1 2 > 
1 of 2
CBDG Projects….
Posted: 06 May 2014 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  797
Joined  2012-10-10

Tonight’s City Commission Agenda will include discussion and a motion to fund the 2014 CBDG projects.  I understand the program and applaud the program.  But…

The maps that show those areas of Manhattan where the largest percent of residents are below certain income levels includes the KSU campus!!????!!  Duh!  You mean students living in dorms and student housing have below median income levels?  Why does the campus count as a “depressed” area?  Shouldn’t the campus be ‘hash-marked’... or shown as something other than an area in need of CBDG dollars?

Also, it’s interesting that one of the projects being funded is a traffic light at 11th & Fremont.  Says the traffic light is needed to assure the low income folks living to the east of City Park “safe access to the Park and commercial areas”.  Ummm…. the ONLY commercial area that would become accessible via that traffic light would be Aggieville.  So… we’re spending how many tax dollars, under the guise of assistance to the needy, to get students to AV so they can drink??  A pedestrian crossing light… I have no problem with seeing that the folks east of 11th Street can cross 11th Street safely.  If this is needed, are the “low income” residents… other than students… the ones using this crossing?  I bet not!  I have a big problem with seeing dollars that are to be restricted to assistance of those below median income levels go to provide a traffice light that assists them to the bars of Aggieville.  “Commercial area”!!???  Let’s rewrite the grant application and tell the Feds we are putting in a traffic light to make it safer to get low income folks to bars.  Bet that would go over big.

Isn’t there some other area more in need of neighborhood improvements than spending tax dollars on access to the drinking establishments?  Of course, this request was probably made by the “Mayor of Aggieville” who, on the front page of The Mercury, said he had substantial influence over elected officals and law enforcement.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2014 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Larry,
I wholeheartedly disagree. That traffic light is needed there. That is a high traffic intersection and a dangerous one. The city’s justification may be a lame one but the intersection will be much safer for cars and pedestrians regardless of where they are going or coming from. Just because someone gets a little tooted in Aggieville does not mean they should have to die crossing the street. Eleventh is a speedway and if it were up to me, I would put another one at Leavenworth. That would slow people down.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2014 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  738
Joined  2013-07-13

I currently live near this intersection.  It is a high-traffic crossroads, not to mention some drivers try to best their quarter-mile record on the Fremont portion along the park.  Stupid sht happens at this intersection almost on a daily basis.

Also, by posting this mini-rant, you’ve pushed a really interesting discussion off the top of the forum, where Wynn can now pretend it never happened.  I was really looking forward to his response to the “actual” costs (2.9 million instead of the 1.8 he’s been trumpeting), as well as a number of offices needed for Parks and Recs, so that I could show him a design for 500K P&R offices.  He said he was in if I could, then has completely blown off the discussion once he realized he’d have to actually make good on it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2014 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Randall,
Not a problem. Just post your plan and it will go right back to the top.

I am glad Larry posted this even though he is dead wrong. It gives us a chance to discuss that very dangerous intersection. I have proposed a light there for at least twenty years. I used to live on Fremont, in The Avalon (which you should buy) and sometimes it took forever to cross that street at great peril.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2014 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  738
Joined  2013-07-13

Agreed, Michael.  I can’t draw anything up until I know how many offices they were planning to build, but I know I can triple the current number on the existing site by installing a larger 2nd floor on steel post and beam.  I’d thought the lower floor was stone but it’s just some 60’s brick.  Anyway, it would keep the Parks offices in the Park, for 20% of Wynn’s current love interest.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2014 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  479
Joined  2012-10-10

Randall:  Some clarification on the savings obtained by eliminated two positions at parks and recreation.  The savings are 1 million dollars over ten years.  Not the $100,000 you inferred from the article posted in the other thread.  They did not word the information accurately.  If you have a two full time employee that makes $20 and hour they would make a combined salary of $83,200, add retirement and health care and the two positions will be worth 100K a year.  The elimination of the two positions at parks and recreation is projected to save 100K per year or 1 million dollars over ten years.

The one million saved through salary reduction is part of the financing for the P&R building.  Without that savings it is doubtful that the project would be continued.  We currently have two options that are possible for completion.  As both of those options will result in consolidation of customer service at City Hall – the city will in fact save one million dollars for inclusion in the cost of the office construction.  Building at the current site will not obtain those savings.  The plans for the site that were provided by the architect last year, indicated that if we used the current site it would be more cost effective to tear down and build new than to renovate.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2014 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  738
Joined  2013-07-13

Architects are not in the business to design additions, nor do they give a crap about costs.  It would be easier for HIM to tear it down and start over.

And what are these positions you’re eliminating?  What two people are necessary for business two blocks from city hall, that aren’t within the walls?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2014 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  797
Joined  2012-10-10

Michael and Randall, I’m not saying to completely forget about a stoplight at 11th & Fremont.  What I’m saying is that using CBDG funds is a misuse of those dollars.  The City can hand $1 million to the CVB to make videos with vulgar lyrics playing in the background, but they can’t put a stoplight in to protect its citizens?  We, instead, use funds that are supposed to benefit lower income folks and their neighborhoods.  In the case of 11th & Fremont, there are some lower income to the east.  Those that are walking west are doing so to access campus or bars.  They’re students.  Why are we spending money that is supposedly dedicated to upgrading low income neighborhoods by putting in a stoplight that should be installed through regular CIP project planning???
The thing that caught my eye, was the suggestion that the stoplight would provide safe access for pedestrians to a “commercial area”.  Yep… provide safer access to Aggieville bars.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2014 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  738
Joined  2013-07-13

Good point.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2014 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  479
Joined  2012-10-10

Larry:  It is important to understand the process that determines the spending of the CDBG money. 

