County business offices will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 2. The Health Department, the Records Division of the Sheriff’s Office and the Landfill will also be closed. Emergency services will be in normal operation.
The County Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday instead of Monday at the courthouse, 1400 Main in Great Bend.
Noting there were no safety concerns and to avoid harming a local business, the Barton County Commission Monday morning lessened the distance a large fireworks stand has to be from surrounding structures.
Since 1996, the county has inspected fireworks stands, located in Barton County but outside any city corporate limits, for compliance with state laws. However, during inspections done this summer, it was determined the current separation distances are too restrictive, said Barton County Environmental Manager Judy Goreham.
Under the county resolution covering the inspections, a fireworks stand that is over 1,000 square feet had to be at least 200 feet from any other building. In most cases this was not a problem, but it was for the Menges family business just east of Great Bend.
The stand was 138 feet from Kiowa Kitchen, a nearby Mexican restaurant. The long-time business is land-locked and can’t move any further at its current location and would have to relocate.
Goreham said after learning the Menges operation was closer than the resolution allowed, her office did some research. They learned there was no state law setting the 200-foot separation and local fire departments had no requirements either.
With this in mind, she suggested the change to 125 feet. After all, since there were no legal or safety concerns, they didn’t want to negatively impact a local business.
As for fireworks sales licensing fees, Goreham said they are based on square footage. Those 1,000-2,000 square feet pay $225, those 2,000-3,000 square feet pay $325, and those over 3,000 pay $400.
This stand pays the $400.
In other business Monday, the commission:
• Approved the Central Kansas Community Corrections carry-over reimbursement plan budget. The Kansas Department of Corrections requires a budget submission of local program funding collected by community corrections agencies from program fees and reimbursements. The CKCC budget therefore requires the review and approval of the Barton County Commission, said Amy Boxberger, CKCC director. This money being carried over from past years totals $87,185.44, money that can be used for services and equipment and make up for money cut from the state budget.
• Approved the purchase of two new computers for the Environmental Management Division for a total of $1,890 from Office Products Incorporated in Great Bend. The newest of the two old machines was bought in 2008, the other was older, Goreham said.
She said the OPI bid was $10.74 less than the bid from Dell, so she recommended going with the local vender.
However, most of the other computers used by the county are Dells, said Information Technology Director John Debes. His department prefers there not be several brands in use to make servicing them easier, adding they have had good luck with Dells in the past.
But, the county does have some other brands in use, including some machines bought from OPI, and have had success with them as well, Debes said. He just doesn’t want to see a patchwork quilt of computers.
It was asked if OPI could order Dells. Debes said it doesn’t.
• Approved the purchase of a PowerEdge T420 Server with appropriate soft and hardware from Dell for Central Kansas Community Corrections at a cost of $2,662.71. The old server was nine years old and just stopped working.