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County rewarded for safety efforts
new deh county commission divident pic
Cassidy Smith, Alliance Insurance Group, right, presents the Barton County Commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer with a dividend return check for $47,666 as a result of the countys participation in the Kansas County Safety Dividend Group with EMC Insurance Companies. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

At at time when county coffers see more money going out, it was good news for Barton County Monday morning.
Cassidy Smith of the Alliance Insurance Group, presented the Barton County Commission with a dividend return check for $47,666 as a result of the county’s participation in the Kansas County Safety Dividend Group with EMC Insurance Companies.
“You guys are doing a great job of keeping your costs down,” Smith said. He commended county officials for their safety efforts.
There are 32 Kansas counties that insure with EMC Insurance Companies are part of the Kansas County Safety Dividend Group. EMC Insurance provides property and casualty insurance coverage based upon each individual county’s needs and upon request will provide loss control services such as safety inspections and defensive driving classes for employees.
All these premiums go into a pool and if the program is profitable, then the participating counties get a refund, Smith said. “We enjoy giving this back to you.”
Alliance Insurance Group is the local agent for the coverage.
Barton County has a good track record, Smith said. It has received a dividend check for the last five years in a row, for a total of $159,000.
Last year, the check was for $24,000. The largest check until this year was in 2010 and that was for $39,000.
In in other business Monday morning, the commission:
• Heard a report from Solid Waste Manager Phil Hathcock on Solid Waste Association of North America training he attended in late August in Dallas, Texas.  At the three-day training, Hathcock tested for the SWANA manager of landfill operations designation. Hathcock said the training focused on permitting, operation, budget and financial planning, safety and closure.  
 “It was a great opportunity for me,” Hathcock said. “It shortened my learning curve a lot.”
Not only did he learn a lot, he said me had the chance to meet with colleagues from around the state and the country.
• Appointed Don Davis to the Workforce Investment Board. As required by the Workforce Investment Act, the membership of the Local Workforce Investment Board consists of representatives from business, education, rehabilitation services, public assistance agencies and public employment services. Barton County updated its Chief Elected Officials Agreement in 2012.  At that time, then-Commissioner Don Cates was appointed to the LWIB Chief Elected Official Board. 
Barton is one of 61 counties in the Kansas Workforce Investment Area I. The LWIB administers the federal act in that region.
• Named Jennifer Schartz as the voting delegate to the Kansas Association of Counties annual conference in Wichita Nov. 12. Chairman Kenny Schremmer was named the first alternate and Davis the second alternate.
Each year, the commission designates a voting delegate and first and second voting alternates for the meeting. This assures Barton County will have a voice in regards to the KAC’s legislative platform.