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County honors longevity
Commission recognizes employees for years of service
new deh county commission group employee shot
The Barton County Commission Monday morning honored county employees for their many years of service. Pictured are commissioners Kenny Schremmer, Homer Kruckenberg, Don Davis, Alicia Straub and Jennifer Schartz, county Employee Relations Committee President Wendy Birzer, and employees: Steven Miller Road and Bridge; Linda Francis Sheriff; Amy Mellor County Attorney; Sue Pfeifer Administrator/Facilities; Stanley Behrends Road and Bridge; Renee Mater Treasurer; Ryan Gardner Juvenile Services; Guy Disney Sheriff; Donna Willliams Communications/911; Jerald Loesch Road and Bridge; Kurtis Schaub Juvenile Services; Michael Daniel Juvenile Services; Douglas Matthews County Attorney; Dena Popp Communications/911; Connie Miller Health; 25 years of service; Bettejane Wooding Administrator/Mapping; Sharon Wondra Sheriff; Bev Schmeidler County Clerk; and Brad Patzner Sheriffs Department. Not pictured are honored employees Tim McQuad and Kathryn Thompson. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:

• Authorized certain tracts of real estate be sold for back taxes during the 2016 tax sale, set for Oct. 10. This money is then distributed to the various taxing entities in the county. The resolution also authorized abstract work to be performed in preparation for the sale. 

County Treasurer Kevin Wondra said there are 185 properties that are on the auction list now (meaning there are back taxes owed from 2012 through 2015), but letters have gone out to the owners and that number may decrease. The owners have until Feb. 5 to pay at least the 2012 taxes which would remove the property from the 2016 tax sale.

In a related matter, the County Administrator Richard Boeckman said there are no other abstract companies in Barton County so he took the liberty of contacting First American Title Company to provide the needed services. First American Title Company will provide the work for $70 per parcel remaining on the list after the Feb. 5 deadline. 

• Approved a matching funds request from the Southwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging. The agency is requesting matching funds from Barton County in the amount of $1,500 which would be used as “seed dollars” that are an equivalent match to the $339,016 in services received by older residents and low income families from Barton County.

The County has traditionally provided this funding, Boeckman said. 

• Approved renewing the county membership in the Kansas Legislative Policy Group. The KLPG is a bi-partisan coalition of western Kansas counties with the common interest in the preservation of the counties tax base and retention of local control, particularly on oil and gas issues. It serves as a policy and decision making body establishing legislative priorities at its annual meeting and providing speakers to address KLPG members about the important topics of the day. The dues are $4,358.70.

 It was a time to thank Barton County employees for their dedication as the County Commission honored several staff members for their longevity.

The county employees were recognized for continuous service for five, 10, 15 and 20 years, said Wendy Birzer, county Employee Relations Committee president.

As their names were called, they came forward, and shook hands with County Administrator Richard Boeckman, Birzer and the commissioners.

Collectively, the 21 employees represented over 300 years of service to the county. Recognized were:

• Five years of service

Tim McQuad – Communications/911

Steven Miller – Road and Bridge

Linda Francis – Sheriff

Amy Mellor – County Attorney

Sue Pfeifer – Administrator/Facilities

• 10 years of service

Jennifer Schartz – Commissioner

Stanley Behrends – Road and Bridge

Renee Mater – Treasurer

Ryan Gardner – Juvenile Services  

Guy Disney – Sheriff

Donna Willliams – Communications/911

Jerald Loesch – Road and Bridge 

• 15 years of service

Kurtis Schaub – Juvenile Services

Michael Daniel – Juvenile Services

• 20 years of service

Douglas Matthews County Attorney

Dena Popp – Communications/911

Connie Miller – Health

• 25 years of service

Bettejane Wooding – Administrator/Mapping

Kathryn Thompson – Noxious Weed

Sharon Wondra – Sheriff’s Office

Bev Schmeidler – County Clerk

• 30 years of service

Brad Patzner – Sheriff