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Commission sets rate for use of county equipment, services
Environmental Management Office finds new digs
courthouse pic new web

Commission to canvass votes Monday

However, there will be no commission meeting that day

The County Commission will meet as the Board of County Canvassers at 8:30 am Monday, Nov. 14, in the Office of the County Clerk. At that time, they will canvass ballots from the Nov. 8 general election.

However, the commission will not meet for its regular agenda meeting Monday as commissioners will be attending the Kansas Association of Counties annual meeting from Nov. 15-17 in Overland Park.

The next meeting will instead be at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21.

The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved a resolution establishing a universal rate for the reimbursement of the use of labor and county equipment. 

The county is often called upon to assist townships, cities, other counties and other governmental agencies, said Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips. In addition to law enforcement, medical and other services, the county, having heavy equipment on hand, is able to provide for the demolition, repair and construction of the local infrastructure and remove and repair areas damaged in or by natural and other disasters when needed. 

Phillips said it is prudent the county establish a universal rate for the reimbursement of the use of labor and county-owned and/or leased equipment. 

The resolution basically codifies what is already in place, Phillips said. Currently, the rates are based on those set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Kansas Department of Transportation, depending on the situation.

In additional business Monday morning, the commission:

• Approved a rental space agreement for the Environmental Management Office. Environmental Manger Judy Goreham found office space at 1910 18th St. in Great Bend. The one-year lease as prepared by JR Hartig, Harper Leasing LLC runs from Nov. 7 through Nov. 6, 2017. In the 2017 Barton County Operating Budget, the County Attorney has been allocated funding for an additional attorney and staff person. In order to accommodate the space requirements of that office, Room 401 in the Courthouse is being remodeled so that it can house the new attorney, a legal secretary and the Victim Witness Coordinator. This results in the Environmental Management Office having to move. 

The actual move-in date for the location, which is three blocks north of the courthouse, is Dec. 1. But, Goreham said having the lease in place now will allow them to start moving smaller items and get the computer and phone infrastructure ready to go first.

Officials tried to find accommodations for the office in the courthouse, but there was nothing that would have worked for the long term.

• Reviewed the Kansas Association of Counties Legislative Policy Statement. On Nov. 15–17, county officials will meet at the KAC annual conference. An important item that will be discussed is the KAC Legislative Policy Statement. Member counties will be called to review the issues and determine the platform’s final form. It will then be utilized during the upcoming legislative session to promote issues related to county government. Each year, Barton County reviews and considers the KAC platform and other initiatives that may have local interest.

One of the key issues is changing or eliminating the property tax lid imposed by the Legislature, said Commissioner Jennifer Schartz. This interference in home rule “ties our hands,” she said.