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New stop signs to pop up in county
Courthouse-Barton in the fall web

Air ambulance services to be offered a county employee benefit

Barton County employees will have a new perk come the first of the year after the County Commission approved an agreement allowing for discounted memberships with the EagleMed/AirMedCare Network’ as an authorized benefit. 

The coverage will be offered as an optional payroll deduction at a rate of $50 per year per family. This is significantly less than the regular membership, Commission Chairman Don Davis said.

“Most insurance plans don’t cover air ambulance services,” said Davis, who himself has been a EagleMed member for several years. “I think it is a good benefit for our employees.”

EagleMed will offer informational/enrollment sessions for county staff at the Courthouse, with payroll deductions being made starting in January 2017. Membership is suggested at annual, three-, five- and 10-year rates.

 Comments from Barton County residents expressing safety concerns about two rural intersections prompted the County Commission Monday morning to approve the installation of stop signs at those junctions.

Under the resolution, stop signs will be placed on the north and south sides of the intersection of NW 10 Avenue with NW 130 Road northwest of Hoisington, creating a four-way stop. County Engineer Barry McManaman said a hill on one approach to the corner does create limited visibility.

Also, a  signal stop sign will be placed on the north side of the intersection of SW 110 Avenue with SW 70 Road near Pawnee Rock. This is a “T” intersection by the new Great Bend Coop grain storage facility and a tree row in the area makes visibility difficult, McManaman said. 

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:

• Approved the annual Landfill Engineering Services Agreement for 2017–2019 with SCS Engineers of Wichita. The Barton County Landfill operates under a permit issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. By Kansas statute, the permit requires that certain tasks be performed by a Kansas licensed professional engineer and geologist. 

“There is no way around it,” landfill Director Phil Hathcock said of having the services done.

Historically, SCS has provided the engineering services. With the current contract expiring in December, SCS Engineers has proposed a qualification-based extension of the contract through 2019.

The fee is $38,800 per year for three years. Hathcock said this is a slight increase from the last contract.

Funds to pay for the work come from money generated at the landfill. 

• Appointed deputy and special deputy coroners for the 20th Judicial District, covering Barton, Ellsworth, Rice, Russell and Stafford counties. Under the procedures outlined by Kansas statutes and by county resolution, a resolution establishing district coroner procedures, Dr. Edward Jones requested the appointment of deputy and special deputy coroners. Deputies serve a term equal to that of the coroner. Special deputies, appointed for one-year calendar terms, do not have the necessary credentials to be a deputy coroner, but generally have a medical background.

Barton County Sheriff said coroners are the first line in a homicide investigation and are an important link in the investigative process.

• Approved a bid from Estes Trash for county trash hauling service at a cost of $425 per month. The County requested proposals for trash hauling services for six County office buildings to include the courthouse, Sheriff’s Office and Detention Facility, Health Department, Barton County Office Building, Road and Bridge and Noxious Weed. There are generally two to three pick up dates per week for service year 2017. It is noted that the Sheriff’s Office has service Monday through Saturday. Arrow Consolidated Trash and Estes Trash both submitted bids.

• Approved a bid from Starbrite Window Cleaning of Great Bend for janitorial services at the Barton County Office Building for $1,000 per month. The County accepted bids for cleaning at the Barton County Office Building, 1408 Kansas, Great Bend, until Nov. 18, 2016. Under the proposal, the bidder generally cleans the building after 5 p.m. each work day. Bids were received from: Champion Service, Great Bend; SourceOne, Tulsa; and Starbrite.