By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Commission votes to re-up with Workfit
Placeholder Image

Parcels remain on tax sales

The Barton County Commission learned Monday morning there are still 43 property parcels remaining on the list for the county’s annual tax sale,set for 10 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the courthouse conference room on the first floor.

Owners are able to redeem parcels until noon, Friday, Oct. 9. 

The County recently took judgment on the parcels remaining on the 2015 Tax Sale.

 A Barton County Commission split over the cost narrowly approved the practice of the county paying for pre-employment physicals for new hires.

By a vote of 3-2, the commission agreed to continue physical capacity profile testing through Workfit. The rate for the service, which compares a potential employees physical limitations to the job description, is $105 per test. 

WorkFit determines the abilities of the potential hire’s to perform a job’s essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodation, County Administrator Richard Boeckman said. This reduces the possibility of placing an individual in a position where there is a substantial risk of injury, thereby reducing work-related injuries and potential workers’ compensation claims.

“This is the pre-employment physical,” Boeckman said, adding it applies to all job candidates. If an applicant is hired, their employment is conditional pending the results of the screening.

However, “we’re in a year when we have to plan to do a lot of cutting,” commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer said. He wondered if the testing was worth the cost when the budget is so tight.

Also, he said, the county has good department heads who can be trusted to make wise hiring decisions.

“I agree completely with Kenny on this,” Commissioner Alicia Straub said. She said the county’s low workers’ comp rates can be attributed to the choices made by departmental leaders.

But, Boeckman said, one bad hire could lead to a claim that would cost more than the money saved as the county’s workers’ comp rate would increase. In fact, it was a very expensive claim several years ago that led the county to contract with Workfit.

Plus, he said, the Americans with Disabilities Act limits what questions the county can ask in a job interview. The Workfit test gives county officials objective information they might not otherwise get.

“I look at this as insurance,” Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said, noting it helps protect the county. Also, it would be too much pressure on department heads to make the call on someone’s physical abilities.

Landfill Director Phil Hathcock and Sheriff Brian Bellendir who were in the meeting were asked their thoughts. Both said they saw value in the testing.

The physicals are done by Advance Therapy of Great Bend.

It measure was approved with commissioners Schartz, Don Davis and Homer Kruckenberg voting for it. Schremmer and Straub were both opposed.