Efforts to develop a Hazard Mitigation Plan for Barton County are moving forward and are meeting with great success so far, according to Barton County Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller.
But there are still steps to be taken, Miller stressed, and it’s crucial that the ball isn’t dropped now, because failure will hurt all Barton County communities, if there is another natural disaster here, and with the possibility of damaging winter storms only months away, that is a real possibility.
Miller noted the first of the mitigation plan meetings was well attended and now there is a brief period when documents on that plan can be considered and comments offered.
The city libraries at Claflin, Hoisington, Ellinwood and Great Bend have copies of the plan information and it is also available at the Barton County Internet site — www.bartoncounty.org.
This first comment session extend until Oct. 5.
The next meeting with be at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, in the courthouse, again.
And after that, there will be a second comment period and then the materials from these meetings will be sent to state officials and from there, on to the national officials.
Now is the time for people to get involved, Miller stressed. “It’s very important that we push this along.”
Because of past disaster impacts here, Barton County ranks 17th out of 105 Kansas counties in a current public siren program, so this information could help see that assistance develop.
But it is also important if the county seeks help in any future event, as well, she explained.
Miller explained earlier, “the purpose of a Hazard Mitigation Plan is to guide hazard mitigation to better protect the people and property of Barton County. The Barton County Hazard Mitigation Plan will be a multi-jurisdictional plan, meaning that not only the county, but also local governments with taxing authority, such as cities, townships and school districts, are planning partners.
“Currently four school districts and nine cities have taken action to participate in the plan. All of the townships within Barton County will become part of the county section of the plan.”