Gardner is moving forward with their vision of the future and recently received an $112,000 grant to support the implementation of the Main Street Corridor Plan, a project aimed to address approximately 30 goals outlined in Gardner’s 2014 Comprehensive Plan.
The plan’s summary says the city is part of a southern gateway to the metro area and serves as a central hub for rail, air and highway transportation.
Plans include working with the Kansas Department of Transportation to make downtown more pedestrian friendly and revitalize the area.
Other objectives, according to the plan, are:
Neighborhoods and Housing: Housing to meet the needs of all income levels
Commercial Areas: Support local businesses and create a thriving downtown area with a pedestrian-oriented design
Industrial Areas: Promote industrial development to diversify the city’s tax base and provide employment
Growth and Annexation: Plan for growth around I-35 interchanges and ensure city funding, infrastructure and utilities
Transportation and
8Mobility: Safe and efficient access for all modes of travel
Community Facilities: Ensure high quality and dependable public services, including establishing a community center
Open Space Recreation and Environmental Features: Create a balanced park system with an extensive trail and greenway network.
Community Character: Maintain and enhance the traditional character of Gardner while strengthening the city’s regional image.
Sustainability: Protect and enhance natural environment, lower energy demand and increase healthy living.
“The partnership between the city and MARC will provide an opportunity to create a plan that stimulates a sense of place downtown,” Mayor Chris Morrow said. “We will work on creating a plan for the future that fosters a vibrant and connected core for the residents of Gardner.”
HUD was able to provide this grant through its Planning Sustainable Places program, a government assistance program initiated in 2010 and led by the Kansas City area’s Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). Gardner’s application received the top score of all 19 applications submitted from both Kansas and Missouri, and was recommended to receive the full grant funding request.
The $112,500 grant will fund 75 percent of the project, with the other 25 percent, $37,500, being matched through the city’s general fund.