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Commission honors vet memorial donors
new deh county commission plaque pic
Barton County Commissioners Don Davis, Homer Kruckenberg, Don Cates and Jennifer Schartz gather around Commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer Monday morning to view plaques dedicated to the anonymous donors who gave to the Golden Belt Memorial Park Veterans Memorial. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved Barton County’s participation in a Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Study. The Cowley County Local Emergency Planning Committee was awarded a Hazardous Materials Emergency Program grant to conduct a Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Study within the South Central Homeland Security Region, said Emergency Management Director Amy Miller. The project will provide data on hazardous materials transported through the 19 county region which includes Barton County, as well as spills and storage.
The Barton County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Barton County Commission had been asked to support the project. In addition to her office, Miller said the information gathered will help first responders, hospitals and public works departments, as well as raise awareness among the public.
The county is asked to pitch in $1,900 for the project, but Miller said that could be handled via a “soft match.” In other words, the county can count staff hours spent on the project as its share.
• Approved contracting with Postal Presort to create valuation notices, mailing labels and envelopes for valuation notices. At about $2,800, the company will do the work for much less than it would cost for the Appraisers Office to do it, said County Appraiser Barbara Konrade. 
• Heard a report from Information Technology Director John Debes on the county property inventory. According to state law, each County officer and head of a department shall make an inventory of the personal property owned by the county and located in such office or department. The inventory, which shall be taken during the month of December of each year, shall be filed with the County Clerk on or before Dec. 31 of each year.
The information is presented to the Commission during February of each year. In Barton County, the mandated duties have been assigned to the Information Technology Department.

In the past couple of weeks, Barton County has received a pair of $10,000 anonymous donations to help build the  Golden Belt Memorial Park Veterans Memorial. The County Commission took time Monday morning to publicly thank those who stepped up to propel the project forward. 
“This has been fantastic,” said Commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer. Schremmer knows the two donors and has acted as an intermediary between them and the county.
Schremmer will privately pass along letters of appreciation and plaques.
“A nation that forgets its defenders will be forgotten,” Schremmer said, reading from the plaque. “God bless American and God bless you.”
Fundraising efforts for the $55,000 project had stalled until recently, hovering around $5,000 having been collected. Now, the fund stands at about $24,000, said County Administrator Richard Boeckman.
Recent media coverage has sparked a renewed interest in the effort, he said. There may soon be other contributors coming forward.
The recent gifts will make it possible for the county to contract with Great Bend artist Chet Cale to sculpt the memorial. It may also pave the way for other work, such as the installation of flag poles.
 When completed, the memorial will feature representations of each branch of the military, including Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and Merchant Marines (who received veterans status for the years 1942-46). A gray granite marker will contain emblems for each along with the inscription “A nation that forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten. This is but a small tribute to all the veterans whose names are forever etched on these tablets. We are eternally grateful for their service to this nation. All gave some, some gave all.”
The committee will accept the contribution of veterans’ names. These will be carved into tablets that flank the center stone. There will also be flags representing the branches of service.