By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Commission OKs agreement with Hoisington
new deh county commission award presention pic
At the request of the Employee Relations Committee, the Barton County Commission Monday morning presented an employee recognition award to Bob Folk of the Noxious Weed Department. Folk was nominated for efforts related to snow removal at county buildings. It was noted that Folk, while clearing sidewalks, always smiles, waves and helps anyone that needs assistance the nomination read. Pictured are Bj Wooding, ERC president, left, presenting the award to Folk. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
•  Approved the fiscal year 2015 funding applications for the 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services. The Kansas Department of Corrections Juvenile Services mandates certain core and prevention juvenile programs.  Funds for these programs are provided through grants, said Juvenile Services Director Laurie White.
At this time, applications for State Fiscal Year 2015 have been prepared for Juvenile Intake and Assessment, Juvenile Intensive Supervision Probation, Case Management, and Journey to Change/Teen Court. The applications were recommended for consideration by the Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board.  They will now be forwarded to KDOC Juvenile Services for further review. 
The total for the grants is $656,194.
• Approved the 2014 revisions to the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan. By state statute, the plan must be reviewed annually. The Barton County Solid Waste Management Planning Committee reviewed the county’s plan and recommended inclusion of the 2014 rate schedule/current disposal fees and the Community Recycling Grant, said Landfill Manager Mark Witt.
Municipal waste disposal fees went up from $34 to $38 per ton, and construction waste fees went up from $25 to $32 per ton as of the first of the year. The county-funded recycling grant is for $11,400, and this year’s recipient was Sunflower Diversified Services.
The updates will be submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Waste Management for final approval.  
• Renewed the county’s membership in the Kansas County Commissioners Association at a cost of $607.50. Tied closely to the Kansas Association of Counties, this organization is comprised of the commissioners serving the 105 counties in Kansas, and provides educational, training and partnership opportunities.  
• Approved updates to the county’s employee handbook regarding vacation benefits. It recently came to light that a paragraph covering the accrual and payout of vacation time for full time employees only needed to be changed. The handbook now covers part time employees, who generally receive one half the benefit of a full time employee, said Financial Officer Jessica Wilson.

In an effort to help to continue to spur growth in Hoisington, the Barton County Commission Monday morning approved an interlocal agreement with that city.
The City of Hoisington had submitted an updated Neighborhood Revitalization Plan which provides a tax rebate incentive for property owners to remodel, repair or build new construction within the city limits. The plan is intended to promote revitalization and development.
The plan will run from May 1 through Dec. 31 of 2020.
However, the Commission’s blessing was required before plan was submitted to the Kansas Attorney General’s Office for the final nod, said County Administrator Richard Boeckman
According to Hoisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell, the community offers property owners a 10-year incremental rebate on the increase in property tax incurred as a result of the improvements. Residential, commercial and industrial properties are eligible.
 To take part, the property must be located within city limits. Residential, commercial and industrial building permits must have a minimum market value of $5,000 and improvements to the property must increase its appraised value by at least 5 percent. The property must also be, and remain, current on property taxes and special assessments.
The Commission must formally approve its support of the plan each time it comes up for renewal, Mitchell said. It was first approved in 2007 for three years and again for almost four years that lapsed at the end of 2013.
All taxing entities touched by Hoisington must approve the plan. So far, Hoisington’s Unified School District 431 has voted in favor, and the Hoisington City Council and Barton Community College Board of Trustees have shown support.
Mitchell said he appreciated the Commission’s support for the effort.
All the cities in Barton County, as well a many in the surrounding area, have NRPs. Mitchell said they are necessary in order to stay competitive.