By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Roads, bridges and trash keep things hopping
new deh county update bench pic
Pictured are benches installed by the Barton County Noxious Weed Department at Golden Belt Memorial Park .The same type were installed at Hillcrest Memorial park. They are made from recycled tires. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Editor’s note: Below is a recap of some of the activities of Barton County departments presented to the County Commission Wednesday. It is the first of two stories highlighting the year-in-review. The second story will appear in Sunday’s Tribune.

A lot has happened in Barton County over the past year, County Administrator Richard Boeckman told the commissioners Wednesday morning. He was referring to the bi-weekly activity reports submitted by various department heads, many of whom turned their reports into a year-in-review.
County Engineer Clark Rusco
• The Ellinwood bridge over the Arkansas River isn’t functioning as it should. The bridge is 30 years old and has developed some odd deflections. These deflections are occurring at the south expansion joint on the west side. After new pin and hanger replacement assemblies are installed, work on the concrete deck repairs will begin in 2013.
• Applied for and received funding from Kansas Department of Transportation’s High Risk Rural Road program for the extension of reinforced concrete boxes on three roads in Barton County. The only corridor to not receive funding was a road north of Pawnee Rock. There were 44 projects submitted for the $15 million of grant funds. Barton County received funding for $600,000. This project will be begin in late 2013 or early 2014. The grant has a 90/10 cost share. The construction engineering services for this project will be the responsibility of the county. KDOT will reimburse Barton County at a 90/10 cost share for this project.
• Submitted and received an Off System bridge replacement grant from KDOT for the replacement of a riveted steel truss bridge located east and south of Great Bend. There were 59 applications for the $27 million of grant funds available and 12 projects were selected. The replacement may not get funded in the next Federal Highway budget so we were fortunate to receive funding. This project will be let by KDOT in early 2013. The grant has an 80/20 cost share. The construction engineering services will be the responsibility of the county. KDOT will reimburse Barton County at an 80/20 cost share.
• Participated in the Healthy Communities Design Grant concerning the planning to the Kansas Health Foundation. The planning grant to Barton County was approved and will benefit the county in many ways. The goals of the grant are to improve the overall health and livability of the county. The planning phase will identify needs, resources and goals to promote healthy living lifestyles and will identify projects that will promote and improve the overall health of the area.
• Worked with the City of Great Bend to overlay Rail Road Avenue from Washington Street to Main Street. Venture Corporation did the asphalt work and the City and the County improved the shoulders and drainage along Rail Road Avenue.

Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips
 Road and Bridge 
Bridge crew 
•  Repairs at the Radium and Ellinwood bridges over the Arkansas River.  Work included lubricating rocker bearings, cleaning expansion joints and bridge abutments per the County Engineer’s request. 
•  Repaired four locations with separated or collapsed culverts, one being  72” in width and 80’ long that was collapsing.
•  Cleaned silt and debris from four bridges and one ditch.
Sign crew
•  Placing new 911 locator signs in the east half of the County.  Two crews are working on the project before severe weather in.•  Replaced vandalized signs.
•  Readied snow plows for predicted winter weather.
Memorial Parks
•  Marked five graves and three marker locations.
 Noxious Weed - annual
Weed Spraying
•  11,895 total acres sprayed by County personnel                   
•  92,248 total acres sprayed across the County
•  15 Townships sprayed by County personnel
•  704 Township miles sprayed by County Personnel
•  Nearly 400 miles of County Roadsides treated by County Personnel
•  Approximately 120 miles of KDOT roadsides treated by County Personnel
Snow removal
•  Attended Snow school and training put on by Road and Bridge Department
•  Clean out snow and ice from in front of all county buildings
The department also reviewed its snow and ice preparedness plans.
Cemetery Work        
•  Poured sidewalk and slab
•  Fixed and repaired sidewalks
•  Installed Benches
•  Kept new trees watered with drip system
 Various Projects for courthouse
and other departments
•  Delivered, setup and picked up voting machines
•  Helped with specification and ordering of Voting Trailer
•  Set up and built cabinets for Voting Trailer
State Weed Association participation
•  Help set up and work the State Weed Association booth at the Kansas State Fair
Solid Waste Manager Mark Witt
The Barton County Landfill saw:
• 21,777.26 tons of municipal solid waste
• 4,554.49 tons of construction/demolition waste
• 1,288 passenger tires
• 526 truck tires
• 18 tractor tires
• 34 uncertified CFC (Freon containing) appliances evacuated
• 78 annual charge account permits were issued
• 97 Special Waste Disposal Authorizations (SWDA) approved for disposal
• The following Special Wastes were received for disposal:
• 0.44 tons absorbent material
• 30.63 tons animal carcasses
• 60.49 tons friable asbestos
• 70.83 tons non-friable asbestos
• 7.97 tons blast media
• 760.33 tons brine debris
• 110.26 tons drill cuttings
• 2.60 tons expired products
• 4.04 tons filter media
• 27.70 tons food waste
• 96.51 tons gun barrels (oil field)
• 6.61 tons honing sludge
• 30.27 tons medical waste
• 0.19 tons molecular sieve material
• 1,062.37 tons non-petroleum contaminated soil
• 13.53 tons paint filters
• 506.78 tons petroleum contaminated soil
• 171.47 tons sewer screenings
• 0.46 tons veterinary medical waste
• 0.68 tons separator filters
• 0.32 tons hook ash
• 7.19 tons filling compound
• 632.18 tons oil decanter sludge
• 1.54 tons fiberglass tanks
• 45.56 tons water treatment residue
• 7.10 tons ceramic solids
• 0.01 tons medication
The total tons of waste received for disposal estimated at 30,135.74 tons. The estimated revenue for the 11 month period is  $1,000,810.23.
2012 saw several projects and a new program established at the Barton County Landfill. A Medication Collection Program was established through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Waste Management to assist individuals and health care providers with the safe disposal of unused or out dated pharmaceuticals. The Barton County Household Hazardous Waste Facility accepts uncontrolled pharmaceuticals, and then properly disposes these items per regulations.
The year also brought the building of Phase 3, Construction and Demolition Landfill, which added capacity to the existing Construction and Demolition Landfill at the facility. This project was completed by department staff and equipment
With the drought conditions that persisted throughout 2012, landfill staff completed clean out of two storm water detention ponds on land owned by Barton County. These storm water detention ponds provide for sedimentation settlement, thus protecting other areas downstream.