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A lot has happened and a lot is in the works
Commission hears departmental accomplishments, goals
new deh county goals pic
The dedication of the first stone at the Golden Belt Veterans Memorial was a highlight of the past year for several Barton County departments. It is hoped the second stone will be dedicated on Veterans Day this year. - photo by Tribune file photo

 As the new year dawned, it was a time for the Barton County Commission to look back at 2015 and look forward to 2016. 

County Administrator Richard Boeckman said each year he approaches all the appointed county department heads to submit a list of accomplishments of the past year and goals for the coming year. This yielded a 12-page report from which he offered highlights.

“The report is designed to make citizens aware of the diversity of the county’s functions,” Boeckman said. It was also a time for commissioners to thank the officials for their efforts.

Below are some of the report highlights:

County Engineer Barry McManaman

2015 Accomplishments

• Project 2425-1712, Constructed new concrete box culvert south of Odin.

• Project 1621-1815, Constructed new concrete box culvert northeast of Albert.

• Project 5 C 4716-01, Replaced beams and deck on Bridge 300 in the northeast corner of Barton County.

• 2015 Asphalt Overlay project on Juco Road east of BCC and on Hirsch Avenue in Ellinwood.

2016 Goals

• Assist with potential township road improvements for access to Cheyenne Bottoms.

• Develop 2016 Asphalt Overlay project on Washington Street, NW 30 Road and NW 10 Avenue.

• Develop a project to replace Bridge 650 north of Beaver.

• Construct Project 5 C 4702-01 GRS bridge east of Great Bend on East Barton County Road.

• Construct Projects TE 0375-01 and TE 0423-01 for the scenic overlook and tower east of Redwing.

• Continue working with the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and consultants for development for the Countywide Safety Plan.

• Coordinate scour critical bridge riprap placement with Road and Bridge.

Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips 

Road and Bridge – 2015 Accomplishments

• Installed central air and heat in office and crew room

• Upgraded Electronic Equipment and Computer Technology

• Moved sand pit operations from South Washington to Ellinwood Pit, purchasing a sand dredge.

• Upgraded truck fleet.

• Road Maintenance and Improvement.

– Produced 35,000 Tons of asphalt.

– Overlaid 39 miles.

– Sealed 85 miles.

– Sign repair and maintenance required 1,854 hours and $74,116. 

• Snow Removal and Treating Roads (November and December, 2015).

– Road and Bridge had 653 hours, applied 1,200 tons of salt/sand mixture keeping roads open.

• Mowing Operations

– Mowing ditches required 2,758 labor hours and cost the Department $118,841.

– In 2015, the mowers ran 91 days, logging 890 hours on mowing tractors and costing $118,963.

• Other Operations

– Oversee operations at Golden Belt and Hillcrest. Marking graves, pouring footing for Veterans Memorial, erecting flag poles and raising flags on Holidays.

– Assist Noxious Weed in setting up Voter Booths for elections.

– Shop maintains and builds equipment for use in operations.

2016 Goals

• Asphalt overlay (40 miles).

• Asphalt sealing (100 miles).

• Hotmix overlay (7 miles).

• High-risk Rural Roads Sign Replacement Grants (900 plus Signs).

• Improve Ellinwood Pit area.

• Complete Second Stone at Memorial Park Veterans Memorial.

• Get smart phone technology.

• Complete historical bridge restoration.


Noxious Weed – 2015 Accomplishments

• Weed Spraying

– 15,110 total acres sprayed by county personnel.

– 93,320 total acres sprayed across the county. 

– 17 Townships sprayed by county personnel. 

– 650 Township miles sprayed by county personnel.

– Nearly 1,200 miles of county roadsides treated by county personnel. 

– Approximately 240 miles of KDOT roadsides treated by county personnel. 

• Snow removal 

• Various Projects for courthouse and other departments.

– Deliver, setup and pickup voting machines 

• Winter projects

– Snow removal as planned

Memorial Parks – 2015 Accomplishments

• Veterans Memorial completion.

• Set first Engraved Memorial Stone.

Landfill Director Phil Hathcock 

2015 Accomplishments

• Two bays of the North shop were enclosed. 

• Shingle recycling program started.

• New compactor purchased.

• Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program extended to year-round operation.

• HHW Operations plan revised.

• Aging trucks replaced.

• Liquid addition plan submitted to Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

• Two illegal dumpsites were remediated.

2016 Goals

• Complete permit modification with SCS Aquaterra.

