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Cost of landfill wireless connection higher than planned
But, change will improve service to facility
new deh more county landfill pic web
The Barton County Landfill will now be connected to other county offices via a wireless connection. - photo by Tribune file photo

It was a little more costly than expected, but the dedicated wireless connection to the Barton County Landfill will be worth it, the Barton County Commission learned Tuesday morning. The commission ratified the spending of an additional $4,000 on the project. 

In February, the commission authorized the Information Technology Department to connect the Solid Waste Department to the Courthouse via a wireless connection. 

“At that time, it was estimated that the project would cost no more than $11,500,” said Network Administrator Dereck Hollingshead. “However, an accounting of the project brings the total project cost to $15,361.77.”

The lion’s share of the extra cost went to the tower, Hollingshead said. The steel girders were larger and more costly than anticipated, and there was the alignment of the tower with the antenna on the Great Bend Co-op grain elevator in town, giving he line-of-sight connection with the highest elevation possible.

But, the new tower will be a stout structure, commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said. “Phil (Solid Waste Director Phil Hathcock) told me it’s not going anywhere.”

“With the $11,000, there was no wiggle room,” he said. They knew there was a good chance of an overage.

Besides the tower, Hollingshead said the “technical equipment” required didn’t change. Barton County personnel handled most of the work for the project. 

The Landfill currently operates a server to run its network; this server will no longer be supported after January 2020. Wireless connection would eliminate the need to replace the server, eliminate some reoccurring costs and improve data backup solutions in general.