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Planning commission stays busy
new deh county update photo web
Barton County Administrator Richard Boeckman gives his biweekly departmental update to county commissioners Monday morning. - photo by Dale Hogg/Great Bend Tribune

According to Barton County Environmental Manager Judy Goreham, there have been six public hearings for various zoning-related issues over the summer months, with another one coming up in September.
The Sept. 20 meeting of the Barton County Planning Commission, held in the first-floor conference room of the Barton County Courthouse, will begin with a public hearing to consider a zoning amendment request from the Great Bend Coop Association to rezone a parcel of land approximately 11.4 acres that has been leased for 10 years. This request is for an amendment to change the zoning from agricultural to light manufacturing service commercial district in order that they may construct two 130 x 380-foot grain bunks on the land, which is located just east of the southeast corner of Pawnee Rock.
The public is invited to attend.
The announcement was part of County Administrator Richard Boeckman’s biweekly departmental update. Other highlights included:

Environmental Management
Total permits issued during this period – 54
Septic system permits – 20
Water well permits – 16
Building permits – 12
Wastewater pumper licenses – one
Wastewater installer licenses – one
Fireworks stand licenses – four
• The Barton County website “face-lift” was completed this summer and is currently active.

County Engineer Barry McManaman
• Researched broadband tower requirements and spoke with a representative of the Kansas Association of Counties in regard to possible future broadband towers at various locations around the state.
• Reviewed specifications developed by the Kansas Department of Transportation for the geosynthetic bridge project that is coming up east of Great Bend.
• Met with Cheyenne Bottoms staff to discuss roadways near the wetland.
• Technician assisting with the asphalt roadway sealing project being done by Road and Bridge.

Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips
Road and Bridge
• Asphalt work continued over the past two weeks.
• Completed pothole patching and cleaning roads in preparation for sand sealing.
• Sand sealing operation was delayed until Aug. 25.
Noxious Weed
• Personnel will assist Road and Bridge with sealing operations.
Memorial Parks
• Bids were opened for fence repairs at Hillcrest and Golden Belt memorial parks.

911 Director Dena Popp
• Three employees attended active shooter training at the Barton County Courthouse.
• Communications is currently down one employee and has two about 90 days into their training period. The hiring process will begin in the next couple weeks.
• Working to fulfill a tape request from County Attorney’s Office for court purposes.

County Treasurer Kevin Wondra
• The Treasurer’s Office processed a total of 1,428 motor vehicle transactions between Aug. 11 and Aug. 24. Of those, 932 were vehicle renewals and 245 were new titles. In the past two weeks, staff has renewed, registered or updated 15 commercial vehicles.
• Attempts continue to clear up delinquent properties so they are not on the tax sale. At this time 69 tracts remain on the tax sale.
• The bookkeepers are in the process of reconciling the bank accounts. All daily work is current.

Health Director Shelly Schneider
• The Suicide Prevention Task Force has been working diligently on the Golden Belt Glow for Life Glow Walk or 5K Glow Run. This is an event to raise awareness of suicide prevention and provide for community suicide prevention education. This is a chance to remember those lost and honor their families and friends. It is scheduled for Sept. 10, with check-in at 6 p.m., at Veterans Park by the west side large shelter. Call the Health Department for details.
• The Suicide Task Force is also sponsoring the “U can’t be erased” Teen Suicide Prevention Program by Luke Maxwell, a teen recovering from depression. He will speak with the area middle school and high school students and staff at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Great Bend High School.
• Senior Farmers Market will wrap up on Sept. 8. It is open from 4-7 p.m. Thursdays on the southeast side of Jack Kilby Square.
• Barton County residents are always looking for day-care providers. Anyone interested in starting a day-care business may contact the Health Department and get the details of how to become registered. It is a requirement.

Juvenile Services Director Marissa Woodmansee
Week of Aug. 15
• Alcohol Prevention provided an event for Party in the Park on Aug. 13 and 300 people attended. Attendees were provided information about alcohol and drug prevention education and were then given three attempts to dunk Great Bend Police Department School Resource Officer Paul Millard.
• Juvenile Services was awarded in $30,000 grants for alcohol and drug prevention education with the youth in Barton County.
• Juvenile Intake and Assessment has completed four intakes since last Thursday.
• Juvenile Intensive Supervised Probation and Case Management currently are supervising 70 youth from the 20th Judicial District.
• Project Stay is the Case Management program for youth who have truancy issues and currently provides Case Management for 30 youth in the 20th Judicial District.
• Teen Court is held every month and currently has 14 active cases.