The City of Ottawa will have more funds for street work in the coming year.

City commissioners voted 5-0 Wednesday to approve distribution of federal funds available through a Kansas Department of Transportation program for street projects.

The 2017 KDOT Federal Fund Exchange program allows communities to take advantage of federal highway dollars in a more timely fashion, Scott Bird, city finance director, and Michael Haeffele, city public works director, said in a memo.

“This is a KDOT program ... which allows us to draw on our federal highway funds, on an annual basis, instead of waiting a number of years,” Scott Bird, city finance director, said at the commission meeting. “In the past, you will recall having to wait for up to 10 years to get a piece of the federal programming, and then it was usually for a large project.

“KDOT allows us to draw their funds, 90 percent of what we would have gotten from the feds on an annual basis. That allows us to bring funds into the city and do some work.”

Under the agreement, KDOT is making $145,631.35 in federal funds available to the City of Ottawa for the federal fiscal year 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017).

The voluntary program allows a local public agency to trade all or a portion of its federal fund allocations in a specific federal fiscal year with KDOT in exchange for state transportation dollars. The exchange rate for the program is 90 cents in state funds for every $1 of federal funding exchanged, according to KDOT. At 90 cents on the dollar, the city’s portion would be $131,068.22.

Once the agreement is approved and returned to KDOT, and after the city’s 2017 street projects are completed, a request for reimbursement would be submitted for the city’s allocation. Those funds would be placed in the city’s Special Streets Fund, Bird said.

Susan Welte is a Herald staff writer. Email her at