The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved paying an invoice for a roof replacement at the Barton County Historical Society, despite the project coming in higher than originally expected.
In December 2017, the commission authorized paying Steel Builders Construction Inc. of Great Bend $12,800.00 for a roofing project at the Barton County Historical Society.
However, increases in the price of steel and a number of change orders approved by the society brought the project total to $15,503.17. County Administrator Phil Hathcock said.
“It wasn’t budgeted in 2017 or 18,” Hathcock said. He had visited with society member Paul Maneth who indicated that the organization would pay for the overage should the commission decline to do so.
“They did wait a while” to get the work done, Hathcock said. The approval was last winter, but the invoice was dated October of this year.
This led some on the commission to question the project. Commissioners had been told in December that the roof’s repair was a high priority due to the potential risk to museum exhibits, yet nothing was done right away.
“The county is supportive of the Historical Society,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said. “It is something we budget for.”
Although the request was outside the budget cycle, the society is the repository of many important, historical items, commissioners said. It also operates frugally, relying mostly on volunteers.
But, they went almost a year for having the roof fixed, Schartz said. “How dire was it?”
“I just wish someone was here (from the Historical Society) to answer these questions,” Commissioner Alicia Straub said. Hathcock said he asked Maneth to attend but he was unable to make it.
This involved replacing an old, leaky roof with a new 26-gauge galvalume on a 40x64-foot roof on one of the BCHS’s display buildings. Because of the roof’s condition, the society could not get insurance coverage for it.
The measure was approved unanimously.
The Barton County Historical Society Museum and Village is located on five acres, just south of Great Bend on US Highway 281 (south of the Arkansas River Bridge). It includes several period buildings: an 1873 native stone house, an 1898 church, a 1910 railroad depot, a 1915 school house, and a small post office, all furnished.
The main Museum and other buildings allow a peek into rural community life. There is also a 1950 Lustron Home.
Barton County Commission meeting at a glance
Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:
• Approved paying for the replacement of a roof at the Barton County Historical Society Museum. The project, originally OKed last December, came in higher than when it was first approved.
• Thanked Road and Bridge Department crews and first responders for their response to the weekend’s blizzard.
• Congratulated the Central Plains High School Oiler football team for winning the 2A state football title Saturday in Newton.