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County recognizes employees for their efforts
new deh county commission dale phillips pic
Barton County Commissioners Don Davis, Homer Kruckenberg, Jennifer Schartz, Kenny Schremmer and Don Cates, join Bj Wooding in presenting Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips with the county Employee Recognition Award Monday morning at the Barton County Courthouse. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved a bid from Estes Trash Service of Great Bend to provide the county’s trash-hauling service. The bid was for $5,460. This covers the 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 three pick up dates per week for service year 2014. Estes was the only bidder and the company is also the current provider.
• Approved a matching-funds request from the South West Kansas Area Agency on Aging in the amount of $1,500. These funds, which would be used as “seed dollars,” are an equivalent match to the $379,655 in services received by older residents and low income families from Barton County. The county has traditionally provided this match from the finance general account of the general fund, Boeckman said.
The county had budgeted $1,400 for SWKAAA, but, by a 3-2 vote, agreed to offer the $1,500.
• Approved the county’s Emergency Operations Plan. Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller said each county Kansas is required to prepare and keep current a disaster emergency plan in order to be eligible for state grant funds. All county Emergency Operations Plans must be reviewed and approved by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management every five years. Barton County Emergency Management submitted an updated Emergency Operations Plan to KDEM in October 2013, and received approval, pending formal adoption.
• Heard a report from Kristi Lovett who was recently appointed as the Hoisington Chamber executive vice-president. “I look forward to working with you all,” she said.
Lovett, a Houston, Texas, native, and her family have lived in Hoisington for seven years. Despite the culture shock of moving from a large city, she said she likes raising her family in a small town.
She also likes the opportunity to get involved in the community.
Upcoming Hoisington events included a Kans for Kids Camp Hope fundraiser at the Hoisington Pizza Hut Jan. 29, annual Mud Run May 31 and the Labor Day celebration.

 It was a time to recognize their own for their dedication and service to Barton County. At the Barton County Commission Monday morning, county officials presented an Employee Recognition Award and several longevity honors.
Receiving the Employee Relations Committee’s Employee Recognition Award was Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips. Awards were also given for years of service, ranging from five to 45, for a total of over 240 accumulative years.
Bj Wooding, county cartographer and ERC president, joined County Administrator Richard Boeckman in presenting the honors.  
“As a leader, Dale always expects the best of his employees and they all try to live up to his expectations,” said Wooding, reading from the nomination form submitted by Road and Bridge personnel. “In return, he supports his employees and will go to bat for them.”
Phillips started with the department in 1973, working his way up to director. His duties now include managing the Noxious Weeds and Memorial Parks departments, and he is the assistant to emergency preparedness director Amy Miller.
He has worked with just about every county department, while running his as efficiently as possible, the nomination said. “We often joke about him having a tattoo that says ‘Barton County.’ Dale is all Barton County,” the form said.
Last year, Phillips was also honored at the state level for his work as the Kansas Highway Employee of the Year.
“It’s a great honor to accept this award from my colleagues,” Phillips said. “I appreciate Barton County.”
Health issues kept him away from work for an extended period last year, but the department carried on. This, the Commission said, was a testament to his leadership ability.
Also, Wooding said, every year, longevity awards are given.
Long-serving employees included: Marcia Sauber of the County Clerk’s Office, 45 years; Dale Phillips, Road and Bridge director, 40 years; and Donna Zimmerman, county clerk, 30 years.
Twenty-five-year honorees were; John Debes, Information Technology director; and Wanda Ybarra,     Facilities.
Twenty-year honorees were: Sarah Younger, Landfill; Rick Popp, Sheriff’s Office; Mary Waite, Health Department; and Melvin Craven, Road and Bridge Department.
Fifteen-year honorees were: Laurie White, Juvenile Justice director; 15 Gayle Cell, Clerk’s Office; Brant Harms, Sheriff’s Office; Bennett Shumate, Sheriff’s Office; and Susan Johnson, Information Technology.
Ten-year honorees were: Kenny Schremmer, commissioner; Casey Hubbard, County Attorney’s Office; Brian Batman, Sheriff’s Office; Judy Goreham, environmental manager; Christopher Ramsey, Juvenile Justice Authority; Darren Williams, Public Works; Timothy Delgado, Road and Bridge; and Ryan Lichter, JAA.
Five-year honorees were: Pamala Wornkey, register of deeds; Barbara Konrade, county appraiser; Wendy Prosser, Appraiser’s Office; and Barbara Swayze, Appraiser’s Office.