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County to replace downed radio tower
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In other business Monday Morning, the County Commission:
• Approved a resolution marking this as Barton County Preparedness Week. This is a part of National Preparedness Month, an event hosted by the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps.  This Proclamation encourages individuals, businesses and communities to plan and prepare for an emergency, Emergency Manager Amy Miller.
“This is a shared responsibility,” she said. She encouraged folks to be ready for three days of self sufficiency with access to supplies and public utilities.
This includes a survival kit, contact lists, and a list of doctors and medications.
One can learn more about emergency planning by visiting the Barton County website at, go to the department tab – Emergency/Risk Management, and select Preparedness Week 2013 for more information and links to planning documents in English and Spanish. One can also visit for even more preparedness information.
• Heard a report from Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir on the recent Barton County Sheriff’s Reserves-sponsored 11th Kids’ Camp. He said the event drew 17 children age 8–14 on Saturday, Sept. 14.  Held at the range northeast of Great Bend, activities included demonstrations from the K-9 Unit and the Crisis Response Team, fire arms safety, crime scene investigation demonstrations, a presentation from Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and an event with the Life Team helicopter.  
Cost per child was $15, with proceeds going to the reserves which helps fund the camp. The rest of the funding comes from the reserves Benefit Fund, so no tax dollars are used.
“It’s an opportunity for youth to interact with officers,” Bellendir said. It is really geared to kids who have an interest in pursuing law enforcement careers.
Bellendir said the camp has not been held for a couple years and he wanted to see it return. They are also looking at reinstating the Adult Academy, a similar program.
• Learned that the re-carpeting and repainting of the Barton County Office building, 1806 12th St., is now complete.

On July 24, an agricultural crop spraying rig clipped one of the guy wires holding up the Barton County Communications Department’s radio transmitting tower north of Doonan GMC Peterbilt east of Great Bend. The collision toppled the tower.
The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved the replacement of that transmitter for an estimated $140,000. The project should be done by the end of the year, Communications Director Doug Hubbard said.
Of the price, Hubbard said the county’s insurance company, EMC will pay $93,500 since, by state law, it will cover only what the equipment was worth, not the replacement costs. The remainder will come out of the 911 tax fund.
EMC will recoup its loses from the ag sprayer’s insurance company. Because of this, the incident shouldn’t impact the county’s insurance premiums.
Hubbard has contacted several vendors in surrounding states and bids are due by Oct. 10. Once a contractor has been chosen, it will take six to eight weeks to finish the job.
After the tower’s collapse, radio traffic that used it was rerouted. Some went to a transmitter north of Pawnee Rock and some to a tower at Great Bend’s Fire Station 2.
This happened within an hour or two of the accident, but Hubbard said the temporary solution wasn’t optimal. “There were still coverage issues. Where we are now is not working as well as we want it to.”
Hubbard said the looked at other options for bypassing the damaged tower, but all left holes in the county’s emergency communications network. He had hoped the work would be underway by now, but it didn’t work out that way.