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Barton County assures vaccine safety
Final backup refrigerator approved for vaccination storage
Barton County Health Dept web

In other county business:
• Barton County Operations Director Phil Hathcock gave a service update compiled from activity reports from the following Barton County Departments:

Barry McManaman, County Engineer
• Cartographer attended the annual Mappers Conference in Lawrence.
• L&M Contractors continues to chip and patch the Arkansas River bridge on SW 50 Avenue.
• Venture Corporation completed the hot mix overlay project on Boyd Road (NW 40 Avenue)
• Terracon did pavement sampling work on West Barton County Road and Airport Road.

Darren Williams, County Works Director reports:
• Road and Bridge continues to pump sand from the Ellinwood San pit. They made 1,400 tons of cold mix for strip patching and fixing pot holes around the county. 
• Finished striping 103 miles centerline strip and white edge line strip. 
• Mowing continues around the northern part of the county, and the scenic overlook tower area.
• Warren Bros finished the fence at Hillcrest.

Amy Miller, Emergency Risk Director
On Oct. 24, the Barton County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) sponsored by Barton County Emergency Management, held its fourth quarterly meeting of 2017. The committee discussed the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, sometimes called drones, for emergency response. As a result, a future meeting will feature local drone resources presentations. The committee also heard a report from Chairman Miller concerning the 2018 update of the Barton County Emergency Operations Plan, and discussed ways to share information with the public on Winter Weather Awareness Day on Nov. 15.

Jim Jordan, County Treasurer 
All bank accounts have been reconciled and brought up to date, including investments. Vehicle information from Oct. 10-30 included:
• 62 lien releases
• 44 disabled placards
• 2.256 registration renewals
• 22 replace titles
• 131 reprint registrations
• 467 new titles and registrations
• 49 update registrations

Marissa Woodmansee, Juvenile Services Director reports:
• All full time staff attending legal training provided by KDOC Juvenile Services.
• Juvenile Intake and Assessment numbers are still higher than usual and staff has completed 54 intakes since Sept. 25. 
• Juvenile Intensive Supervised Probation and Case Management is currently supervising 38 youth from the Judicial District.
• Project Stay is the case management program for youth who have truancy issues and currently provides case management for 26 youth in the Judicial District.
• Hoisington school district expressed interest in the All-Stars curriculum so information is being provided to them in an effort to implement it there.


There was another failure of equipment at the Health Department, but this time it didn’t take anyone by surprise, Barton County Health Director Shelly Schneider told commissioners Monday morning. Many of the vaccines held by the Health Department must be stored in a refrigerated environment, and a 10-year-old refrigeration unit recently failed. The service provider called to repair the unit will not be able to guarantee the refrigerator will be able to maintain the proper temperature needed to protect the vaccines.
“Unfortunately, getting parts for the machine is no longer an option either,” Schneider said.
The situation echoed what the health department faced in February when the main pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators the department uses to keep vaccines and other medications at critically cool temperatures failed.
That refrigerator has already been replaced, but with flu season looming and the department in the midst of the heavy childhood vaccination season, it is completely full at this time, she said. A backup refrigerator is needed in case the primary one breaks down. Schneider recommended that it be replaced with an EVOx-1RG Pharmacy/Laboratory Refrigerator from Magali Scientific. Including shipping, the unit costs $4,861. A majority of the vaccine could be stored there in an emergency. The health department stores around $100,000 worth of vaccines at any time, Schneider said.
County commissioner Jennifer Schartz noted this is the third piece of equipment that has broke down this year.
“This is the third piece of equipment you have had to replace in a very short amount of time,” Schartz said. “Is this everything now? Have we replaced all the refrigerators and freezers?”
Schneider replied she believed so. Schartz noted that when everything goes down at the same time, it all needs to be replaced at the same time, so there is no way to get out of that cycle.
“Eight to ten years from now we’re probably going to see the same thing again,” she said.
Schneider was hopeful this would not be the case, admitting that she probably delayed replacing the unit longer than she should have in an effort to be thrifty. Fortunately, the new units each have five year warranties in addition to the two year warranties on the compressors, so if they should run into problems, Schneider will be able to replace them in a timely manner.
The commission approved the purchase of the scientific refrigerator.
In other Health Department business, Schneider commented on the final results of the medication drop-off when she addressed the County Commission Monday morning. (See related story.)
She also spoke about the flu shot clinic held Saturday morning, where 33 flu shots were administered. Health department staff treated the clinic as a training session for emergency preparedness in the event of a mass dispensing or vaccination event.