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Firm picked to mail valuation notices
Outsourcing saves money and time for Appraiser’s Office
new_deh_more commission  appraisers barb  esfeld mug.jpg
Barb Esfeld

After reviewing options, the Appraiser’s Office has determined that using The Master’s Touch of Spokane, Wash., to create valuation notices, mailing labels and envelopes is the most effective method for printing and mailing, County Appraiser Barb Esfeld told the County Commission Monday morning. Commissioners agreed and approved contracting with the company for $6,500.

“It’s that time again,” County Appraiser Barb Esfeld said. State statutes require the notices to be mailed by March 1, and having an outside vendor handle the job is nothing new.

This past year, the county contracted with Mail Services LLC. of Urbandale, Iowa, for $7,352. 

But, while attending the International Assessing Officers conference last year, she learned of Masters Touch. “They are top in the nation for bulk mailing.”

In fact, its bid was $1,300 lower than that presented by Mail Services, she said. There were other bids as well, but they were all significantly higher.

There is no one in Barton County that offers this service, she said. 

As for doing the mailing in-house, Esfeld said contracting saves the county at least $3,500 in paper, envelops and printing costs. That doesn’t include the labor involved for her staff. 

By outsourcing this, “we can also go right into the next phase of our work,” she said. Now, the office has to start on informal appeals, and personal property and oil/gas taxes.

Bourbon is the only other Kansas county using this company, and officials there gave it great reviews, the appraiser said. “I feel confident they can do our job.” 

And, she said, working with this company should be easy and seamless.

In 2017, Marana, Ariz.-based software company Komtek was used at a cost of $8,761.50. 

For a few years prior to that, the county contracted with Postal Presort of Wichita for $9,157, which was $418 over the company’s estimate. Postal Presort’s final bill was routinely more than expected.  

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance:

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning.

• Approved the bulk mailing of valuation notices for the Appraiser’s Office.

• Attended the annual Township Meeting at the Great Bend Knights of Columbus Hall. They did not return to the courthouse following the meeting.

Barton County Office Buildings will be closed Monday, Feb. 18 in observance of Presidents Day. The Records Division of the Sheriff’s Office and the Health Department will also be closed. The Landfill will be open from 8-11:00 a.m. that day. Emergency services will be in normal operation. 

In addition, the next regular meeting of the County Commission will be at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19.