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Commission addresses legislative issues
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From Nov. 12-14, county officials will attend the Kansas Association of Counties annual conference in Wichita. County Administrator Richard Boeckman reviewed the KAC legislative platform with the County Commission during its meeting Monday morning.
The gathering is where the KAC platform will be reviewed. Once finalized, it will be used during the upcoming legislative session to promote issues related to county government.
Among the planks in the statement  are support for oversight for privatized services, support of Medicaid expansion, opposition to ad valorem tax increases, support for a review of sales tax exemptions and support for certain exceptions in the bidding of infrastructure  projects in times of public emergencies.
Each year, the commission designates a voting delegate and first and second voting alternates for the meeting. This assures Barton County will have a voice in regards to the KAC’s legislative platform.
Last month, the commission named Jennifer Schartz as the voting delegate to the KAC conference. Chairman Kenny Schremmer was named the first alternate and Commissioner Don Davis the second alternate.
In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved submitting a letter of support for Sunflower Diversified Services which has applied for  Kansas Department of Transportation grants. Funds from KDOT would be used to continue the operation of the General Public Transportation System, said Sunflower’s Sarah Krom.
This year, they are applying for three grants: $160,888 for capital purchases (in this case, three new vehicles); $200,000 for general transportation operating expenses; and $5,000 for transportation of those with some disability. Sunflower will match $41,221 for the first grant, $200,000 for the second and $2,110 for the third, Krom said.
“We just try to get folks where they want to go,” Krom said, adding they do it pretty efficiently. Last year, they served transported 33,500 over 200,000 miles at an average cost of $1.50 per miles.
The service employs on dispatcher and 13 drivers, most of whom are part-time.
As for the $200,000 match, Krom said there is a chance the state could reimburse Sunflower for a portion of it since it has in years past.
• Learned the 2014 Barton County Sheriff’s Office sale/auction generated around $33,000 in gross sales. The funds will be divvied up among various county funds.
Sheriff Brian Bellendir said they handed numbers to 96 bidders. This made the sale more successful than past sales.
Bellendir credited social media for much of the success. It was promoted via Facebook and the county’s website.