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Blizzard makes area eligible for federal aid
Emergency officials discuss Texas fertilizer plant fire
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On April 26, Barton County Emergency Management received notice that President Barack Obama signed a federal disaster declaration which ordered aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the Feb. 20-23 blizzard, including Barton and surrounding counties, the Barton County Commission learned Monday morning.
In a bi-weekly report to the commission read by County Administrator Richard Boeckman, Emergency Management Director Amy Miller noted federal funding is available to eligible local governments and school districts on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures and the repair or replacement of buildings and equipment damaged by the snowstorm.
In addition, federal help is available on a cost-sharing basis for snow assistance for a continuous 48-hours during the period. All eligible applicants for assistance were invited to attend a briefing on May 14 at the Barton County Courthouse.
In other Emergency Management news, the Barton County Local Emergency Planning Committee, sponsored by Barton County Emergency Management, held its quarterly meeting April 22. The agenda included a review of facilities that filed Tier II (hazardous materials storage) reports by March 1. Members also discussed the fertilizer plant fire/explosion in West, Texas, on April 17 and what facilities have stored in Barton County and training for local emergency responders. Miller said that an update of the LEPC bylaws would be on the agenda for the next meeting.
Other highlights of Boeckman’s report included:

County Engineer Clark Rusco
• Met with several developers concerning projects located in the floodplain.
• Met with right of way agent for a utility company to discuss possible routes for future development.
• Met with the consultant concerning the corridor safety improvements for the High Risk Rural Roads Grant.
• Met with Kansas Department of Transportation officials concerning the construction services for the truss bridge west of Great Bend. KDOT opened bids for the truss bridge on May 22.
• Met with the Strategic Highway Safety Program Committee to finalize the final report to Federal Highway.
• L&M Contractors completed the repairs of the bridge on the Dry Walnut (NE 10 Avenue) damaged by a vehicle. The abutment back wall was excavated and revealed damage to the back wall and also the abutment seat. The contractor has repaired the abutment and back wall and has installed guardrail on the west side of the bridge.
 • Received a proposal from Kirkham Michael for the HRRR signage grant. The project scope is based on Kirkham Michael design, Barton County will purchase and install the signage, and Kirkham Michael will provide construction services. KDOT requires construction services to be completed by another entity when Barton County does the Force Account Work. Kirkham Michael will develop plans for installation by Road and Bridge crews. KDOT will be sending a grant agreement for acceptance by Barton County. The Force Account construction by the Road and Bridge crews will require plans be developed by a consultant and also construction services will be done by a consultant. KDOT will pay 100 percent for construction and construction engineering services. Kirkham Michael will use the county’s GIS information to complete the KDOT plans and will prepare and submit for $4,000.
• Completed surveys for permits for various drainage improvements for the Department of Water Resources.
• Reviewed plans submitted for the Ellinwood bridge over the Arkansas River. Consultant will incorporate the comments and the project will be ready to bid in several weeks.
• KDOT has accepted the proposal for Construction Engineering Services for the Truss Bridge. KDOT has issued an agreement for Commission approval. The proposal is around $71,000. The bridge will be in the May KDOT letting. The agreement will be a study session on May 28th.
• Finalized plans with the Division of Water Resources concerning the Barton Lake Road issues and permit request. Legislation has been passed to revise the currents rules and regulations and will take effect on July 1st of this year. DWR will allow the County to go forward with projects affected by the new rules and regulations prior to July 1st and will be sending a letter to be included in all of the project files affected by the new rules and regulations.
Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips
Road and Bridge
• Contract asphalt mixing of approximately 20,000 tons with Venture Corporation began May 13 and completed by May 21.
• Asphalt work on roads resumed May 13. After completing road repairs south of Claflin and moving to the Odin area, crews are expected to move into the Olmitz area on May 21st.
• Pothole patching of roadways as needed was performed by all available staff.
• Staff hauled ¼ inch chips from a Geneseo location to Great Bend on May 15 and 16. Chips are to be used for sealing roads later this summer.
• Sign work continued as needed with crews being called out over the weekend for emergency sign repair plus regular work performed during the week.
• Culvert work was completed on southwest of Hoisington and two culverts were replaced or repaired on Southwest 110 Avenue north of Pawnee Rock . One culvert was placed east of 110 Avenue.
 Noxious Weed
• Road spraying continues daily along with pasture spraying for Musk Thistle.
 Memorial Parks / Cemetery
• Staff spent last week cleaning up the Memorial Parks and cemeteries. This included removing old flowers, clearing trash and brush from fence lines and spraying vegetation in the fence lines.

Emergency Management Director Amy Miller
Emergency Management
• At the Barton County Local Emergency Planning Committee quarterly meeting April 22, there was a review of the Barton County Household Hazardous Waste program presented by Mark Witt, Barton County Landfill manager. The committee is sponsored by Barton County Emergency Management.
Records Management
April 2013 – The Barton County Records Management Department had 211 visitors call, write, e-mail or walk in from Kansas, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Kentucky and Michigan.
• There were 283 requests for Probates, Birth Records, Criminal, Domestic, Death and Cemetery Records, Limited Actions, Marriage Licenses, Traffic, Small Claims, Civil and Naturalization Records.
 A couple from Linden, Mich., came to Barton County to do research on their family. She was looking for information on her great-great-grandfather who came from Michigan and settled in Barton County. Records staff found his marriage license and his probate. Staff also found his final naturalization paper where he became a citizen. It stated he made his declaration of intent to become a citizen on November 17, 1873, in Houghton County, Mich. He was declared a citizen on May 30, 1880, in Barton County. We also found records of family members who had died from malaria and were buried at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Beaver Township.
Health Director Lily Akings
Clinic contacts, total – 313
Family planning – 87
Immunizations – 108
Child care licensing – 10
Maternal and infant – 28
Sexually transmitted infections – 18
Tuberculosis – 36
 The Health Department is developing the Public Health Strategic Plan for Barton County.