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Greensburg on Planet Green

Episode #7 – “The Primary”

February, 2008

The Big Well and the water tower are a big part of the tradition of Greensburg.
Built in 1887, it’s known as the largest hand dug well, 109 feet deep, 32 feet
in diameter. The Big Well is the town’s tourist attraction and the location of
the water tower prior to the storm which, as with everything else, took it out.
The decision was to put the new water tower back in the same location to keep
their tradition going. The old tower held 55,000 gallons, the new one will
be taller and hold 100,000 gallons. About 80 percent bigger than the old one.

Currently, one well is supplying the city and without a water tower means
little or no water pressure. Gary Goodheart, a city council member says the
water demand is not high at the moment, because of lost business’ and scattered
residents. But he expresses the towns concerns with fire due to the lack of
enough water pressure to fight a fire.

Chuck Banks of USDA Rural Development presents Steve Hewitt a check for $170K
to help fund the new water tower.  This covers the financial gap that FEMA
would not cover.  Greensburg now feels that they are on the way back, bigger
and better than before.

John Janssen, Mayor, files for the mayor’s position in the upcoming April
election.  The primary is February 26 with the general election to be held the
first Tuesday in April. The worry is that if a new council is elected, the green
direction may change.  Steve is under a contract and if the new council does not
like the direction he is taking, they will have to fire him.  Bad move.

Studio 804 starts excavating the foundation for the new Arts Center. The concrete
takes 28 days to cure, so they have to pour in the middle of February to be ready
for the middle of March build.

Banner hanging on a fence: “Greensburg will survive in spite of the City Council”

Care and Share has their Grand Opening. Pastor Marvin George of the First Baptist
Church speaks about it being the first business back on Main Street.  It is a
second hand store where they take donations, refurbishes them and sells them for
pennies on the dollar.

Bob Dixson and his wife have decided to rebuild in Greensburg and is also
a candidate for mayor.  His goal as mayor is to continue with achieving the
goals set out through community meetings, council meetings and public input. John
Janssen thinks Bob will give him a run for his money.

Erica Goodman has decided to run for city council since she lost her bid at the
city council meeting to have her proposed homesite stay zoned for residential.

John Haney and his wife lost their home in Greensburg. They could not rebuild
on their original lot because the city zoned it as a park. So they are living
and rebuilding on their farm. They are trying to rebuild their home as green
as they can afford.  They are building a berm home with retaining walls on the
east and west side with dirt coming to the top of each wall. They put in tubing
for radiant heating under the floor that will heat the house in the winter and
geothermal cooling for the summertime.

Studio 804 had contracted out to have the foundation poured for the Arts Center
site. The concrete company came out to pour and hit an old cistern that was on
the property, the back end of the cement truck fell in. A local construction
company came with their crane and lifted it out of the hole. It was joked about
being the Arts Center first sculpture.

Carmen Renfrow, third generation resident, has also decided to run for city
council along with Lana Janssen, the mayor’s wife. There are only 5 seats on
city council and there are 15 folks running for those positions.  The primary
will cut it down to 10.

Studio 804 has a meeting, held by Dan Rockhill, Professor of Architecture, to
go over the expenses and funding.  His thinking is that they need to cut out
essentials that would make it LEEDs certifiable and quadruple the budget. Money,
money, money.

The Greensburg Green Club meets up with Roger Masenthin of the Resource
Conservation and Development with the USDA who brings in recycling bins for the
whole Campus. Timothy, Taylor, Levi, Eric, Alexsis, and Connor take 32 bins for
paper recycling, bottle bins and started distributing around town. The Green
Club has been changing out light bulbs to CFL and various other projects to
help their environment and conserve energy. (Note to the Green Club – Visited
your website, looks great, love what you’re doing. You need to add a comment
area so your visitors can communicate with you.)

Steve and Kim Hewitt meets with their architect, Janek Dombrowa of JTD Architects.
He feels that he is taking a leap of faith that after the elections that he will
still have his job and proceeds to get his house going.

John Cash, (the Construction supervisor for the water tower build) and crew have
started to weld the water tower sections together.

Stacy and one of the board members has a video meeting with the studio 804 bunch
about their financing. Since the board has only been together a month, they
haven’t gotten very far in the funding process. So they are threatened with taking
the building to Kansas City versus Greensburg. That was a huge shock to Stacy. The
board decides to hold studio 804 to their contract. So Stacy talks to Steve Hewitt.
He sets up a conference call with Dan Rockhill. Dan gave his word that the building
will be coming to Greensburg.

All the candidates get ready for the public forum that was held to meet the
candidates, get questions answered and form opinions.

