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County road sealing underway
Crews hope to complete 85 miles of blacktop by Labor Day
new deh county update pic
A Barton County Road and Bridge Department sealing crew works on a county blacktop. This years sealing season has begun. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The Barton County Road and Bridge department is in the middle of the summer sealing season. This is the time when crews tackle a portion of the county’s nearly 400 miles of blacktop roads.
Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips said this year the goal is to reseal 85 miles in the southern quarter of the county, south of East and West Barton County Road. Work started last week and he they hope to be done by Labor Day, weather permitting.
Currently, they are working on SE 50 Road (Five Mile Blacktop) going east.
What is involved? Using a chip sealing machine, a layer of asphalt and sand is spread over the roadway. A roller is then used to press the mixture into the existing surface.
Phillips said his employees can cover four and a half to five miles per day. They block off one mile at a time.
The process gets costly.
One 6,200-gallon tanker load of asphalt will cover a mile and a half at a cost of $12,500, the bulk of which is the cost is the oil involved. The county will spend $650,000 on oil for this year’s sealing effort.
It takes a 126 tons of sand per mile, but that is mined locally. A quarter-inch chipped rock is used on some roads, and that is a little more expensive.
When done, the roads will also be striped down the center and edges. In all, it costs $14,900 per mile to resurface a road, Phillips said. 
This work is essential because its maintains the integrity of the road bed, Phillips said. The sealing keeps water from seeping through the surface and causing cracks that lead to potholes.
Most roads are on a four- or five-year rotation for re-sealing, Phillips said. His department shoots for 100 miles per year, but are a little short of that this year.
Barton County is fifth in the state in terms of paved county secondary roads.
The road update was part of County Administrator Richard Boeckman’s biweekly report on county departmental activities. Other topics included:

Road and Bridge
• Mowing of right of way continues.
• Asphalt work was completed southeast of Great Bend and south of Ellinwood.
• Sand was hauled from Knop Sand to Great Bend over the last two weeks.
Recap of activities for road and bridge over the past six months is listed below.
• Mechanical repair costs, $243,121.
• Asphalt used, 20,200 tons
• Sand hauled, 28,053 tons
• Culvert work, 634 feet of culvert installed (15 locations)
• Bridge repairs, 11 bridges repaired
• Bridge and culvert work installations and repairs totaled $126,000.
• Sign repairs and replacement, 303 signs were repaired or replaced (not including high-risk rural road signs), 116 of the signs were vandalized

911 Director Doug Hubbard
July 2014 statistics
911 landlines, 332
911 wireless, 1,094
Administrative lines, 9,806
Total calls, 11,232
Radio calls, 108,016
Calls for service, 3,409

Solid Waste Manager Phil Hathcock
• 1104.51 tons of municipal solid waste
• 298.90 tons of construction/demolition waste
• 62.30 tons of brine soil
• 26.48 tons of contaminated soil
• 23.41 tons of special waste
• 588 loads of waste received for disposal
• $56,909.79 of revenue generated through disposal fees
The Solid Waste Department staff has transported two loads of mattresses to Hutchinson Correctional Facility where they are recycled by inmates into dog beds and outdoor furniture. “This is an excellent recycling program because mattresses are very difficult to manage in the Landfill,” Hathcock said. More information can be found by calling 620-728-3341.
The Landfill also has reusable household chemicals available through the Household Hazardous Waste Program. For information, contact the landfill at 620-793-1898.

County Appraiser Barb Esfeld
Kansas statute requires the Appraiser’s Office reinspect 17 percent of the county each year. This year, Appraiser’s Office personnel  are inspecting properties South of K-4 to 50 Road. This includes Olmitz, part of Hoisington, Albert, Barton Hills and the rural area located between the K-4 and 50 Road.
Properties that have sold recently and/or have building permits will also be inspected. All personnel will have name tags and will be in county-marked vehicles.
Also, the Appraiser’s Office recently mailed income and expense statements to office and retail property owners. These questionnaires should be returned by Sept. 5.
This information is kept confidential. It is used to establishing models to produce fair market value on similar properties.
For more information about the questionnaires, contact Esfeld at 620-793-1821.

County Treasurer Kevin Wondra
The Treasurer’s Office processed a total of 3,937 motor vehicle transactions during the month of July. This accounted for a total of 1.011 percent of the state’s transactions. The department also collected a total of $13,137 for the registration and commercial motor vehicle fee (the fee charged in lieu of property tax) from commercial vehicles for the month of July.
Personnel reviewed the tax sale property taxes and taxes that were paid in full in the old system and corrected those that didn’t convert properly during the CIC conversion in time to meet the deadline to publish delinquent taxes. Per the provisions of state statutes, the first publication of delinquent taxes were submitted to the Great Bend Tribune on Monday, Aug. 11. The delinquent taxes list was also be published on Tuesday and will printed a third time Tuesday, Aug. 26.
The bookkeepers have 16 accounts that have to be reconciled monthly. The July reconciliation on those 16 accounts was completed Aug. 13.

IT Director John Debes
• Continue to work with the Register of Deeds on updating cemetery information, to include Road and Bridge accessing the information. To improve operations, we purchased a tablet computer to enable access to all the cemetery information while at the cemetery.
• As the state purchased computers for the Treasurer’s Office, representatives came and picked up some of the older ones.
• Removed remaining equipment from the Hoisington Annex.
• Assisted Communications with backing up on Global Dispatch.
• Updated the Courthouse electronic directory.