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Commission amends funds
Departments see greater revenue than anticipated
new deh county commission pic
Pictured left to right are Barton County Commissioner Don Cates, Engineer Technician Darren Williams, Cartographer B.J. Wooding, Commissioner Don Davis, Deputy Appraiser Kathy Briney-Wagner, Commissioner Kenny Schremmer, Commissioner Jennifer Schartz and Commissioner Homer Kruckenberg. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Commission honors employees

The Barton County Commission Monday morning recognized county employees honored at the Kansas Association of Counties annual conference held in October.
Honored were: B.J. Wooding, cartographer, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas Association of Mappers; Kathy Briney-Wagner, deputy appraiser, who received a Certificate in Effective Supervisory Skills; and Darren Williams, engineer technician I, who completed his certification for the Master Road Scholar Executive Development Program and the Advanced Road Scholar Supervisor Skills Program, these being the highest awards of the Kansas Road Scholar Program. 
In addition, Williams also received a Certificate in Effective Supervisory Skills.  
“This just illustrates the depth of experience we have in our county,” Commission Chairman Don Davis said.

Due to higher-than-expected revenue in 2013, amendments to the county’s noxious weed and 911 emergency telephone tax funds were approved by the Barton County Commission Monday morning. The approval followed a budget amendment hearing held prior to the meeting.
The need for the noxious weed fund amendment, a stand-alone fund, is due to additional revenue from chemical sales received during 2013, said County Finance Officer Jessica Wilson. This extra income will allow for additional budget authority to replenish the chemical inventory.
This fund required a $120,000 adjustment.
 The 911 emergency telephone tax fund is a special revenue fund receiving its operating revenue from 911 taxes. Last year, due to additional income from a new 911 tax, the insurance reimbursement for the damaged radio transmitter tower east of Great Bend and extra cash carry forward from 2012, a $180,000 change was needed.
 In other business, the commission:
• Approved an emergency vehicle designation for Doonan Truck and Equipment, Great Bend. The 1991 military surplus heavy wrecker, as operated by Doonan personnel, is used for towing and wrecker services in a 100 mile radius of Barton County. According to state statutes, such application shall be submitted to the Commissioners of the County in which the vehicle will be operated for approval.  Sheriff Brian Bellendir provided a recommendation on the application.
The permit applies only to this truck and only as long as Doonans uses it for this purpose. This is one of 15 permits in the county for emergency vehicles that range from tow trucks to private ambulances, all of which are allowed to use the flashing red-and-blue lights.
• Approved a Kansas Department of Transportation supplemental agreement that revises the federal funds allotment to $244,856.53, which will be used for upcoming KDOT approved projects in the county. Under the agreement, the county authorizes the KDOT secretary to retain the allocation, based on a 90 percent exchange rate.  County Engineer Clark Rusco said this means the county will receive $220,370.
Basically, the exchange program allows the county to let the state administer the federal money in exchange for the 10 percent. In return, the county gets more flexibility in what it can do with the money, has fewer hoops to jump through, and can get projects approved and completed quicker.
• Approved revisions to the county’s employee handbook regarding leave time policies. After several months of using the county’s new bookkeeping software’s Time Center program, it was suggested that the minimum period of time employees can use for leave be changed from a half hour to 15 minutes. This matches the new incremental system used by the county, and is easier to track and more flexible for the employees.