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Jake brake use concerns county resident
Problem area includes South McKinley and Railroad Avenue
new deh county commission baseball jake brake pic web
Pictured is the portion of South McKinley where residents are concerned about the use of jake brakes by truck drivers and would like signs indicating they are not allowed.

 Gary Burke, who lives on South McKinley just outside the Great Bend city limits, told Barton County commissioners Monday morning that the use of “jake brakes” by the drivers of large trucks in the area has become a nuisance for area residents. He requested signs indicating they are not allowed.

“I’ve lived there for 28 years,” he said. But, “over the past four or five years, the truck traffic has really multiplied.”

With this increased traffic comes the increased noise from the brakes. These are engine brakes for truck diesel engines that cut off fuel flow and interrupts the transfer of energy to the drive mechanism, thus slowing down the vehicle. 

Use of these is a problem on McKinley and Railroad Avenue, he said. He asked for signs on both.

The stretch of Railroad Avenue and the portion of South McKinley in question fall under the county’s jurisdiction. However, as for McKinley, the signs may have to be placed further north, putting them within the city which would have to act on the request.

No action was taken and commissioners said they would take the matter under advisement.  

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:

• Approved the purchase of upgraded computer equipment for the 911 Department. In June, Communications received authorization to purchased two 800 megahertz radios. During the radio installation it was discovered that the data acquisition processor (DAP) board, which is the interface between the console and the radios, was outdated, rendering it incompatible with the new radios. 

In order to complete installation, a Generation 2 DAP board is required. The Generation 2 DAP board will not only allow for this installation and future expansion, but will make using the radio easier and allow more features, such as officer identifications, Popp said.

The new board will cost $4,112 and will be purchased from Mobile Radio of Great Bend. 

The purchase of the two 800 megahertz (MHz) radios and for the Communications Office will cost $9,464. This included one console-mounted unit from the Motorola company and one used consolette from Mobile Radio of Great Bend. 

For several years, the county has prepared to move to 800 MHz radios. This year alone, the sheriff’s office, as well as Great Bend and Hoisington emergency services, have purchased 800 MHz radios. In order to improve 911 capability and officer safety, Popp recommended the purchase of the equipment for 911. 

On a related note, on July 4, the battery back-up system for Communications/911 failed. Without a functional back-up, 911 services may be non-existent until the generator kicks in, which may be 30 seconds to five minutes. Given the need for a fully functional 911 system, a new system was purchased from CDW-G for a cost of $5,242.31, Popp said. The commission ratified the purchase. 

• Approved the resignation of Kevin Kramp as a Lakin Township trustee effective June 30. After that, the remaining township board members submitted Mark Knop as a replacement, County Clerk Donna Zimmerman said. The commission then named Knop to the post. The term ends Jan. 11, 2021.