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VIN inspections will continue in Barton County

POSTED February 14, 2011 4:50 p.m.
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County officials, who have been discussing options since it was announced earlier this year that the Barton County Sheriff’s Office would drop VIN inspection, agreed Monday to use other county funds to offset BCSO expenses for the VIN program.
The commission approved payment of expenses out of the 911 wireless tax fund with $9,472.59 going into the sheriff’s budget and $10,469.70 into the detention budget.
It was suggested that part of that money will fund the expenses of the VIN program and part will offset expected increases in fuel costs for the BCSO road patrol for this year.
In return, the proceeds from the inspections will be deposited into the county General Fund. The agreement was approved by the commission, with Commissioner John Edmonds voting in opposition.
In round figures, it was discussed that approximately $13,000 comes in annually from the VIN process, while about $1,300 is paid out to the state.
Sheriff Greg Armstrong had announced earlier this year that he planned to drop the program due to expected cost increases.
If the county did not stay involved in the inspection effort, it would have fallen back to the Kansas Highway Patrol, which is the state department that has the VIN responsibility. However, all around the state, the work is frequently carried out by local or county law enforcement. It has to be, by state regulation, overseen by law enforcement, it was noted.
While the KHP would have taken over the duty locally, it was noted earlier that the frequency would have dropped to once a week, that it would have been available.
VIN inspections are not routinely required when a vehicle is purchased and titled within the state. It is required when a title is transferred in from an out-of-state sale, however.
Armstrong had commented in the Tribune earlier that he’d be willing to continue the inspections if his department could keep the proceeds, rather than turning them over to the county General Fund.
The last time this issue came before the commission, however, then commission chairman Kirby Krier commented about various other departments, including the Treasurer, Clerk and Register of Deeds, who all perform special services and forward the money to the General Fund.

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