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Santa visits Noxious Weed Department
Purchases help upgrade county motor pool
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Plans aren’t always set in stone. They are sometimes a moving target.
That was the gist of a conversation at the Barton County Commission meeting Monday morning as it approved vehicle purchases for the Noxious Weed Department. It may have seemed like a lot of purchases were being made at one time, Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said.
But, the department has a five-year plan it follows for improvements, but some items get put on hold. “They are playing catch-up,” Schartz said.
Noxious Weeds falls under the Road and Bridge Department, along with Memorial Parks, so there is a lot of equipment involved. Together, they encompass the largest share of the county budget.
“We do five-year planning every year,” said Noxious Weed Director Dale Phillips. However, some items are shuffled from year to year depending on available funding.
The buying of a new spray truck and utility vehicle Monday helped get the department on track, he said. He is playing a little bit of catch-up while he can.
Approved Monday was the purchase of a 2015 Dodge 5500 4x4 truck for the Noxious Weed Department from Marmie Motors of Great bend for $43,472. Specialized spray equipment will be moved from the existing to the new vehicle, Phillips said.
The current vehicle, a 1999 Ford F-550, was then transferred to the landfill at a cost of $5,000 for use by the Solid Waste Department. The money will go towards refitting the new vehicle.
Following these actions, the commission  approved the landfill’s selling a 1998 Chevy K-2550 2WD.
Also OKed was the purchase of a 2015 Kawasaki Mule Utility Task Vehicle for the Noxious Weed Department from Superior Outdoor Power of Superior, Neb., for $22,189.
After the purchase, the commission approved the transfer of the landfill’s current 1999 Mule to the Memorial Parks Department at no cost.
Phillips called attention to the age of the items replaced. A lot of the department’s motor pool dates back to the 1990s and even the 1980s, meaning maintenance gets costly.
“We want to trade them off while they still have some value,” he said.
In addition, the commission gave a nod to the replacement of two garage doors at the Noxious Weed Department’s main shop in Great Bend. Kansas Door will handle the job for $7,350. These are the west doors to the shop and existing doors date back to when the structure was built in 1986.