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Technology speeds disaster application process
new deh county update pic
A crew from L&M Contractors works on a box bridge north of Albert. The replacement structure will be done in about five weeks. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

 Damaged signs a problem

Barton County Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips said sign vandalism took place over the weekend of Aug. 21. Damage occurred south of Odin and east to Claflin. 

Twelve signs were damaged and required replacement at a cost of $1,800, he said. 

The problem isn’t a new one, but it is hard to catch anyone for the crimes, said Sheriff Brian Bellendir. Barton County is large, about 900 square miles, and the incidents are far-flung.

There is also another cause for the damage, Bellendir said. Often the signs fall victim to large farm implements or oil field equipment that use the hundreds of miles of paved roads.

 Barton County Engineer Clark Rusco met recently with Barton County Road and Bridge, Kansas Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration representatives to review damages to Federal Aid Secondary routes for the latest disaster declaration. 

In the past, this process could have taken all day. But, this time  it didn’t, Rusco said.

Road and Bridge’s John Remmert had organized the documentation in a manner that the majority of the potential claims can be reviewed for compliance with Road and Bridge accounting software and geotagged photographs. In  other words, all of the sites were reviewed in his office and only one site needed to be visited for a final determination. 

The previous disaster declaration required many site visits before the final documents could be completed. 

This time the computer files were reviewed at Road and Bridge and the final project disaster claims were prepared and signed off by KDOT, FHWA and Barton County that afternoon.

The report on the visit was part of County Administrator Richard Boeckman’s biweekly departmental update. Other highlights included:

County Engineer

• Met with Be Well Barton County and RDG Planners for the kickoff meeting for the Master Plan for Biking in Barton County.

• L&M Construction has begun the construction of a skewed double 4X8 reinforced concrete box (a style of short bridge). Road and Bridge has removed the old structure and L&M has formed and place the bottom slab of the structure. Construction should be completed in five weeks. This project is located north of Albert.

• Reviewed several utility permits for projects crossing Barton County Roads.

• Received notification Barton County will be included in the Countywide Safety Plan Pilot Project. Barton County will be one of four counties included in Program.

The goal of the program is to identify needed safety improvements and to speed up the timeframe for the implementation of the Plan recommendations.


Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips 

• Sand/chip seals were performed in Claflin on Thursday, Aug. 20.

• As all personnel were involved with sealing, the director, shop supervisor and engineering inspector fill potholes and completed memorial parks duties as needed.

• Mowing continues with one mower in the Galatia area. With a priority on sealing, the mowing has slowed. Landfill staff has helped out mowing on College Road, West Barton County Road and in the Pawnee Rock area.

Solid Waste Director Phil Hathcock 

During the reporting period:

• 796 tons of municipal solid waste

• 233 tons of construction/demolition waste

• 52 tons of special waste

• 501 loads of waste received for disposal

• $40,116.07 of revenue generated through disposal fees

• 73 mattresses were delivered to Hutchinson Correctional Facility for recycling

• 53 pounds of household hazardous waste was collected

Those with questions regarding recycling, household hazardous waste, or regular household waste cab call the landfill at 620-793-1898.