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City of Formoso
Past Efforts to Address Needs

Setting :    Formoso is a small community of 137 persons located 2 miles removed from any paved road in east-central Jewell County. Its commercial business district is composed of a bank, a post office and a café-bar, along with a senior center and a library. The grain elevator is found at the north end of the business district.

In 1990 there were 48 families living in Formoso in 69 households, 21 of which were single person households. Most residents at the time worked outside Formoso, for only 13 traveled less than 5 minutes to work. The majority commuted up to 30 minutes, while 9 journeyed up to 1.5 hours. This scenario still applies today.

Tax Lid :    The Legislative-mandated tax lid severely restricts the city's ability to use ad valorem tax as a means of raising money to address local needs. Based on the established formula, Formoso can only raise $7,811 to fund its general account in 1998. This does not afford the city any great ability to raise money to address local needs. The city therefore has sought other means of meeting the community's social challenges on numerous occasions.

Housing : The 1990 Census showed 82 housing units in the community, of which 55 were owner occupied and 4 renter occupied. 23 were listed as vacant. The value of most was less than $15,000, although a couple of units were worth $20-$25,000. Those units were built during the 1950's and 1960's. All other units were built prior to 1939.

While the city did engage in a HUD Comprehensive Program in the mid-late 1970's, no formal rehabilitation program has been sponsored locally since. Two (2) houses did benefit from the 1995 Mitchell County Demonstration Project, which was a multi-county comprehensive development effort, at an average rehabilitation cost of $22,790 per home. This was done under HOME Program rules. All other upgrades to housing have been left to the individual owners.

Water : The city benefited from a HUD grant in 1984 that permitted Formoso to connect its water system to Republic County Rural Water District No. 1. Access to quality water and sufficient quantity remains high today as a result. The 3.8 mile distribution network, however, is subject to frequent breaks. Anecdotal data from community citizens tells of splices upon splices in lines and rust-colored water following breaks. Last winter the tower completely drained one January evening when the main line broke at the base of the tower. City personnel and volunteers fixed the line during the night to restore water to the community by the next morning. Three (3) hydrants have been painted black as a warning not to use them during fires for fear of either collapsing the lines or else simply breaking the hydrants off when attempting to open them. Another five (5) are equally suspect. Such occurrence would lead to complete system failure until repairs were made. To counter this situation, the fire department has purchased a collapsible water tank in which to store water for emergency purposes.

Sewer : The city treats raw sewage in a lagoon system. The collection lines remain functional and present little or no problem. The system remains permitted by KDHE and no foreseeable problems exist that would change that situation.

Streets : The city maintains approximately 4.0 miles of sand and gravel city streets. Two blocks of old asphalt with curb & gutter exists in the downtown area. As this continues to age, the city makes repairs with sand & gravel. The city recently asked city residents if they are willing to pay $1.00 per month per person to purchase more sand & gravel for the community so the streets can be better maintained. The outcome of this request has yet to be determined.

Parks and Recreation : The city possesses one (1) park, complete with old playground equipment, shelter house and public restroom facilities. This was a community project when construction was done in 1979. It has been maintained ever since and serves the community well.

Social Contract : City residents have a history of volunteering to assist their neighbors and to meet societal needs within the community. An example of this is the community garden and greenhouse program that produces fresh vegetables for all those who participate, although steps are taken to include the community's elderly citizens even though they may not engage in the actual growing. Another program is "Heartland Shares" which distributes food in exchange for community work (i.e., mowing, picking up trash, planting flowers on corners, etc.). Individuals earn 1 share for each 2 hours of work performed on behalf of the community. Over 20 people volunteer each month to manage the program by accounting for the shares, picking up the food, packaging the shares and then distributing the shares to those having done the work.

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This page last updated 01/16/12 01:30:26 PM
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