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Ellinwood revitalization plan OKed by Barton County Commission
new deh county commission ellinwood revitilzation pic web
The Barton County Commission has approved an agreement with Ellinwood to support its bid for a Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. - photo by Tribune file photo


The annual Barton County tax sale will take place at 10 a.m. today in the conference room of the Barton County Courthouse, 1400 Main in Great Bend. As of Monday, there were 14 properties on the sale. Commissioner Kenny Schremmer will handle the auctioneer duties.

In an effort to help spur improvements in the community, the Barton County Commission Monday morning approved an interlocal agreement for the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan in Ellinwood.
These plans provide tax rebates and incentives for qualified repair projects and new improvements for homes and businesses, Ellinwood City Administrator Chris Komarek said. Ellinwood joins Claflin, Great Bend and Hoisington in having NRPs in place.
This is a Kansas Department of Commerce program that covers improvements made to properties that increase the value by $5,000 on residential and $10,000 on commercial. If a property is eligible, the plan provides a tax rebate to the owner on the amount of the improvement only. The amount depends on the appraised value and the community’s mill rate.
Now, Komarek said, the next step is to have Ellinwood’s plan OKed by the KDC. Plans in the other cities have already gotten the nod from the state.
“Not enough people take advantage of this,” said Commissioner Alicia Straub.
“A lot of people don’t know about it,” Komarek said. The city hands applications to everyone who inquires about making property improvements.
“It’s really not that complicated,” he said of the application process. There is a short form, and filing fees with both the city and county.
“If your going to improve your property, it’s worth looking into,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said.
This marked the second try to get the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan, Komarek said. Ellinwood applied first in 2015, but was rejected, as were applications from the other Barton County communities.
The plan expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved a Federal-Aid Construction Engineering Agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for the bridge replacement project on East Barton County Road. On Jan. 17, the commission authorized a KDOT Federal-Aid Construction Engineering Agreement for the inspection work to be done for the bridge.
But, KDOT opened bids for the construction contract the following day and the low bid was dramatically higher than KDOT’s estimate, County Engineer Barry McManaman said. As a result, the bids were rejected and the project was redesigned.
The original CE Agreement was not finalized by KDOT due to the change in work and a new inspection agreement has been prepared based on the revised plans. It is noted that under the agreement, the Engineer’s Office will do inspection work and KDOT will reimburse the County for 80 percent of the inspection costs, McManaman said.
• Approved an agreement with Kirkham Michael of Ellsworth for the preliminary engineering and design of an extensive sign replacement project.
Barton County was awarded a Kansas Department of Transportation project to upgrade signage on approximately 71 miles of county blacktop roads, County Engineer Barry McManaman said. KDOT will pay 100 percent of the costs for design, construction and inspection of the project.
After a public notice period, two firms expressed interest in the project. The county’s selection team (consisting of Commissioner Ken Schremmer, Operations Director Phil Hathcock, County Works Director Darren Williams and McManaman) chose Kirkham Michael of Ellsworth to do the design work.
KDOT has prepared a three-party agreement for the design services with the total compensation not to exceed $39,063.97. Barton County will pay Kirkham Michael for their services and KDOT will reimburse the county for the entire cost.
• Approved a request from Treasurer-elect James Jordan for special procedures he has requested once he takes office. Allowed by Kansas statute, this will include a cash and tax roll reconciliation, Finance Officer Matt Patzner said. Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball anticipates that the cost will not exceed $3,000. If unexpected circumstances are encountered, ABBB will discuss additional charges before going forward.
Jordan takes office today.