As the water tower is being constructed and laying horizontal on the ground,
alumni from previous years of G.H.S. graduates took the opportunity to tag their
year on the new water tower. From Srs. ’53 to Srs. 2008, too cute!  It was going
to be repainted anyway, so no harm no foul!.

As they were welding the top pieces into place, a spark came flying down and
started a grass fire.  How ironic.  Racing to get the water tower up so that
they would have water available in case of fire. People come running over,
helping to stomp and smother out the flames. Then the fire truck shows up and
doses the rest of the fire out.

Everybody votes. Well, registered voters anyway.

Most of the town turns out to watch the water tower being erected, some in lawn
chairs, some with their kids. To them, it is their beacon of hope, a monument to
the rebirth of their city.

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No Responses to “Greensburg on Planet Green”

  1. Heath Says:

    Both mom & dad were in this one, Dad was the 2nd from the left on the front row of the men’s singing group. Mom was at the art council meeting and was the one that said that 99% of promises made to the town don’t come true and this was just another one of those.

    Erica Goodman’s daughter is the sponsor of the Green club, but I don’t know their contact info or I’d forward your comments to them. They are new to town, but real good people.

    Part of the plans for the bigger water tower are to have room for growth and maybe even a rural water distict in the future for those that don’t live in the city limits. USDA and FEMA weren’t the only ones that helped out funding there either. It wasn’t the Lion’s club, but some orginization like that that gave some money, as well as some private money and help from the state as well. I wished they had given credit to all, and they might when they do the official ribbon cutting. I know the TV crews were there filming when they did that and they gave credit to several different orginizations that helped out on the water tower at that time.

  2. Mitch Says:

    hi just dropping!

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Heath … Thank you for letting me know where your mom and dad are. Makes the connection for me. Thanks for the insider information. Maybe when school starts you can let them know about their site. 🙂

    Hi Mitch … come back again.:)

  4. Condo Blues Says:

    I’m glad that Stacy and the arts council decided to hold Studio 804 to their contract and hopefully Studio 804’s orginal bid price. Just because Studio 804 are students they shouldn’t get away with renigging on a contract/bid – what kind of learning experience is that? And as my husband pointed out, this whole thing was taped, so anyone who may be contacted to work with Studio 804’s future projects, may think twice about it. It may mean that Studio 804 will probabbly have to eat a bunch of the cost to build the arts council building as outlined in their original bid. In that case, I think the students will have learned a valuable lesson: If you promise a client something at a particular price that you have to honor it or it’s bad for your business.

    Condo Bluess last blog post..Christopher Lowell is Back on TV and He’s Working It!

  5. Linda Says:

    Hi Condo …. Here, Here, THANK YOU!!!!

  6. Mike@EasyGreensy Says:

    Hey Linda, Great review as always! BTW I am officially back to the blogs starting today. My short break turned into too much work to catch up on, but now that the winter preparedness is winding down (yes, summer here means getting ready for winter) I’m back!!! I’ve missed the blogging world and all it’s green info.

  7. Linda Says:

    Hi Mike … Welcome Back! You have been gone long enough, are you expecting a hard winter?

  8. Mike@EasyGreensy Says:

    Last winter we had lots of snow here in Vermont. I was only living here for half of it, but I definitely learned to be prepared. In an effort to eliminate the need for oil (which I burned way too much of last winter) I’ve been stacking many cords of firewood which came as scraps from a local FSC logging site. If all goes well I will not be using the oil furnace at all!

    Mike@EasyGreensys last blog post..Offsets Issued

  9. Linda Says:

    Hi Mike … That would be cool. Do you have a fireplace or a wood stove? If you have a wood stove, you can place a fan behind it and it will throw the heat into the rest of the house (experience taught me that). 🙂

  10. Mike@EasyGreensy Says:

    I’ve got a wood furnace, stove, cookstove and fireplace.

    The wood stove has a built in fan and is enough to heat the main rooms I use. The cookstove can be used to bump the temp in the kitchen, and the furnace will be maintaining the rest of the (mostly unused) house at around 50F.

    The fireplace isn’t used as more heat goes up the chimney than the room itself.

    The oil furnace will only turn on if I’m not home long enough to feed the furnace. Just so the pipes don’t burst in the house.

    Mike@EasyGreensys last blog post..Offsets Issued

  11. Linda Says:

    Hi Mike … Sounds pretty cozy! Nothing worse than a pipe bursting in winter time! Grrrrr…..

  12. Websites tagged "fema" on Postsaver Says:

    […] – Greensburg on Planet Green saved by OutilsWeb2008-09-17 – There seems to be a lot of this going around… saved by […]

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