Operation Ensign

In 2003, Operation Ensign, a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation, was formed by Chairperson Phil Blake and others to dedicate its efforts to the restoration of the Bicentennial Flag Pavilion Memorial located in Veterans Memorial Park and other veteran memorials located in the city of Wichita.

Operation Ensign has since been placed under the administration of Veterans Memorial Park of Wichita Inc.

VA/HUD GRANT B-05-SP- KS0085 SCOPE OF WORK (Operation Ensign)

VA/HUD GRANT B-05-SP-KS0085 was requested to provide Federal Funding through OPERATION ENSIGN, to assist in repairing and refurbishing a number of monuments and memorials in the City of Wichita, KS, which are dedicated to Veterans.

This grant is not intended for use in refurbishing the John S. Stevens Bicentennial Flag Pavilion or other veterans memorials within Veterans Memorial Park located on Greenway Boulevard.

This grant is intended to include a number of other Veterans Monuments and Memorials in the City of Wichita, specifically; ( 1) The Spanish-American War Memorial located in Central Riverside Park, (2) The World War II Memorial located in Emerson McAdams Park, ( 3 ) The GAR Civil War Memorial located in the City's Highland Cemetery on the northwest comer of Hillside and Ninth Street, and ( 4 ) The Civil War Union Veterans Memorial Gazebo and Plot in Maple Grove Cemetery on the northeast comer of Hillside and Ninth Streets.

The grounds of items (1), (2), and (3) are maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Wichita.

The City of Wichita will accomplish the renovations and repairs of Projects (1) & (3) with the assistance of Operation Ensign in the form of leveraged financial aid and planning.

The completion of Project (2) will be accomplished by America Legion Post 273 of Wichita, KS with the assistance of Operation Ensign in the form of leveraged financial aid and planning.

Item (4) is located within the boundaries of a commercial burial ground, Maple Grove Cemetery. The renovations and refurbishments are projects of and under the direction of the owners, Maple Grove, Inc. and a not-for-profit 50l(c) (3) entity, and Maple Grove Heritage Association, formed specifically to raise funds and refurbish the Gazebo. This Memorial Gazebo, established in 1895 and enlarged in later years with a circular area around the Gazebo for Civil War Veterans graves, will be restored with assistance from Operation Ensign in the form of leveraged financial aid and planning.

PROJECT BUDGET

PROJECT I.    REFURBISHMENT OF SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR MEMORIAL IN CENTRAL RIVERSIDE PARK, WICHITA, KS.

PROJECT COST ESTIMATE:     $44,600.00

PROJECT II.    WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL IN EMERSON MCADAMS PARK, WICHITA, KS.

PROJECT COST ESTIMATE:     $20,500.00

PROJECT III.    REFURBISH CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL, HIGHLAND CEMETERY, WICHITA, KS.

PROJECT COST ESTIMATE:     $22,000.00

PROJECT IV.     RESTORATION AND RENOVATION OF THE CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL GAZEBO AND SURROUNDING CIRCLE OF CIVIL WAR HEADSTONE MARKERS. BEGAN IN 1897 AND DEDICATED ON MEMORIAL DAY, 1901, THIS MEMORIAL IS LOCATED IN THE MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY, WICHITA, KS.

PROJECT PART (1) COST ESTIMATE:     $41,000.00

PROJECT PART (2) COST ESTIMATE:     $110,000.00

TOTAL PROJECT COST ESTIMATE:     $151,000.00

PROJECTS I, II, III, & IV TOTAL COST ESTIMATE:    $238,100.00

ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONAL EXPENSE BUDGET:    $59,500.00

PLANNING, MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT AND ADMINISTRATION Project financing fees, expenses, taxes and insurance. Development and construction management fees and costs. Professional services necessary to implement the project (architectural, engineering, surveying, appraisal, legal, accounting, etc.). On-site services during construction (security, temporary utilities, etc.).

TOTAL PROJECT ESTIMATED COST ---------------- $297,600.00

Additional Information Operation Ensign

Agenda Item No. 9, City of Wichita City Council Meeting June 28, 2005 Agenda Report No. 05-0630
 
SUBJECT:    HUD Economic Development Initiative Grant Veterans Memorial Park (District VI)
 
INITIATED BY:    Department of Park and Recreation

AGENDA:    Consent
  
Recommendation:  Approve the grant application.

Background:  The John S. Stevens Memorial was dedicated in 1977 and was conveyed to the Board of Park Commissioners by the City of Wichita in 1980.  Since that time, the Stevens Memorial has become one of the key memorials in Veterans Memorial Park, displaying 14 different flags which give a brief chronological history and development of the United States.  In recent years, the memorial has shown signs of aging and the condition of the flag systems is in great need of replacement with newer technology that will provide greater durability and vandal resistance.  The existing walls around the plaza area are also in need of treatment to increase visibility and public safety to the plaza.
 
In 2003, Operation Ensign, a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation, was formed by Chairperson Phil Blake and others to dedicate its efforts to the restoration of the Stevens Memorial and other veteran memorials located in the city.  Since that time, Park and Recreation staff have been actively developing criteria in partnership with Operation Ensign to resolve the issues in the Stevens Memorial.  In May 2004, the City developed and constructed an ADA-compliant bus drop-off  area along North Greenway Boulevard and a new access walkway for future memorial events to improve site accessibility for larger events.  This was considered one of the first important steps to improving the mission for event use in Veterans Memorial Park and the Stevens Memorial.
 
Since the Fall of 2003, Operation Ensign has worked actively with federal officials to lobby for funding to rehabilitate the Stevens Memorial.  On November 23rd, 2004, Congress announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded two Economic Development Initiative Special Project grants for Project Ensign and the City of Wichita. The purpose of these grants is to renovate and restore the Stevens Memorial located within Veterans Memorial Park.
 
Analysis:  Two grants were awarded for the Veterans Memorial Park.  Project Ensign (Operation Ensign) was awarded $297,600 (grant number B-05-SP-KS-0085) and the City of Wichita will receive $248,000 (grant number B-05-SP-KS-0487).  Both grants are for Veterans Memorial Park with funds having a five-year requirement for funding to be spent.
 
With these funds, the City will direct funding to restore the lanyards and cabinet boxes for the flagpoles.  Additional funding will be used to make improvements to the wall work which is necessary to improve visibility and park safety, as well as other restoration efforts that may be required to bring the project to a satisfactory condition.
 
Financial Considerations:  The City of Wichita grant totals $248,000 and does not require matching funds.
 
Legal Considerations:  The City will be required to comply with the conditions of the grant agreement. 
 
Recommendation/Action: Approve the grant application and authorize the necessary signatures for the grant application and the grant award.