The Barton County Commission Monday morning was very willing to approve a letter of support for a Kansas Department of Transportation grant for the Rosewood Roots and Wings Foundation, a grant that will help the agency get its clients to medical appointment and to their job sites.
“The county is always happy to lend its support,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said.
The grant is for two mini vans with ramps and one cutaway van with a lift. The total project cost with contingency is $148,625 of which the foundation will fund the 20% match of $29,725. They did not asking for any money from the City of Great Bend for this application, said the foundation’s Howard Partington.
The mini vans would be used mainly to transport the people we serve to medical appointments. The larger cutaway van would be used mainly to transport the people we serve to and from work sites.
All three of the current vehicles that they would replace are high mileage and do not have some of the safety features that newer vehicles have.
“KDOT is really trying to get money out into the communities again,” Partington said. A few years ago, under the Gov. Sam Brownback administration, hundreds of millions of dollars were siphoned away from KDOT to cover tax shortfalls, but that has ended.
He cited the state cost-share program that is helping fund local road projects and the progress on the Northwest Passage as examples. This Access, Innovation and Collaboration Program, from which this most recent grant would come, is another part of that revitalized effort.
According to KDOT, possible program benefits include: Expanded influence on mobility; support of urban and rural needs; and enhanced user experiences. It will do this by enhancing infrastructure, investing in innovative technology and expanding efforts in working with private providers and erasing the gap between urban and rural systems.
With medical service and access to job opportunities in rural areas being high priorities, this program fits right in, Partington said. Rosewood Services serves about 200 clients who need to be taken to medical appointments and to their job sites.
Although Rosewood is sticking to the basics for now, “we are hoping it can do some really innovative things in the future,” he said. There is the possibility of multi-fuel vehicles and expanded services.
Rosewood covers Great Bend and all of Barton County. It has a fleet of 44 vehicles, ranging from cars to passenger vans, and many of these are utilized to transport clients.
It does not offer general public transportation at this time. Although this may be considered in the future, Partington said Rosewood “has a lot on it plate for now.”
This is a different grant support letter that was previously requested at the November meeting, Partington said. The first was for the replacement of an aging bus.
Barton County Commission meeting at a glance
Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:
• Approved the 2020 cereal malt beverage licenses. Per state law, no retailer shall sell any cereal malt beverage without having secured a license for that business. When a business is located in the unincorporated portion of the county, that application shall be made to the Board of County Commissioners, County Clerk Donna Zimmerman said.
Included were Kaiser Total, Lake Barton Golf Course, Miller Time and the Odin Store.
• Approved a letter of support for a Kansas Department of Transportation grant for the Rosewood Roots and Wings Foundation. This is a different grant than what was previously requested at the November meeting.
This is for two mini vans with ramps and one cutaway van with a lift. The total project cost with contingency is $148,625 of which the foundation will fund the 20% match of $29,725. They did not asking for any money from the City of Great Bend for this application, said the foundation’s Howard Partington.
• Approved a resolution allowing the transfer of $3,000 from the Finance General Account of the General Fund to the All Stars Program. The transfer was approved with the adoption of the budget, but as there is no specific statute that allows such a transfer, it can only be made via resolution, Finance Officer Matt Patzner said. It is noted that All Stars is a school-based intervention program designed to reduce adolescent engagement in risk behaviors such as substance use, violence and sexual activity.
• Approved the purchase of licenses for up to 186 users for Office 365 Business. This enables all computer users to have email hosting, protection and archiving as well as a desktop version of Office. The total cost of service for 2020 is $30,856.09.
• Approved the purchase of KnowB4. This will allow the Information Technology Department to deploy security awareness training to all employees who have access to a Barton County computer. The training will improve internet security at a cost of $10,5531.32 for a three-year contract.
• Approved covering an additional cost for the Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to the Health Department. Improvements included the relocation/removal of one wall and two doors.
The Health Department secured $12,500 in grant funding for the project. But, modifications and additions were made to the scope of work, Health Director Shelly Schneider said.
A final invoice has been submitted for payment with an additional cost of $5,006.60.
• Held the annual review of the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan. Per state law, Barton County is required to form and maintain a Solid Waste Planning Committee to develop and perform an annual review of the plan, which is then approved by the commission and submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, County Administrator Phil Hathcock said.
The committee has reviewed the plan. It is recommended that no changes be made at this time, he said.
Every five years, state law requires a comprehensive review of the plan, but this was not one of those.