Long fireworks weekend event free
Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir told the Barton County Commission Monday morning that the weekend call load county wide was light, especially considering the discharging of fireworks was allowed for two days in most areas of Barton County.
Fireworks were allowed in unincorporated areas of the county on Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4, this year after action by the County Commission. The City of Hoisington also allowed for two days, but they were banned Friday in other cities.
Bellendir said the rural fire departments didn’t report any fireworks-related runs. The Barton County Sheriff’s Office had its normal holiday increase in criminal activity, but no more fireworks calls than usual.
Commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer, who introduced the idea of the extra fireworks day, said he was glad it went well. Rains Thursday night dampened the area and helped.
It was a triple dose of bad news for the Barton County Commission Monday morning.
Not only did it learn problems in the county’s 2013 audit cost the Family Crisis Center grant funding and there would still be shortcomings in the 2014 audit, but they also heard this 2014 audit would be late.
County Clerk Donna Zimmerman told commissioners the past year’s tax reconciliations have not been completed yet. This process started in April when it should probably have been started at the first of the year.
She said this information is needed for the county’s auditors to prepare their report. Furthermore, she said, this audit is needed for the county to plan its 2016 budget, meaning the spending plan will also be delayed.
The hold-up is getting the reconciliations from the County Treasure’s Office, which is responsible for the work, she said. The 2014 tax roles closed in October so this process could have started then.
“This is a big job,” she said. There is also a lot of other activity going on in the Treasure’s Office that keep the staff busy.
Still, by December or January, there should have been time to get it started.
There were issues last year with the department changing over to a new software system. But, Zimmerman said she didn’t think that was a problem now.
Commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer didn’t cut the department and County Treasurer Kevin Wondra any slack. “It’s always been done in the past.”
Wondra has been short one person in his office since early this year.
In other business Monday Morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved Sunflower Diversified Services as the recipient of the 2015 local recycling grant, totalling $15,000. In the 2015 budget, the commission allocated $15,000 under Solid Waste for recycling with an understanding that applications would be accepted locally for the monies. Those eligible to apply include any department, agency, organization, recycling center, city, school district or community college located in Barton County, said Solid Waste Director Phil Hathcock.
• Approved Barton County entering into an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for the High Risk Rural Road Sign Replacement Project. County Engineer Clark Rusco said the county has been approved by KDOT for the next HRRR project. KDOT will provide 100 percent of the total costs planning, construction and inpection.