Kansas Contractors Respond with Heavy Equipment and Generators for Western Kansas Weather Crisis
January 4, 2007
Director of Marketing
Kansas Contractors Association, Inc.
316 SW 33rd Street
Topeka, KS 66605-0061
TOPEKA, KS (January 4, 2007) Kansas Contractors from across the state are responding to a request to provide heavy equipment to repair downed power lines and provide generators to feedlots. The Kansas Contractors Association received an urgent request from the State Adjutant General and the Secretary of Agriculture offices. Dan Ramlow, executive vice president of the KCA, forwarded the urgent request to contractors and equipment supplier members and was pleased with the immediate response. Within 12 hours bulldozers and other heavy equipment were being dispatched. A primary need is to tow electric company trucks through the snow, ice and mud to repair downed lines and restore power. KCA members are also providing large generators to supply power to feedlots.
Contractors from across the state, including the cities of Topeka, Salina, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City have offered to provide heavy equipment and operators to electric utility companies restoring service to Western Kansas communities as well as neighboring states.
Tom Lowery, operations manager for Aquila, an electricity and gas company providing service to Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, reported Max Jantz Excavating, LLC of Montezuma is providing four bull dozers to tow utility trucks to reach the downed utility poles. “The Jantz equipment is being used to pull our trucks through some fields to allow us to replace cross arms and poles and put wires back up. The equipment will also allow us to get power to the KBSD-TV Channel 6 in Dodge City.”
Twenty to 30 workers from Max Jantz company worked long hours to clear tree limbs using tractors, semi trucks, bull dozers and front end loaders to make the city of Montezuma accessible. Liz Jantz, project manager, said the company donated the labor and equipment and the city of Montezuma bought lunch for the entire crew at Donna C’s, a popular local restaurant.
Three track-type bulldozers were supplied to Midwest Energy by Sporer Land Development, Inc. of Oakley, Kansas. “Our dozers are getting trucks through the snow drifts to restore power to the Oakley region,” commented Jay Sporer, vice president. “We also have two wheel loaders and six dump trucks hauling snow,” he continued. “A big part of the effort is for the Colby Municipal Airport where they are trying desperately to get the airport open to get doctors in from Denver.”
The Sporer company has also provided equipment to ranchers including an 8000 acre ranch in Logan county where a bulldozer was used to get hay to 1700 heads of livestock. “The ground is 100% covered with snow” Sporer explained. “As they cleared the snow to uncover grass, cattle that hadn’t eaten in days were following the bulldozer. We are very busy running around trying to help the effort.” Over the weekend Sporer crews ran front end loaders to dig out a 40,000 head feedlot and supplied generators to employees whose homes were without power.
Candice Conrad, marketing manager of Murphy Tractor, Wichita, Kan., reported their company responded to the request and has provided three motor graders, one from as far away as Kansas City, for the Guymon, Oklahoma region in extreme North West Oklahoma.
“There has been a tremendous outpouring of contractors who have called offering equipment,” commented Randy Magnison, assistant to the CEO of Pioneer Electric. “The local resources have been tied up already, so we have a list formed and will know by late today which other resources we need from Hamm and others across the state.” Magnison indicated Pioneer’s engineering staff is assessing the damage and determining the needs and will then request additional equipment from the contractors who have offered assistance. Rodney Hamm, of Hamm Incorporated of Perry was among 20 – 25 contractors to offer equipment to Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc. They are prepared to send equipment as soon as the details come through.
About the Kansas Contractors Association
The Kansas Contractors Association represents 400 members of the heavy, highway and utility construction industries across Kansas. As the state’s largest full-service association, KCA is committed to constantly improving the industry offering Government and Regulatory Programs, Networking and Social Events, Education and Safety Programs, Products and Publications.