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Commission names development board members
County encourages eco devo efforts
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 The Barton County Commission Monday morning reappointed Troy Bailey of Claflin and Leon Steiner of Hoisington to the Barton County Community Development Advisory Board. Their uncompensated terms will expire Aug. 1, 2019.

The county recently sought applicants for the BCCDAB which advises the commission on economic and community development matters, monitors the progress of the Barton County Strategic Plan and makes suggestions to the commissioners concerning plan goals. However, County Clerk Donna Zimmerman said there are still two vacant full terms that end in 2019 and one vacant unexpired term that ends in August 2018.

The board is comprised of 11 members divided among the five commission districts. Bailey represents District 4 and Steiner District 5.

Members can come from the manufacturing, non-manufacturing, retail, education and governing sectors of the county. They serve three-year terms.

The BCCDAB meshes well with other economic development efforts, said Commissioner Alicia Straub. She recently attended a Great Plains Development Inc. meeting in Dodge City.

Great Plains is one of 12 similar development companies that cover all of Kansas funded by federal Housing and Urban Development money through the Kansas Department of Commerce. Great Plains covers 28 counties in the western part of the state.

Basically, GPD assists member counties and cities with Small Business Administration loan applications, community development block grant writing and economic development revolving loans. It counsels applicants on where and how to find funding.

Barton County first joined GPD in 1983. Earlier this year, commissioners approved paying $6,877.25 in dues to re-up with the organization. The cost is based on 25 cents per Barton County resident.

There are a lot of resources available, Straub said. She urged residents to get their economic development ideas to the County Administration Office.

In other business Monday morning, the commission:

• Approved the replacement of a Caterpillar 287 compact track skid-steer loader for the Barton County Landfill from Bobcat of Salina at a cost of $$56,501.41. This comes with a buy-back option through which the county can trade it in after one year and get a new loader for $4,500, or after two years and get new one for $7,000.

The landfill currently operates a 2003 Caterpillar 287 to spread rock, mow ditches, recycle mattresses, remove snow and complete various other tasks. This loader has over 3,000 hours, and the manufacturer does not offer a rebuild program.  Currently, the machine is in need of an undercarriage overhaul and new tracks at a cost of approximately $15,000, Solid Waste Director Phil Hathcock said.