Barton County commissioners Monday morning knew the ornate north and south fences at Golden Belt Memorial Park had to be restored. They were just frustrated that the restoration had to come only a few years after the wrought-iron fencing had been installed.
“I’m disappointed it didn’t last longer,” Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. She was on the commission when the project was first approved five or six years ago.
But, “we have to keep it up and looking nice,” Commissioner Kenny Schremmer said. Also involved in the original decision, Schremmer noted that with the addition of the Veterans Memorial at the facility the amount of traffic there has increased.
The commission approved hiring TJ Products, Smith Center, to handle the painting and powder coating at a cost of $17,544.92. The fencing will be removed, taken to Smith Center, sandblasted, repaired and coated.
Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips, who oversees Golden Belt and Hillcrest memorial parks, said the company can’t offer any guarantee how long this restoration will last, but it is hoped that it will hold up longer than before.
Phillips said the last time it was done, the metal wasn’t primed first and the powder coating wasn’t thick enough. The company that did the work is no longer in business.
Also, the fence posts, which were made by B&B Metal Arts of Hoisington, allowed water to become trapped inside, allowing them to rust and bulge. However, holes have been drilled in all the posts to allow moisture to escape.
Phillips said the fences at both locations need work. But, due to funding issues, they can only do one at a time.
Hillcrest will be done next year, Phillips said. Although suffering similar damage, Phillips said the Hillcrest fence will be OK until the work is done.
Barton County had solicited proposals for the project and received three. The Memorial Parks Advisory Board reviewed the bids and recommended hiring the TJ Products.