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Study tests increased stress on county roads
Blacktops seeing more traffic due to transload facility
new deh transload facility news conference photo web
Traffic on county blacktops has increased due to the transload facility west of Great Bend.

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:

• Approved the 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services fiscal year 2018 carry-over budget. The Kansas Department of Corrections/Juvenile Services grantees are required to budget carryover reimbursement/program income funds. 

In order to track expenditures made using funds collected in previous years, a budget must be created. As a continuation of that process, the Juvenile Services Department is requesting approval of the 2018 carry-over budget. As developed by Director Marissa Woodmansee, the $47,442.61 in budgeted funds will be used for salaries, training and supplies. 

• Approved Central Kansas Community Corrections fiscal year 2018 carry-over reimbursement plan budget. The Kansas Department of Corrections requires a budget submission of local program funding collected by Community Corrections agencies from program fees and reimbursements. These budgets require the review and approval of the Barton County Commissioners, as the administrative county for the 20th Judicial District, CKCC Director Amy Boxberger said. 

The total was $68,771.62.

• Approved Emergency Risk Management’s application for the fiscal year 2017 Emergency Management Performance Grant Program. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is accepting applications for the program. The EMPG Program provides funding to assist states and local governments in developing and carrying out emergency management programs, Emergency Management Director Amy Miller said.

This is Federal Emergency Management Agency money that flows through the KDEM to the counties. 

 Heavy truck traffic has increased on county blacktops due to Great Bend Transload Facility at the Industrial Park west of Great Bend and that may increase the wear and tear on those roads, Barton County Engineer Barry McManaman told the County Commission Monday morning.

In light of this, McManaman has inquired about applying for economic development funding for road improvements from the Kansas Department of Transportation. KDOT recommended that the county first document the existing conditions then make recommendations based on projected traffic loads. 

So, McManaman presented an agreement with Terracon for the required exploratory drilling and geotechnical engineering services. The $5,900 project involves taking 15 core samples along West Barton County Road from the Great Bend city limits west to SW 40 Avenue (Airport Road) and south on SW 40 Avenue to U.S. 56, a distance of about four miles.

McManaman said this study will document the thickness of the asphalt and the depth of the subgrade. “We will see if we have to beef the roads up.”

Commissioners approved the study. Watco Companies, the Pittsburg-based railroad company that manages transload site, has agreed to pay half the cost.  

Since some of the wind turbine parts being three times the legal weight limit, the county has already nixed the hauling of them on Barton County Road. This was due to the weight restrictions on the bridge over the Great Bend flood control ditch.

However, McManaman said the transload facility is now taking truck loads of rock and cement. These are all legal loads that are using these routes.

This survey may show all is fine, but it may show improvements are needed, he said. Just in case, it will help the county if it applies for the competitive economic development grants.

“This is the first step in seeing out investment is protected,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said.