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Reappraisal underway in Barton County
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Work commencing on new grain facility

Barton County Engineer Clark Rusco has Met with Bartlett Grain officials for final floodplain development permitting requirements and for review of their state and federal permits. Bartlett Grain has now received all of its permits for the new grain handling facility project located between Ellinwood and Great Bend on U.S. 56.
 Dirt work has begun at the site, Barton County commissioners said Monday. The company hopes to have the facility done by May 2015 so it will be available for the 2015 wheat harvest.
On another project, Rusco said he has met with Kansas Department of Transportation personnel on both of the K-4 Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway scenic overlook projects east of Hoisington. The new viewing tower to be built before paving work is done to avoid damaging the new pavement with the equipment needed to build the structure.

According to state law, the Appraiser’s Office is required to re-inspect 17 percent of the county each year. Barton County Appraiser Barb Esfeld said this year, her staff is measuring and inspecting properties located south of K-4 to 50 Road, including the rural areas and Olmitz, part of Hoisington, Albert and Barton Hills. Properties that have sold recently and/or have building permits will also be inspected.
Esfeld said county personnel wear name tags and will be in marked vehicles.
Esfeld also noted that Barton County offers Neighborhood Revitalization plans in Great Bend, Hoisington, Ellinwood and Claflin. These plans are for improvements made to properties that increase the value by $5,000 on residential and $10,000 on commercial.
If a property is eligible, the plan provides a rebate on taxes paid by the owner. For 2014, there were 271 properties eligible for the programs. For more information on Neighborhood Revitalization, please contact the Appraiser’s Office or your respective city.
The appraiser’s report was part of Barton County Administrator Richard Boeckman’s biweekly departmental update to the County Commission Monday morning.
Other highlights included:
 Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips
• The asphalt overlay project continues on Southeast 20 Road.
• Work continued repairing damaged and vandalized signs.
• Bridge work, to include repairing washed out wing walls and culverts, is being performed in the Beaver area.
• Installation is beginning for new bike riding safety signs on designated routes .
 Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller
On July 21, the Barton County Local Emergency Planning Committee, sponsored by Barton County Emergency Management, held its quarterly meeting. The agenda included a report on the Region E Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Barton County is one of seven counties in the regional plan, other counties are Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt and Stafford.
Participation in and adoption of the plan enables entities to apply for mitigation funds following a presidential disaster declaration within the State of Kansas.
Members heard a report from registered nurse Pam Stiles, Barton County Health Department, about the department’s booth at the Barton County Fair. Stiles reported that they had given away emergency kits and recruited individuals to register on Kansas System for the Early Registration of Volunteers. K-SERV is a statewide secure database of pre-credentialed health care and non-health care professionals who are interested in volunteering their services in the event of a public health emergency.
The committee also was informed about exercise planning efforts for an upcoming Great Bend Regional Hospital exercise and the Vigilant Guard exercise being conducted the first week in August. Kansas will be the host state for Vigilant Guard 2014, a large-scale, multi-state disaster response exercise sponsored by U.S. Northern Command and the National Guard Bureau that tests the capabilities of emergency response agencies at all levels of government, both military and civil reported Jim Leftwich, South Central Regional Coordinator.