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New phones a good call
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There is a hang-up with the current telephone system at the Barton County Courthouse.
At the Barton County Commission meeting Monday morning, commissioners learned that Information Technology Director John Debes is in the process of finding a replacement for the phones. The move should help the bottom line, County Administrator Richard Boeckman said.
The issue came up as Boeckman gave his bi-weekly departmental activities report.
Debes said the current system has been in place since 1999 and now, they are outdated and he can no longer get parts. “We had to do something.”
So, he sought bids, not only for the equipment, but also for the providing of phone and the Internet service (this would be an upgrade to high-speed capability which the county doesn’t have now). “This should save us money and give us better connections,” he said.
This is becoming increasingly important as more state agencies are conducting business with counties on-line, he said.
Debes said he is waiting for one more bid. The plans are to have the project rolling in two to four weeks.
The IT director has also been working with the Sheriff’s Office on improving its computer network. The SO operates on a dedicated law enforcement system independent of the rest of the county due to privacy concerns.
“They needed help upgrading,” Debes said. “We’ve been keeping them going while looking at other options.”
This may involved purchasing new equipment or using used gear from another department which is still newer that what the SO has now.
Debes also noted that his office has been:
• Monitoring the TTC, exchange servers and sonic wall firewall continues. During the past two weeks, there were 2,912 spam messages, 45 viruses, eight intrusion and three spyware attempts stopped.
• Revamping the electronic reporting of W2s.
• Printing the 1099s and developing an electronic version for submission to the federal government.
• Installing a new computer at 911 for the security cameras at the Barton County Office Building at 12th and Kansas, Great Bend.
• Continuing to upgrade the oil and gas rendition application in response to State requirements.
• Reports are being readied for the auditors.
• The replacement of a Works database with Access database for employee history information is being researched.

Also in Boeckman’s report Monday:
Barton County Health Director Lily Akings
• Clinic contacts – 249
• Immunizations – 97
• Family planning – 66
• Home visits – 11
• HIV –  2
• Maternal and Infant – 16
• Sexually transmitted infections – 10
• TB – 32
Goals for year 2013:
• Update hearing equipment
• Update telephone system
• Manage new billing contracts
• Change from parent agency to single agency for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
• Develop ability to charge health savings accounts
• Prepare for auto-deposits from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment
• Wireless extender to WIC area
• Fit testing for nurses
• Uniforms
• Research needs for Health Information Exchange