Commission authorizes publication of budget
The Barton County Commission Monday morning authorized the publication of the county’s 2018 operating budget. In addition, a public budget hearing was set for 9 a.m. Monday, July 31, prior to the regular commission meeting.
A public notice of the spending package will appear in the Great Bend Tribune later this month. The notice sets the maximum (estimated) tax levy and budget expenditures, meaning these figures can be lowered, but not
increased, between now and the commission’s final approval following the hearing.
The budget to be presented July 31 calls for the mill rate to stay the same as in 2017 at 43.57.
As it turns out, Barton County will get some additional state money to pay for damage to county infrastructure caused by storms two years ago.
Barton County experienced damage on some roads and bridges as a result of the thunderstorms, heavy rains and flash flooding in the spring of 2015, that resulted in a Federal Disaster Declaration on July 20, 2015. However, some of the damaged infrastructure was originally constructed with federal aid.
As such, it could not be submitted for Public Assistance money under the Federal Disaster Declaration, said County Engineer Barry McManaman.
Consequently, a damage assessment was made through the Kansas Department of Transportation for assistance and an agreement was approved on March 28, 2016, for emergency relief repair. It awarded the county $90,974.
However, it was the county Road and Bridge Department that realized the state had not provided the full amount of funding the county was eligible for. This revised estimate projected estimated costs at $107,625.85.
So, the supplemental agreement from KDOT awards Barton county an additional $16,651.28.
According to Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller, who was heavily involved in the application, the damage included water flooding roads and washing out soil around bridges on county-maintained blacktops.
In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved a $39,500 contract with SCS Engineers of Long Beach, Calif., to prepare the additional Kansas Department of Health and Environment-required documents to complete a permit modification for the Barton County Landfill. SCS had also prepared the original documentation, but KDHE wanted more information, said Solid Waste Director Phil Hathcock.
Solid Waste operates the landfill per KDHE regulations, and initial permit documentation has been submitted to KDHE which has provided a list of items to be addressed. These are now resolved.
“This is a complex process,” Hathcock said. But, he said, it’s worth it.
“This will about double the air space of the landfill,” he said. This means the life of the facility will be doubled.
As it is now, it has about 33 years left with the existing space. It will be increased to 60-70 years when this is done.