County officials moved ahead this week on plans to improve county emergency communications.
The Barton County Commission approved $3,550 for Hayden Tower Service to install radio equipment and cables on a Kansas Department of Transportation tower in the north part of Barton County.
In September, County Administrator Richard Boeckman told commissioners that the county would have to move some of its emergency equipment, because an aging tower it had used is about to be demolished.
Fortunately, Boeckman was able to sign on with KDOT to use its, taller and newer tower, not only for the equipment that was to be moved, but for other equipment on another tower, which will get this county equipment in one location.
Commissioners also approved a tower lease, costing the county $1,470.47 from now through Oct. 1, 2024, which experts have stated is well below the usual cost for such leases.
Commissioners also approved an agreement with Kirkham Michael Engineers, Ellsworth, for the required annual inspection of 371 bridge structures in Barton County at a cost of $83 per bridge, or a total of $30,793, which is a reduction from its last cost.
Engineering firms that do this work have to have special qualifications, and the commissioners expressed appreciation that the Ellsworth firm brought its bid down, even though it was not facing competition.
County Engineer Clark Rusco added the two bridges that had emergency repairs this year, the Radium Road and south Ellinwood bridges, will also have special inspections by the state, to make sure the pins that were replaced are holding.