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Commission opens Second Street
new deh county commission employee quarter pic
Tracy Miller of the Barton County Appraisers Office, second from right, was honored by the Barton County Commission Monday morning as the county employee of the quarter. Miller was nominated by her fellow employees for her team building and motivational abilities. In addition to working with personal property, residential real estate and commercial studies, she has earned her Residential Mass Appraisal Certification. Also pictured, from left to right, are commissioners Don Cates, Kenny Schremmer, John Edmonds, Jennifer Schartz, Homer Kruckenberg and county Employee Relations Committee representative Wendy Prosser. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Heard an update on the upcoming Barton County Tax Sale set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, in the courthouse conference room. County Treasurer Kevin Wondra said, as of Monday morning, there were still 49 properties on the list for the sale. However, several of these property owners have been contacted or just have to finish up the last of their paperwork. Property owners have until 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3., to redeem parcels, Wondra said.
• Named Stanley Jantz, Hoisington, to the Memorial Park Advisory Committee. This uncompensated term ends July 2015. The committee oversees Golden Belt and Hillcrest memorial parks north of Great Bend. There is an effort underway to establish a veterans’ memorial at Golden Belt and Jantz has been active in that project. Fundraising for the memorial has tapered off, the commission learned. The goal is $55,000 and so far only $1,500 has been collected.

After securing easements from the City of Great Bend and Lasting Life Ministries, the Barton County Commission Monday morning voted to open a controversial stretch of Second Street.
“The commission has been working on this for quite a while,” County Administrator Richard Boeckman said. Now, all the legalities have been settled.
The street came to the forefront in August when residents of the subdivision Villa South came to the commission concerned about the its maintenance. The portion of Second stretching west from McKinley and the neighborhood fall outside the southwest Great Bend City Limits and in Great Bend Township.
The township had been taking care of the sand street. However, county officials learned none of the streets in Villa South had ever been granted legal standing, thus maintenance crews were technically trespassing.
Commissioners easily opened all but Second Street, which borders the north side of the city’s new Sports Complex. It posed a challenge since it did not have the required 60-foot easement to be a legal road.
To reach this width, the easement would include a narrow strip of city property. This is why the county had to gain the  additional easements.
Boeckman said there are restrictive covenants. The township will only maintain the road as it is, meaning the city and other property owners won’t be on the hook for changes or improvements to it.
“We want to thank all the people who live in the area,” Boeckman said. “They have been very patient.”