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County to upgrade link used for court appearances


Property tax statements being sent

The Barton County Treasurer’s Office has started mailing out property tax statements. However, not all have been sent, the Barton County Commission learned Monday morning.
The statements cover the first-half payments. Property owners have until Dec. 20 pay their bills.
Second-half payment are due by May 10, 2016.
It was noted that even if an owner has not received a statement, they can call the Treasurer’s Office for a total owed.
If any taxpayer has questions pertaining to their 2015 value, they can contact the Appraiser’s Office. Values can be appealed by completing a payment under protest form and returning it to the Treasurer’s Office with payment.
The forms may be picked up in the Treasurer’s Office or found on the Barton County website,, under forms in the appraiser’s section.
The Barton County Appraiser’s office welcomes any questions that a citizen may have regarding appraisals, revitalization, how a tax bill is calculated or any other appraisal related questions. One may call 620-793-1821 or stop by the Appraiser’s Office.

 For over 10 years, the county has used a direct fiber link between the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the District Court for first appearance hearings. Not only does this reduce the possibility of escape or an unfavorable interaction with the public, this also reduces stress on staff.  

However, Barton County Information Technology Director John Debes said Monday morning that link has been faltering for the past three years. 

Up until now, Debes told the County Commission they’ve been able to order parts to patch it. Now, those parts are no longer available.

At the request of the District Court, Debes researched update options. Nex-Tech bid fiber equipment and installation services at $2,978.90, which was approved by the commission. 

This will provide both audio and video connections. And, Debes said, it is a fairly easy installation and most of the work can be done by county personnel with some help from Nex-Tech.

There were other possibilities, but those involved utilizing the Cloud, Debes said. However, local court officials had security concerns with this.

“The Cloud is starting to be an issue,” Debes said. As more and more vendors want to go this route, law enforcement worries about privacy.

“In my opinion, the Cloud is not safe and never will be,” Debes said. “All it takes is one little crack.”

Cloud computing, also known as on-demand computing, is a kind of Internet-based computing, where shared resources,data and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. It is made up of a network of servers with different functions in many locations.

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:

• Approved a bid from Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball to be the county’s auditing services through November 2018. The firm submitted the only bid which includes the audit for each year and general consultation and single audit services fees. The fee will be $36,325 for the 2015 audit and will increase to $38,920 for the 2017 audit. There could also be additional “single audits” of grant funds which would cost $4-5,000 and extra per-hour fees for consultations if necessary. 

• Approved a $1,000 bid provided by Starbrite Cleaning to clean the Barton County Office Building, at 1408 Kansas. The company will clean the building after 5 p.m. each work day for the next year. This is the same price as the previous contract. There were no other bidders for the work.  

• Approved a bid from Schendel’s Pest Control for $4,719.60. This is an increase over the 2015 bid, but Road and Bridge and Noxious Weed offices have been added to the schedule. Shendel’s will monthly pest control and extermination services for Barton County owned buildings, excluding the sheriff’s office, jail and landfill.

• Approved a trash-hauling bid from Estes Trash $425 per month, unchanged from 2015. Estes will provide trash hauling services for six County office buildings to include the courthouse, sheriff’s office and jail, Health Department, Barton County Office Building, and Road and Bridge and Noxious Weed departments. There are generally three pick up dates per week for service year 2016. The Sheriff’s office has service Monday through Saturday. 

• Reappointed special district coroners including for counties in the 20th Judicial District. Under the procedures outlined by Kansas statutes and by Resolution 2006-11, A resolution establishing district coroner procedures, Coroner Dr. Edward Jones requests the appointment of special deputies. Special deputies, appointed for one-year calendar terms, do not have the necessary credentials to be a deputy coroner, but generally have a medical background. The term being considered is calendar year 2016.