public outreach meetings are being planned with the EPA and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for rural communities to explore some potential economic development strategies.

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Interested communities should reach out to the Flint Hills Regional Council, via its website —

Lonergan also highlighted some additional grant opportunities bestowed about the council recently.

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Lonergan says for the grant writer specifically, the plan is to have that person focus on community development block grants to benefit regional economic development opportunities.