By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Radio towers handed over to Claflin, Ellinwood
County no longer needs towers due to 800 MHz system
county commission meeting
Barton County commissioners listen to details about transferring county radio towers over to the cities of Claflin and Ellinwood. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Wednesday morning:

• Tabled action to offer financial assistance to Ellinwood for water and wastewater improvements.

• Approved agreements transferring radio repeaters no longer used by the county due to the 800 MHz transition to the cities of Claflin and Ellinwood.

• Approved an emergency vehicle permit for Roger Krier.

Krier, a reserve officer with the Sheriff’s Office, completed an application for a 2000 Ford Excursion to be used for assisting the Sheriff’s Office with hazmat calls within Barton County when business equipment is in use. Sheriff Brian Bellendir recommended the approval for a five-year period.

Kansas statutes allow the commission to designate a privately owned authorized emergency vehicle, county Operations Director Matt Patzner said.

• Held continued discussion on the county’s involvement with the proposed Housing Opportunities Inc.’s Brynwood Subdivision (Cambridge Park).

• Approved paying travel expenses for two Health Department staff members to attend the Midwest Regional Child Passenger Safety Conference this week in Rogers, Ark. The department received a mini-grant to cover most of the cost for the trip.

• Toured the CUNA Building at 24th and the U.S. 281 Bypass in Great Bend. This is another possible location for temporary county offices while the Courthouse HVAC system is replaced, probably next year.

• Took a drive along 10th Street extended and Airport Road to view the work done by the Road and Bridge Department. 

The communities of Claflin and Ellinwood are the beneficiaries of Barton County’s transition to a 800 megahertz radio system.  

As County Communications continues its move to the system, the county’s Claflin and Ellinwood repeaters are no longer needed, 911 Director Dena Popp said. It was suggested the UHF TAC 11 (Ellinwood) and 18 (Claflin) be transferred to the cities for their utility and public works departments.  

Under the proposed agreements, the cities would be responsible for the transfer of the repeaters and utilities, if any, and assume all licensing, maintenance and other costs.  

Both were established over a decade ago and are atop the water towers. Popp said for the county to remove and get rid of them wasn’t cost effective and this was a good alternative.

“This is a great thing for us,” said Ellinwood City Administrator Chris Komarek. The towers have battery back-up and will be a welcome addition to the city’s aging radio network.

“We fully support this,” said Casey Hubbard, Claflin City Council member. 

It was in March the commission approved donating two UHF radio repeaters, one to Ellinwood and one to Claflin.

By September, the Communications Department will no longer be using the repeaters designed for tactical channels.