The Community Development Department is the lead agency of the City in the administration of the CDBG program. The Community Development Department manages all CDBG undertakings, facilitates public involvement in the CDBG program and conducts all reporting of CDBG activities to HUD.

The City of Manhattan coordinates efforts with the Manhattan Housing Authority, the Manhattan Emergency Shelter and the Riley County Council of Social Service.
Citizen input is and was requested in the process.  It is done through advertisement in the Mercury, posted on the city website, displayed on public access channel 3 and is distributed through the City of Manhattan’s In Touch email notification system.
The plan was available for public review and comment on March 26 through April 24.  The plan was available at the public library, City Hall and on the website.  Citizens were invited to comment in writing or by email.  All comments received were given written feedback by City staff.

A public hearing was held at 5:30 PM on 14 April in the Commission Room.  It was also advertised in in the Mercury, posted on the city website, displayed on public access channel 3 and is distributed through the City of Manhattan’s In Touch email notification system.  No comments were received from citizens at the public hearing.

The final step in the process is the vote by the commission.  I received one email on this topic at around 11 AM Tuesday, a few hours before the meeting.  That email was discussed at the meeting.  Essentially we had one comment against the street light proposal.  The process provides sufficient time for comment.  At the meeting yesterday, no one spoke during the public input section, prior to the vote. 

The process seems sound.  The feedback the commission received was minimal.  The coordination efforts by the city with the Manhattan Housing Authority, the Manhattan Emergency Shelter and the Riley County Council of Social Service did not produce any objections to the selected projects.  The process and the results it produced fit the criterion as established.  For that reason I supported the recommendation.  It is unfortunate that citizens are not more engaged in the process.  The majority of folks seem to be apathetic or lethargic in participation in most city process.  They provide input after the fact, when it is too late, or they allow a few folks to determine the outcome of the agenda.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2014 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  738
Joined  2013-07-13

So, Wynn, when have you ever changed your vote after input from citizens at one of these sessions?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2014 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  94
Joined  2011-07-25

Wynn, when did the Riley County Council of Social Service Agencies review the CDBG projects?  Did the City’s Social Services Advisory Board review the projects too?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2014 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  797
Joined  2012-10-10

Debbie, it’s pretty obvious that they’ve found another way to steal money from those in need and hand it to those with political clout.  Yes, they have deemed the area east of City Park as “low income”.  Hence, they can take money from the fund that is to improve low income neighborhoods and use it to do infrastructure work.  Watch!  Soon, they’ll be finding other areas heavily populated by students and using money designed to assist depressed areas to build more pathways to Aggieville. 
As Wynn has stated… and what the Commission was told last night… the stoplight at 11th & Fremont “meets the criteria to qualify for this funding”.  They can skew the numbers to use the dollars for funding a traffic light that should have been part of the regular street improvement budget.  Instead, we spend that money with on everything from a City operated day care to sending elected officials to Kansas City to attend Chamber events. 
This is a poor use of CBDG funds!!!  City staff ducked any questions by simply saying, “We not even thought this through and don’t even know if it will happne!”  Ummm….  Once the Commission okay’d it last night, I would well believe the money will be spent on the stoplight project.  A certain bar owner has his eyes on those dollars to improve traffic flow ina and out of the district he claims to be mayor of…...

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2014 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  289
Joined  2012-10-10
Wynn Butler - 07 May 2014 09:31 AM

Larry:  It is important to understand the process that determines the spending of the CDBG money. 

The Community Development Department is the lead agency of the City in the administration of the CDBG program. The Community Development Department manages all CDBG undertakings, facilitates public involvement in the CDBG program and conducts all reporting of CDBG activities to HUD.

The City of Manhattan coordinates efforts with the Manhattan Housing Authority, the Manhattan Emergency Shelter and the Riley County Council of Social Service.

You spent several paragraphs talking about citizens being apathetic but you never finished this thought right here, the part I quoted. What exactly was determined by CDD et al. that allowed them to decide the CDBG money was what should be used to fund this stoplight?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2014 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  479
Joined  2012-10-10

I have explained the process as best I understand it to be.  Clearly the SSAB did not specifically get ask to review the projects as they are not part of the process, and the CBDG is not part of their mission.  But if the SSAB had wanted to provide input they had the opportunity just like everyone else.  The Riley county Council of Social services and the Emergency Shelter are part of the process.  I would not know the details of how the CDD and those that they consulted with finally determined to add the light in question.  They have the charter to come up with the plan and they did.  I did not participate in the meetings or provide them any specific input.  I know that the recommendations made fit the criterion, which is good enough for me, and the light is needed -so I concur with the recommendation made (which Randall is one of many yea votes cast in favor of what boards and advisory groups determine).  I do not see a problem with what was recommended, the Commission approved on a 5-0 vote.  A new plan is in the works, so feel free to participate in the process next time.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 May 2014 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  738
Joined  2013-07-13

.. “if you want to be called a propagandist, a liar, and suffering from a view through tinted glasses.”

Profile
 
 
   
 1 2 > 
1 of 2
 

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502

Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without written consent.