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County appraisal inspections under way
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According to state law, the Barton County Appraiser’s Office is required to re-inspect 17 percent of the properties in the county each year. This process is now under way, it was reported at the Barton County Commission Monday morning.
County Appraiser Barbara Konrade’s report was part of a bi-weekly activity report of county activity. Highlights from the most recent update were presented during the commission meeting.
According to Konrade, this year, she and four others from her office are inspecting 3,454 residential and commercial properties. The review, which started in June, is 75 percent complete. In addition to the re-inspection, personnel will inspect parcels that have sold or have building permits.
“It’s a big job,” Konrade said. But, most of those doing the inspections have advanced training and this makes the job easier.
She stressed that her staff will have photo name tags and be in county-marked vehicles. Taxpayer assistance during interviews or returning door cards is always appreciated, she said.
If the property owner is not home, they are leaving door cards.
Making the task more complicated was the state-mandated conversion to Orion, a new statewide mass appraisal computer system. This requires inspectors to gather more detailed information on properties than was needed previously. “We just ask people to bear with us,” she said.
Tackling 17 percent of the properties each year, it takes six years to cover the entire county. Since they are towards the beginning of this six-year cycle, it make take several years to get the switch operating smoothly.
Anyone who would like further information is encouraged to call 620-793-1821. Contact information is found at on the Appraiser’s page of the County’s website
Below is a recap of other activities.

 Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips
 • Completed sand sealing 87 miles of asphalt roads. Another 10 miles will be sealed beginning today. This type of work can cost up to $11,800 per mile, up from $10,800 last year due to increased oil/asphalt costs. The plan is to overlay 10 more miles before the end of the year.
• Sand sealing of 28 blocks of streets in Claflin was completed on Aug. 27.
• Sweeping continues daily on roadways that were sand sealed. The sweeping is part of the preparation for paint stripping. This work is expected to being the first week of October
• Shoulder and edge line stabilization work was completed on Railroad Avenue, between Washington Street and 281 Highway, in preparation of a planned hot mix asphalt overlay to be installed later this month.
• The Radium Bridge erosion control and guard rail project was completed Sept. 6.
• Sand pumping operations resumed Sept. 6 at the South Washington pit.
• Sign repairs continued with seven stop signs repaired and two 911 locator signs replaced due to vandalism damage.
• A list of non-regulatory signs to be repaired as time allows has been prepared.
• Right of way mowing continued along northwest and western Barton County asphalt roads.
• Winter weather preparedness and training is being planned.

Emergency Risk Management\Records Director Amy Miller
Emergency Management:
• The Kansas Department of Agriculture held an invitation only stakeholder meeting with participants representing county emergency managers, Kansas Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Rolling Hills Conference Center, Salina. Miller attended the meeting which focused on planning for a foreign animal disease outbreak in Kansas.
Participants discussed response coordination between government agencies, producers, processing plants, grain elevators, breeders and zoo personnel and how best to engage them not only in planning and response, but provide them with information during an event. Information management, response readiness, business continuity and a training and exercise plan were also discussed by the participants. The meeting provided an opportunity for the Kansas Department of Agriculture to develop a strategy to begin working with stakeholders on these and other emergency planning and response issues. In the upcoming months, the Kansas Department of Agriculture will hold more planning sessions.
• On Aug. 29, Miller participated in a tabletop exercise to test the Great Bend Airport Emergency Plan. Other agencies attending included the Great Bend Police Department, Kansas Highway Patrol, Barton County 911, Barton County Sheriff’s Department, Great Bend Fire/EMS, Great Lakes Airlines, Great Bend Airport and the Department of Homeland Security.
A table exercise simulates an emergency situation in an informal, stress-free environment. Participants discuss response procedures, resources needed and resolve problems for the particular scenario that has been chosen. Tabletop exercises provide emergency plan response and reviews without the cost of a full-scale exercise, where agencies respond as if the scenario were an actual event.
Emergency management agencies in Kansas are required to participate in exercises every calendar year in order to receive Emergency Management Performance Grant funds.
Records Management:
August 2012 – The Barton County Records Management Department had 216 visitors call, write, e-mail or walk in from Kansas, Illinois, Oregon, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
There were 309 requests for Probates, Birth Records, Criminal, Civil, Domestic, Death and Cemetery Records, Limited Actions, Marriage Licenses, Traffic, State Tax and Naturalization Records.

Information Technology Director John Debes
• Monitoring the TTC, exchange servers and sonic wall firewall continues. During this period, Lightspeed stopped 3,916 spam messages, 11 viruses, nine intrusions and two spyware attempts.
• Continue working on the extraction issue with MOVRS, the new motor vehicle software system used by the Barton County Treasurer’s Office.  
•  Nex-tech is installing the security cameras at Juvenile Services. It is taking longer than expected as they have experienced some hardware problems.
Health Department Director Lily Akings
Clinic contacts totaled 571