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New map could make intersection safer
new deh county commission pic
Barton County Register of Deeds Pam Wornkey shakes hands with Barton County Commission Chairman Don Cates Monday morning after being recognized for her becoming a Certified Register of Deeds through the Kansas Register of Deeds Associations professional certification program. Also pictured are commissioners Homer Kruckenberg, Don Davis, Jennifer Schartz and Kenny Schremmer. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Every 10 years following the census, the Kansas Department of Transportation updates the state’s Urban Area and Functional Classification maps which define city boundaries and rates roads based on usage.
As far as Barton County is concerned, County Engineer Clark Rusco told the County Commission Monday morning the urban maps have little impact outside city limits. Roads, however, are a different matter.
The commission approved a resolution updating the functional classification system for Barton County. This allows Rusco reclassify East Barton County Road, between U.S .56 (west of Ellinwood) and SE 110 Avenue (the eastern city limit of Ellinwood), from a minor collector to a major collector road.
This change, Rusco said, is based on traffic count. It also paves the way for federal funds to make improvements to the stretch, including the possibility to redesign the intersection where East Barton County Road meets U. S. 56 at a potentially dangerous angle.
The resolution will now be remitted to the Kansas Department of Transportation.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved the county’s participation in the Kansas Department of Transportation Federal Funds Exchange Program. Rusco said federal highway officials have deposited $120,280 in an account with KDOT for Barton County projects. Under the program, the county can “bank” that money to be combined with funds awarded next year to allow the county to tackle larger projects.
• Approved a $15,000 agreement for engineering services with Ellsworth-based engineering firm Kirkham Michael & Associates Inc. for repair of the bridge approaches for the West Tenth Street bridge over the Flood Control Project.
There have been problems with the bridge abutments settling. Under the contract, the firm will survey the location, design the remedy and start the bidding process.
It will be determined later if traffic over the bridge will continue throughout the work or will be detoured.
• Acknowledged Register of Deeds Pam Wornkey who completed required courses to become a Certified Register of Deeds through the Kansas Register of Deeds Association’s professional certification program provided by the Kansas State University, Division of Continuing Education. This voluntary program is designed to provide registers of deeds with an foundation in public administration and management skills, Wornkey said. It also gives registers up-to-date information about developments in their legal, technological and administrative environment.
“It has helped me tremendously with the ever-changing laws,” she said of the training.