• Replace groundwater monitoring well pumps.

• Repair gravel roads around scale house.

• Investigate recycling options with Great Bend Sanitation Department

• Complete five-year review of the Solid Waste Management Plan.

• Re-bid engineering services contract (this is last year).

• Update HHW building and sorting areas.

• Clean out dead trees on south side of Landfill.

• Install electronic sign on scale house to communicate with customers.

• Develop better equipment training program for employees.

Environmental Manager Judy Goreham

2015 Accomplishments

• Permits issued - 162

– Septic system permits - 56 

– Water well permits - 35 

– Building permits - 29

– Floodplain development permits - 2

– Fireworks stand licenses - 3

– Wastewater contractor licenses - 16

– Wastewater hauler licenses - 21

• Field work conducted by staf - 647

– Pump truck inspections - 5

– In-house water tests - 157

– Lender evaluation inspections 068

– Lender evaluation re-visits - 11

– Septic tank pump-out inspections - 69

– Certified laboratory water tests collected - 55

– Septic system location sited - 44

– Septic system final inspections - 118

– Lagoon final inspections - 5

– Lagoon fence final inspections - 4

– Water well location sited - 9

– Water well final inspections - 75

– Daycare inspections - 5

– Septic system violation inspections - 2

– Floodplain violation inspection - 1

– Zoning violation inspection - 1

– Nuisance code violation inspections - 2

– Fireworks stand inspections - 3

– Building location sited 002

– Illegal water well inspection - 1

• Zoning

– Worked with the Planning Commission over the past two years to complete a review of the Barton County Comprehensive Plan and submitted it for clerical review in October.

– Began a Focus group to give the County Website a “face-lift” in November – project is on-going.

– Updated the fees charged for services which should result in $5,000 additional income annually. New fee schedule went into effect January 1, 2016.

2016 Goals

• Begin a first review of the new Zoning Regulations after “three” years of experience to determine if anything needs to be changed or updated “after the Comprehensive Plan is re-adopted”.

• Finalize the “Face-Lift” for the County Website and go live.

• Review the Environmental Code to determine if anything needs to be changed or updated.

Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller

2015 Accomplishments

• Emergency Planning

– Updated and adopted the South Kansas Region E Multi-Hazard Multi-Jurisdictional Mitigation Plan. The plan was developed as a Regional Jurisdictional Mitigation Plan for Barton County, as well as Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt and Stafford Counties.

– Led the Barton County Local Emergency Planning Committee through a review of Emergency Support Function (ESF) 10—Oil and Hazardous Materials, Barton County Emergency Operations Plan.

o Worked in partnership with the Barton County Public Health Department to review Emergency Support Function (ESF) 8—Public Health and Medical Services, Barton County Emergency Operations Plan, and met with ESF 8 representing Funeral Directors, Behavioral Heath and Humane Society.

• Grants

- Applied for and received the 2015 Emergency Management Planning Grant (EMPG) from the State of Kansas. These are federal pass through grant funds which are made available to County emergency management agencies to enhance and sustain an all-hazard emergency management program for the protection of life and property. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, Barton County was awarded $24,385.

 - Barton County was an applicant for public assistance grant money for the federal disaster declaration which was declared for Barton County following spring storms and the department continues to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to receive the applicable public assistance funds.

• Exercises

o Participated in, reviewed Barton County Emergency Operations Plan, and developed County improvement plans for two tabletop exercises:

1) Time to Prepare—an Ebola based scenario and

2) South Central Region ESF 8 Disaster Recovery—a tornado based scenario.

• Preparedness

- Developed policy for all Barton County employees to become trained in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS).

- Sponsored “Storm Fury on the Plains”, the annual severe weather safety and storm spotters meeting presented by the National Weather Service Office, Wichita. 

- In partnership with KAKE-TV, Dillons and the National Weather Service Office, Wichita, provided free programming of weather radios and promoted their benefits of personal preparedness.

- During the calendar year, Barton County was the recipient of a light tower with the capability to provide light for disaster and emergency scenes.

• Training

o Provided training to township officials on damage assessment, financial records and other federal requirements for public assistance applications following a federal disaster declaration.

2016 Goals

• Apply for FY 2016 Emergency Management Planning Grant (EMPG) funding.

• Continue to promote individual preparedness for severe weather, year round, through news media, social media and other activities.

• Improve tracking of disaster related expenses through education with all possible public assistance applicants in Barton County.