By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
County eyes statewide agenda
Natural gas contract, spending for alcohol/drug prevention OKed
Placeholder Image

On Nov. 13-15, county officials will meet at the Kansas Association of Counties Annual Conference in Topeka. It’s a time for local leaders to work with the KAC in developing its 2013 legislative platform, said Barton County Commissioner. Don Cates Monday morning.
He told the commission during its meeting at the courthouse that member counties will be asked to review the issues and determine the platform’s final form. This agenda will then be used during the upcoming legislative session to promote issues related to county government.  
When he reviewed the preliminary platform, Cates said he was pleased with one of the items. “I’ve had several local retailers complain about unfair competition from out-of-state Internet sales.”
There is a plank that states all sales – from a store, over the phone, by mail order or via online – should be treated equally in terms of taxation. “That would be a real benefit to our local businesses, county and community,” Cates said.
When it came time to vote for the platform as a whole, it passed 3-1. Cates, Homer Kruckenberg and Kenny Schremmer voted for in favor and John Edmonds voted against it. Commissioner Jennifer Schartz was unable to be at the meeting.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved a request for proposal for a contract to help the county save on its natural gas expenses. Last year, the county contracted with Seminole Energy Services for natural gas and saved over $4,300 on its gas bill. Seminole provides natural gas, risk management services, hedging and other energy management tools, that not only save money, but also help to control and budget natural gas costs while keeping customers informed on market conditions and trends.
That was a pilot program and this year, the county solicited bids, said County Financial Officer Jessica Wilson. Seminole was the only company to make the bid deadline.
In 2013, the county is estimated to use 3,806 million British thermal units (MMbtus) of natural gas. For its services, Seminole will receive 33 cents per MMbtu.
Jeff Younger of Seminole said what the county is doing is working through a third-party to get its gas. It qualifies for this due to the volume it uses.
He said several counties and communities have also done this.
• Approved the distribution of the Special Alcohol monies for 2012. Barton County has solicited applications for the distribution of funds, which are derived from the 10 percent gross receipts tax on the sale of liquor in private clubs. A county committee sifts through applications and makes recommendations to the commission.
These funds may be expended only for the purchase, establishment, maintenance or expansion of services or programs whose principal purpose is alcoholism and drug abuse prevention and education, alcohol and drug detoxification, intervention in alcohol and drug abuse or treatment of persons who are alcoholics or drug abusers or are in danger of becoming alcoholics or drug abusers. For 2012, monies available total $11,166.
This year’s recipients and how much each organization will receive are:
• Big Brothers, $750
• DARE, Barton County Sheriff’s Office, $3,500 for educational materials
• Dream Inc. (a treatment facility), $4,416
• Sunrise (a treatment and reintegration facility), $2,500 – this award is contingent upon Sunrise establishing at least a part-time office in Barton County by Sept. 30, 2013.
A letter was also submitted by the Hoisington Booster Club, but the organization did not receive funding.