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Process and Progress

Step 1: Beginning in August 1998, the initial step involved several afternoon and evening meetings between city representatives and state officials to determine the level of local interest in the program and to permit the state to gain confidence in Formoso's ability to successfully fulfill the program's requirements.   Two of these meetings were attended by more than 70 local residents.   However, those most involved were Mayor Vickie Stafford; Council members James Howell, LaVernia Peters and Phyllis Jones; City Maintenance, James Haskins; Fire Chief, Steve Spiegel; and residents, Robert Elwell, Robert Grimm, Frank Guzik, Larry Stafford, Shirley Free and Nancy Spiegel.

Representatives from the Kansas Department of Commerce & Housing (KDOCH) included Marilyn Graham, CDBG Administrator, and Rene Hart, KAN-STEP Coordinator.   Others included were Jane Schautz of The Rensselaerville Institute, New York, and John Cyr of the North Central Regional Planning Commission.

By early September 1998 it was decided that Formoso would be the first STEP recepient in the state, and on October 26, 1998, Lt. Governor Gary Sherrer, officially announced the decision at the Senior Citizen's Center in Formoso.   The Lt. Governor was accompanied by Mary Faye LaFaver, Director, Community Development Division, KDOCH; Marilyn Graham and Jane Schautz.

 

Step 2: Formoso citizens then met to identify what individual or individuals would act as the "Sparkplug".    This person is most responsible for directing the project, organizing the local people and seeing that all required work is done.   This person must also be "elected", not self-appointed, since people must recognize the person as a leader.

Formoso decided on September 10th that there would be a committee of "sparkplugs", with these individuals being James Haskins, James Howell, acting as co-chairs; along with Robert Grimm, Robert Elwell, Frank Guzik, Larry Stafford and Steve Spiegel.   James Haskins, however, was identified as the primary "sparkplug". 

 

Step 3: Next, a program administrator was identified to assist the city with all compliance issues relative to the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program as overseen by the Kansas Department of Commerce & Housing.   The organization selected was the North Central Regional Planning Commission, with John Cyr being principally responsible for administering the program on behalf of the city.   Contracts were signed October 27, 1998.

 

Step 4: Following that, the city sought the services of an engineering firm.   This required Formoso to request qualification statements directly from potentially interested firms.   A number of firms expressed interest and the city selected three (3) to interview.   After an examination of experience, service and price, the city chose Cook, Flatt & Strobel of Kansas City.   Lance Scott is that firm's representative.  Contracts were signed in January 1999.

 

Step 5: The first assignment given the engineer was to complete an Engineering Report explaining the design criteria, illustrating a water hydrolic model of the system, and listing evaluations and conclusions.   This was delivered to Formoso in February 1999.

The next part of this step was to route the system through Formoso, keeping in mind that most, if not all, physical construction would be conducted by local volunteers.    Routing was complete on March

The final element was to price the system, breaking the overall cost down into line item figures which detail both material and labor expenses.   These figures were delivered to the city on March 24, 1999.    The city immediately began to review each line item to determine if the unit price quoted was either sufficient enough to meet the expressed need or priced too high to warrant acceptance without question.   (NOTE:  The cost estimate approach  the KAN-STEP program requires is somewhat backward to that of the normal CDBG Community Improvement program.   Under KAN-STEP the city really wants to know the true prices of each item before any contingencies are built in, whereas with the normal CI program, the engineer regularly builds in factors for inflation and other contingency costs.   The reason for this is the city needs to fully comprehend the difference in material and labor costs to justify its match-offering to the state.)

 

Step 6: With KDOCH assistance, the city arranged a workshop on "construction safety" delivered by Marvin Dinkel, Industrial Safety Coordinator, Kansas Department of Human Resources.   This half-day event introduced city officials to elements of Personal Safety Equipment; Trenching; and Traffic Control.   Slides, videos and demonstrations were provided.   This occurred in Formoso on March 26, 1999.

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This page last updated 01/16/12 01:30:13 PM
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