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New county software streamlines business operations
new deh county commission bowling pic
The Great Bend High School Bowling Team won the State Championship on Thursday, Feb. 28. In addition, the team is the Western Athletic Conference Champions and regional runner-ups. Pictured are: Team members Dakota Conaway, Daniel Herrman, Eric Ruiz, Mark Lang and Kolt Ramey, seniors; and Jeff Meitler, sophomore; coach Mike Perry; assistant coach Jim Mayberry; GBHS Activities Director David Meter; and Barton County Commissioners Don Cates, Homer Kruckenberg, Don Davis, Jennifer Schartz and Kenny Schremmer. Other team accomplishments include Conaway and Ruiz First Team All WAC; Herrman, Lang, Ramey and Meitler Second Team All WAC; Conaway WAC MVP with a 228 average and Individual Regional Champion, 705 series; and Herrman Individual State Champion, 759 series; Perry was named WAC Coach of the Year. The commission Monday morning passed a proclamation honoring the team for its efforts. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved the Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board’s applying for grants to fund programs totally $668,534 for core programs. The Juvenile Justice Authority mandates prevention juvenile programs. So, the county is also applying for money for prevention efforts. The allocation for these is $19,978, but the county is submitting an alternative request for an additional $6,590 for prevention, just in case the Legislature is willing to offer more, said Laurie White, Juvenile Services Director. The applications for the state Fiscal Year 2014 have been prepared for Juvenile Intake and Assessment, Case Management, Juvenile Intensive Supervision and Journey to Change. They will be forwarded to JJA for further review.
As a side note, JJA may cease to exist, White said. It has been proposed to move JJA under the Department of Corrections which would have juvenile and adult divisions. She said there would likely be no change in staffing and services.
• Approved the annual applications for state and federal grants through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the Barton County Health Department. Health Director Lily Akings offered information on the  following grant requests Which address several public health issues:
State Formula – $19,234
Child Care Licensing – $34,816
Chronic Disease Risk Reduction – $50,788
Family Planning – $58,595
Maternal and Child Health – $58,744
Immunization Action Plan – $5,117
Total – $ 227,294
Some of the grants require a match from the county and some will help the Health Department cover more than one county.

 New commercial software, used to track the myriad of county business, has been discussed by the Barton County Commission on and off for several years. On Monday morning, the commissioners took the plunge.
They approved the purchase of a software package from Computer Information Concepts Inc. of Greeley, Colo., for a total cost of $218,595 to paid in three nearly equal annual installments starting this year with no interest. Starting in 2014, there is also an annual maintenance/enhancement fee of $41,000.
“A lot of work was done on this,” said County Administrator Richard Boeckman. The idea came up in 2006, but was put on the back burner until 2011 when Boeckman formed a committee of county officials to research the matter again.
They met with three vendors that allowed county staff to work with their products. “After much discussion, we thought CIC best suited the needs of the county,” Boeckman said.
Basically, the commercial software package handles payroll, accounts payable and taxes. The windows-based system replaces a home-grown one created by county personnel. It will be compatible with other programs used by the county, such as the new state-mandated program employed by the Appraisers Office.
The trend is for counties to switch to commercial systems, Boeckman said. And, he added, the county’s auditing accounting firm Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball said the current system is cumbersome and labor intensive, and strongly recommended the change be made.
There was additional concern that only one person in the county knew how to keep it working and update it, Boeckman said. ABBB noted that if a software change wasn’t made, the county may have to have a software audit done, and that could cost an additional $20,000.
Pam Meadows with CIC said the cost includes the software, translating the data to the new system, installation and training. There is also around-the-clock technical support.
The county will have the additional benefits of being able to scan all related documents into a digital format and produce “real-time” reports, Meadows said.
The annual charge, which is based on the size of the county, covers the changes that have to be made in the software each year due to changes made in the law by the Legislature. However, this expense will be split up between the 20-some counties in Kansas that use CIC services.
Meadows said CIC caters to cities, counties, school districts and state contracts.