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County collecting reports of storm damage
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 Barton County Emergency Management has been working to accumulate information on storm-related damages since May 4, said Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller. The result has been a local disaster declaration and inclusion in the State of Kansas disaster declaration.

On June 18, representatives from the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and FEMA met with local officials to gather detailed information on damages and other expenses related to heavy rains and flooding, Miller said in a report to the County Commission Monday morning. Local entities represented at the meeting were Barton County Road and Bridge, Buffalo Township, Comanche Township, Liberty Township, Lakin Township and Barton County Solid Waste. 

After the initial meeting, the KDEM and FEMA representatives gathered detailed information and inspected damage sites with the local units of government, she said. Great Bend Township also met with KDEM and FEMA to discuss damages.

The preliminary damage assessment meetings are being conducted across the state to verify that the state has met the qualifying threshold to apply for a Federal Disaster Declaration. It is doubtful Barton County will receive any funds, but local numbers may help the statewide effort, Miller said.

Miller’s report was part of County Administrator Richard Boeckman’s biweekly departmental update delivered Monday. Other highlights included:

Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips

Road and Bridge

• Doing asphalt overlay in the northeast area of the County. Generally working on the Ellsworth County line north of Claflin.

• Asphalt is being hauled to the projects daily with 4,000 tons hauled. 22,500 tons mixed to date. 

• Asphalt work will progress west towards the Hitschman area at the end of the week.

• Bridge work continued with the backfilling of a bridge southeast of Odin to allow for harvest machines to get passage over the Cheyenne Township road. Wet weather has prevented the work from being completed earlier.

• Staff will meet with the Federal Emergency Management Agency officials today related to the latest disaster declaration from previous flooding.

• Sign work continued. Most of the work related to weather or regular maintenance. 

• Work on the Road and Bridge offices was completed and staff moved back into the office areas after the recent HVAC construction.

• Staff attended training on use of drones related to future road maintenance activities.

• Staff attended training on GPS applications and mapping of projects. 

 Noxious Weed

• Staff continues to work on Musk Thistle spraying throughout the county and making contacts with landowners related to Musk Thistle infestations.

• Due to the wet weather, spraying has been difficult. Road and Bridge heavy equipment has been used to remove equipment stuck in the mud.

• Bindweed spraying was started in drier fields.

Memorial Parks:

• Roads were prepared after heavy rains washed areas out. 

• Work on fencing at Golden Belt is ongoing. 

Environmental Manager Judy Goreham

The next regular meeting of the Barton County Planning Commission is scheduled for 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 14, at the Barton County Courthouse, First Floor Conference Room. The public is invited to attend.

Solid Waste Director Phil Hathcock

• 868 tons of municipal solid waste

• 217 tons of construction/demolition waste

• 167 tons of special waste

• 585 loads of waste received for disposal

• $67,604.98 of revenue generated through disposal fees

Three loads of mattresses were delivered to Hutchinson Correctional Facility for recycling.

• The next household hazardous waste (HHW) collection will be held from 8 a.m. to noon June 20 at the landfill. The Barton County Landfill has items for reuse from the recent HHW collections. Stop by the Landfill and take advantage of this free service.

For more information regarding recycling, household hazardous waste, or regular household waste, call the landfill at 620-793-1898.