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Winter isnt over yet
Safety official cautions residents to be ready
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Although the Golden Belt area has experienced a warm-up over the weekend, Barton County Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller cautions that winter weather can return at any time to the area.
“Residents of the county are reminded they should pay attention to weather forecasts and know the terms that are used to describe changing winter weather conditions,” she said. She offered the following weather definitions:
Freezing rain – rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
Sleet – rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
Winter weather advisory – winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous.
Winter storm watch – a winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for more information.
Winter storm warning – a winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
Blizzard warning – sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
“Please remember to minimize or even delay travel during winter conditions for your own personal safety,” she said. If one must travel, keep a disaster supply kit in your vehicle.
Related to the weather, Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips reported the following:
• On Sunday, Jan. 4, staff was sent out for snow and ice issues on roadways, with Landfill personnel helping with operations due to short staffing at Road and Bridge.
• On Monday, Jan. 5, staff responded to ice control issues.
• There were 30 work orders for maintenance on snow plow and spreader equipment. In addition, service and regular maintenance was performed on equipment.
• Staff mixed salt and sand supplies.
• Sand was hauled from Ellinwood to Great Bend.
Noxious Weed
 • Staff worked with Road and Bridge on snow and ice removal issues. This included removing ice and snow at County owned buildings and parking areas.
This information was part of County Administrator Richard Boeckman’s bi-monthly departmental update. Other highlights included:

Emergency Management
A defensive driving class has been scheduled by Amy Miller, Risk Manager, for Feb. 18. Barton County employees who operate a county vehicle are required to take a safe driving class every three years.
The training provides reinforcement of safe driver habits and attitudes, which in turn helps to keep the employee safe when they are on the road, Miller said. The National Safety Council Driver Safety Course that will be provided to employees is keep up-to-date to reflect the latest traffic and behavior data.
The county’s insurance provider, EMC Insurance Companies, makes available an instructor, at no charge, to provide the class to employees. Upon completion of the class, employees are provided a certificate to show completion of the class.

Solid Waste Manager Phil Hathcock
• 746.85 tons of municipal solid waste
• 92.60 tons of construction/demolition waste
• 169.02 tons of special waste
• 369 loads of waste received for disposal
• $36,860.31 of revenue generated through disposal fees
• 107 bicycles were transported to Ellsworth Correctional Facility. The bicycles are refurbished by inmates at the facility, and then distributed to families that are unable to purchase one for themselves. Barton County residents may drop off old bicycles anytime at the Barton County Landfill, free of charge, for this program. For more information, call the landfill at 620-793-1898.

911 Director Doug Hubbard
2014 statistics December
•  911 landlines, 318
•  911 wireless, 891
•  Administrative lines, 9,757
•   Total Calls, 10,966
•   Radio calls, 99,420
•   Calls for service, 2,900
For all of 2014
•  911 landlines, 3,776
•  911 Wireless, 11,678
•  Administrative lines, 116,006
•   Total phone calls, 131,460
•   Radio calls, 1,255,952
•   Calls for service, 37,602

County Treasurer Kevin Wondra
The Treasurer’s Office processed a total of 822 motor vehicle transactions between Jan. 1 and Jan. 14. The department has also been busy processing Commercial Motor Vehicle renewals.
2014 tax payments are still being received. Several taxpayers had to be contacted as the second half of their 2013 taxes were unpaid. There has been some success in getting the delinquent taxes and the first half of the 2014 taxes paid so they are current.
The bookkeepers have finished reconciling the December statements and successfully closed out tax year 2014. The January distribution is being prepared.