Formoso is small enough that most
public gatherings constitute "town meetings". Those not present at these
meetings are quickly identified and individually sought out for their opinions.
Consensus on any given subject is readily identified as a result. The city
held three (3) meetings during August 1998 to identify the major concern of its citizenry.
These were August 14th, August 21st and August 27th.
A core group of 14 persons gave up a day's pay and attended a mid-day meeting
on the 14th . Between the 14th and 21st a
door-to-door survey was taken of local thought. On August 21st, a Friday night,
56 residents attended a general meeting which was held to determine the public's general
perception of local needs. The following is what was learned.
Water Distribution System:
By consensus, this is the top priority item for the community. The city has
attempted to access a grant for the past three (3) years to address this need, but lacking
any matching funds, it has failed to achieve that goal. Frequent line failures
and an ever-present concern for not having any ability to provide fire control drive
consensus. The latter is exemplified by the fact nearby fire districts
(Mankato and Courtland) have informed Formoso they prefer not to bring their pump
equipment into the community to assist for fear of collapsing the system with their high
Streets: The city's
streets are showing signs of major wear, and when it rains or snows, some streets become
muddy routes through town. The city council is currently attempting to raise
funds by assigning a $1.00 monthly surcharge per person to purchase extra gravel. As noted
earlier, the outcome of this effort is unknown as yet, for the community has not decided.
Housing Needs: Most
inhabitable units are now filled and there is beginning to be a housing concern.
During the 1990's a number of younger people and their families have returned
to Formoso due to family ties and access to affordable housing. Subsequently
many of the vacant units identified in the 1990 Census are no longer there. The condition
of the local housing is also subject of some conversation, but again, the community has not
definitively decided what path to follow.