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County invests in its road equipment
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Last spring, when county officials agreed that it would make financial sense to move towards a new asphalt plant, than to try to repair the old one, the county was able to rent equipment for 90 days, and it worked out so well that the decision was made this week to purchase the equipment.
Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips reported to the Barton County Commission this week that his department rented the stacker and conveyor from G.W. VanKeppel for $9,300 for that 90 day trial with the rental going towards the cost of the equipment.
The balance for that equipment was $41,404.
The new equipment not only did a better job, it freed up staff to allow more to get done and using the new equipment will also allow the county to keep the price of asphalt reasonable, so that it can continue to keep up with the necessary road repairs in coming years.
And that department is continuing to keep busy with road work, Phillips added.
Recent work has included:
• Asphalt work moved into northwest Barton County.
• The asphalt approaches on Boyd Road at the Walnut Creek were repaired.
• Asphalt repairs were completed on Keystone Road southwest of Hoisington.
• Right of way mowing continues in southwest Barton County.
• Asphalt production and sand pumping continues.
• Right of way spraying continues for pre-emergent weed control and bindweed eradication by the Noxious Weed Department.
• Equipment was winterized.
Also this week, the commissioners were told by County Treasurer Kevin Wondra that implementation of a state software system update has been put off for months, again.
The county took on remodeling the treasurer’s office to facilitate the changes that state agencies were requiring of counties, and that was supposed to have taken place in the first week of July.
But that was put on hold until December.
Now the state has announced the change will not go into effect until some time after the first of the year. “We can say it will not be before January 1,” Wondra commented.
He said it’s not all bad news, because December would have been a difficult time for county treasurers all over the state to have made a change and the time extension will allow the local department more time to prepare and to train on new equipment before it goes into daily use.