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Veterans memorial donors impressed with progress
new deh county commission donation photo web
Golden Belt Community Foundation Executive Director Christy Tustin, second from the right, presents a $500 check to Barton County commissioners, left to right, Kenny Schremmer, Homer Kruckenberg, Don Davis and Alicia Straub. The money came from the Larry and Kathy Schugart Donor Advised Fund and is for the Golden Belt Veterans Memorial. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In other business Tuesday morning, the Barton County Commission:

• Approved entering into an interlocal agreement with the City of Great Bend to provide assistance on the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. The county last did this in 2015, but the agreement was declined by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office due to a lack of specific language relative to the county’s provision of administrative duties. 

Great Bend City Attorney Bob Suelter said the plan is the same, but new state guidelines require that the county be listed as the plan administrator. “We were somewhat bewildered,” he said of the changes.

The plan runs through the end of this year. Suelter said the city is still questioning whether or not it wants to reapply because of new revenue restrictions placed on the program by the state.

This program is designed to give property owners the opportunity to receive a tax rebate on the additional property taxes that might be incurred as a result of constructing new buildings or making improvements to existing ones.

• Approved applying for the $24,385 Fiscal Year 2016 Emergency Management Performance Grant Program. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is accepting applications for the EMPG. The EMPG Program funnels federal money through the state to local governments with planning and training related to emergency management programs, said Emergency Management Director Amy Miller.

“It’s a pretty good chunk of our emergency management budget,” Miller said. Some of the federal money does stay at the state level to help pay for training for local officials.

• Approved repairs and improvements to the Road and Bridge Department’s wash bay building. In 2001, the commission approved a series of building improvements that included the addition of a wash bay at the Road and Bridge yard. Since that time, the walls have become compromised due to the exposure of water and salt. 

So, the commission OKed a $16,805.00 quote from Steel Builders Construction Inc. of Great Bend, the firm that built the building 15 years ago. Work would include the installation of an inner waterproof liner and replacement of the exterior siding, said Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips, adding the work will begin in August with the plan to have it completed by winter. 

In a cost-cutting move, Phillips said the design for the structure didn’t take into account the necessary measures to water proof it. “Now we’re paying the price.”

 The Golden Belt Veterans Memorial received another boost Tuesday morning, this time from a familiar source.

Via the Golden Belt Community Foundation, the project was awarded $500 from the Larry and Kathy Schugart Donor Advised Fund. This will be the second donation from the Schugarts as they also donated $500 in 2014. 

Foundation Executive Director Christy Tustin, acting on behalf of the Larry and Kathy Schugart Donor Advised Fund, presented the check to the Barton County Commission Tuesday morning. 

“We think its a wonderful project and we want to support it,” Tustin said. The Schugarts have followed the progress of the memorial and have been impressed.

At $45 per line, 540 had to be sold before each of the stones could be ordered. The first was dedicated on Veterans Day last November and, since enough lines have been sold for the second stone, officials hope for a second dedication on Veterans Day this year.

There plans for a third stone as well. Tustin said the donors want to help see this become a reality.

“The Schugarts have been very supportive of this effort,” Commissioner Kenny Schremmer said. 

The Golden Belt Veterans’ Memorial located in Golden Belt Memorial Park north of Great Bend. It honors veterans with Barton County ties who have served in all conflicts and in all branches of the military who have a connection with Barton County.

Those wanting to purchase a spot on the memorial or make a donation can bring their payments to the Barton County Administrator’s Office in room 107 of the courthouse at 1400 Main in Great Bend. For more information, call 620-793-1800.

Checks must be made payable to Barton County.