In other business Monday morning, the County Commission:
• Approved an access agreement for use of the South Central Region Back-up Center at the Hutchinson Community College South Campus near Yoder. Communications Director Doug Hubbard said this involved emergency communications.
• Approved a contract with L&M Contractors for $12,889 for removal and replacement of deteriorating guardrail on a bridge located on 2251 NW 30th Avenue near Susank. The current rails have been hit and damaged many times and don’t meet current regulations.
• Awarded a contract to L&M Contractors to for $312,000 for the KDOT project to replace the steel truss bridge east of Great Bend. The county is getting an 80-20 matching grant from KDOT for the work, but with the state reimbursing the county for some engineering work, the cost to the county may wind up being close to a wash.
• Approved the purchase of a replacement door for the Barton County Health Department at 1300 Kansas for $2,015 from Jimlo Glass. The door has been causing problems for years.
Barton County was selected for a Kansas Department of Transportation grant to enhance the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway scenic overlook on K-4 east of Hoisington, the County Commission learned Monday morning.
The $63,300 in funding and will be included as part of the KDOT Transportation Enhancement Program. The money will upgrade handicapped accessibility and help with overall improvements, said County Administrator Richard Boeckman.
A paved ramp, a parking lot, a sidewalk and viewing telescopes, which will be leased, are among the projects.
The grant covers 80 percent of the construction and engineering costs, Boeckman said, with the county to cover 20 percent. However, the site is owned by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, so that department will cover 10 additional percent.
So, the cost to Barton County will be $6,330.
“We were fortunate to get this money,” Boeckman said. The application was submitted in February.
This was one of 35 projects selected by KDOT for inclusion in the program, said Steve Swartz, department spokesperson. Transportation Enhancement is a federally-funded program that provides funding for facilities for pedestrians and bicycles; pedestrian and bicycle safety and education activities; acquisition of scenic or historic easements and sites; scenic or historical highway programs; landscaping and scenic beautification; historic preservation; rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures or facilities; conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails; control or removal of outdoor advertising; archaeological planning and research; and establishment of transportation museums.
Estimated cost of the 35 selected projects is $17.9 million. KDOT received 91 applications from local units of government requesting more than $63 million.
Boeckman said this work may lead to additional improvements at the overlook.