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County considers keeping VIN inspections
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County officials, who learned about plans to drop VIN inspections for vehicles coming to Kansas from other states when they read it in the Tribune last week, showed concerns for the service moving out of the county’s hands and will investigate it being taken over by another department.
Last week the Tribune reported that Sheriff Greg Armstrong had decided to not continue the inspections in 2011.
In Kansas, the responsibility for performing the inspections falls to the Kansas Highway Patrol, it was noted at the Barton County Commission meeting Monday.
Around the state, that duty is assigned to sheriff’s offices and police departments, or it is handled by the Highway Patrol.
As of last week, due to Armstrong’s decision, the inspections were going to be taken up by the Highway Patrol again.
As the Tribune reported: “With the county dropping the service, the responsibility for inspections returns to the state. Trooper Steve Billinger said KHP will take over on Jan. 4. ‘We plan on checking VINs at the same location the public is accustomed to,’ Billinger  said, but they will only be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays.”
Armstrong had commented that he’d be willing to continue the inspections if his department could keep the proceeds, rather than turning them over to the county General Fund.
However, Commission Chairman Kirby Krier commented Monday about various other departments, including the Treasurer, Clerk and Register of Deeds, who all perform special services and forward the money to the General Fund. The efforts, Krier stressed, allow for lower property taxes.
County Treasurer Kevin Wondra reported that so far it appears the Highway Patrol only uses other law enforcement agencies to perform the inspections.
It was suggested that the Treasurer’s Office could perform the work under the auspices of the Sheriff’s Office.
Krier suggested the Treasurer’s Office involvement would make sense, because the inspections are needed to tag a vehicle.
The sheriff, treasurer and County Administrator Richard Boeckman will investigate the matter to determine if the inspections can still be done by the county, it was decided.