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Hauling trash? Keep the load covered
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With spring arriving, the thoughts of Barton County residents might turn to spring cleaning and seasonal yard work, Barton County Solid Waste Manager Mark Witt told the County Commission Monday morning.
With the weather, he said his facility west of Great Bend has seen an increase in the amount of waste received for disposal. Witt reminded customers that when transporting waste to the facility, loads must be secured with ropes, straps, tarps, etc. to prevent waste from flying out customers’ vehicles.
This is not only a landfill policy, but is also state law.
However, the law is vague which makes it difficult to enforce, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. Nonetheless, his officers will pull someone over if there is a problem with their load.
In other landfill news, the Barton County Household Hazardous Waste facility re-opened on April 1 and the first scheduled facility collection event was held on April 19. The next scheduled collection event will be held from 8 a.m. – noon Saturday, May 17, at the facility located at the Barton County Landfill. Customers can also contact the facility if they would like to set up an appointment. Call 620-793-1898.
Witt’s report was part of County Administrator Richard Boeckman’s biweekly departmental update. Other highlights included:
 Solid Waste (landfill)
• 1,003.67 tons of municipal solid waste
• 302.84 tons of construction/demolition waste
• 117.33 tons of special waste
• 23.95 tons of petroleum contaminated soil
• 92.66 tons of sodium chloride impacted floor sweepings
• 556 loads of waste received for disposal
• $51,965.04 revenue generated through disposal fees

Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips
Road and Bridge
• Drainage work and cleaning out ditches on Northwest 60 Avenue, just north of Dundee, were completed.
• Culvert work continues on projects damaged during last year’s flooding.
• Ten vandalized 911 signs were replaced along with six stop signs.
• Sand hauling for the summer road maintenance program continues from Ellinwood to Great Bend.
• Asphalt pothole patching resumed and will continue for several weeks.
• Road and Bridge staff participated in the Great Bend High School Earth Day trash cleanup on several Barton County roads on Wednesday, April 23.
Noxious Weed
• Spraying continues, both on pasture ground and along right of way for Musk Thistle.

Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller
On April 21, the Barton County Local Emergency Planning Committee, sponsored by Barton County Emergency Management, held its quarterly meeting. The agenda included a presentation by Mike Loreg, EMFusion LLC, who provided an overview and update on the South Central Kansas Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Study. Loreg reviewed why it was important to participate in the study.
Loreg said it is important for responders to know what types of hazardous materials may be transported throughout the county and within the cities in the event of an accident or disaster. In addition, the information captured can be utilized by many agencies to apply for other grants.
The committee also heard a report on Severe Weather Awareness Week activities. Miller reported over 190 individuals attended the two presentation of “Storm Fury on the Plains” at the Crest Theater on March 4. In addition, Miller said schools and businesses throughout Barton County participated in the State wide Tornado Drill on March 4. The Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Kickoff meeting on April 25 was discussed.
Miller attended the South Central Regional FAD Seminar and Quarantine Management Tabletop Exercise on March 5 in Wichita. Emergency managers from throughout the South Central Homeland Security Region were in attendance at the exercise.
Objectives for the exercises were to orient participants to a variety of web resources that would be valuable for planning and response to a foreign animal disease outbreak; demonstrate the use of a template to setup and manage a control area in their county; and demonstrate the ability to order additional resources using the proper forms and methodology.
The Improvement Plan for Barton County recommends updating maps of Barton County to indicate paved and unpaved roads and the locations of feed yards. Also to be included in a layer of the maps is the weight limits on bridges throughout Barton County. Barton County and Pawnee County would look at partnering to repeat this quarantine exercise with their first responders.

Information Technology Director John Debes
• Upgrading equipment for both the Sheriff’s Office and 911, to include the use of laptops in patrol vehicles.
• Upgrading existing security camera system for the Courthouse.
• Working with County Treasurer to allow taxpayers to pay second half taxes on-line.
Health Director Lily Akings
Clinic and Women, Infants and Children contacts:
• Clinic –  453
• WIC – 225
Other News
The department has been awarded a $3,588 grant to assure adequate access to the farmers market and to nutritious foods.