Barton County Commissioners won’t be in office Monday, as usual, but they will be at work for the county as they travel to Topeka for the annual Kansas Associations of Counties meeting. While they are there, state legislative issues will be discussed, including issues that could affect Barton County taxpayers, according to information from County Administrator Richard Boeckman.
There are numerous legislative issues that will be discussed by the KAC members. “There’s a great many items ... that just seem to carry over from year to year to year,” Boeckman commented.
One issue that county officials hope will see some action this year involves the Rails to Trails program and its effect on abandoned railroad right of way.
This is an issue in the northern part of Barton County where local officials have been trying to work on an abandoned rail line for years.
Boeckman explained that the Rails to Trails organization in McPherson which should be responsible for the property doesn’t treat it for noxious weeds, nor does it keep up the property taxes on it.
However the county can’t put it on the tax sale because of the regulations. So the county has to continue to pay for noxious weed treatments at taxpayer expense.
That is just one of the issues that will be discussed at the state meeting.