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UWCK thanks county for setting the pace
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A United Way of Central Kansas Pacesetter banner on the first floor of the Barton County Courthouse indicates Barton County employees as a group are among the top 15 business donors to UWCK. Most of the donations were made through automatic payroll deductions. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Earlier this year, Barton County was named a Pacesetter contributor by the United Way of Central Kansas. On Monday morning, the County Commission was thanked for this effort.
To become a Pacesetter, an organization must be one of the top 15 donators to the non-profit agency, UWCK Executive Director Julie Bugner-Smith said. As the county is a government entity, all United Way donations are made by employees.
“We cannot do it without the county and we appreciate the support,” Bugner-Smith said, noting money donated stays in the community.
“The real thanks goes to the county employees that donated,” County Administrator Richard Boeckman said.
The county has been a Pacesetter for two years in a row, which is as long as UWCK has had that designation, Bugner-Smith said.
Boeckman said he hopes to make it three years.
The Pacesetters are the top 15 business payroll deduction donors. Together, they raised $137,971, which is more than half of the $275,000 goal.
The UWCK covers all of Barton and Pawnee counties. It supports 23 partner agencies.
“Over the last six years our board has allocated $1.2 million in the community,” Bugner-Smith said.
She shared some information about where the money goes. For example, UWCK supports the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Larned and Ellinwood. This literacy program provides each child from birth to 5 years old with a free book once a month. Efforts are being made to bring the program to Great Bend and Hoisington.
Juvenile Services was able to bring back Teen Court with help from United Way, she added. Marissa Woodmansee, interim director of the Juvenile Services Office, said UWCK provided $10,000 last year. The Teen Court diversion program helps youths in Barton, Russell and Rice counties.

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved the 2017 carryover budget for Juvenile Services in the amount of $20,721. Interim Juvenile Services Director Marissa Woodmansee said the funds will be used for a portion of salaries, training and supplies including a laptop.
• Approved the fiscal year 2017 carryover reimbursement plan budget for Central Kansas Community Corrections in the amount of $71,653. These budgets require the review and approval of the Barton County commissioners, as the administrative county for the 20th Judicial District. The carryover reimbursement budget is planned for travel and training, equipment and supplies, drug testing, behavior health services as well as for surveillance positions, said CKCC Director Amy Boxberger.
In another CKCC item, the commission accepted the Fiscal Year 2017 Behavioral Health Funding Grant for the agency. CKCC submitted a grant application and was awarded $4,500 for behavioral health vouchers for indigent offenders. Boxberger said the vouchers will be used by people who want to avoid prison and change their behaviors, but who can’t afford such services as mental health, substance abuse or sex offender counseling.
• Accepted an insurance settlement for a 2015 Dodge Ram used by the Noxious Weed Department that was totaled in an accident in June. The truck was used for spraying weeds. EMC Insurance has offered Barton County $55,234.51 less the policy deductible of $1,000, for a net of $54,234.51, which covers both the truck and spray rig. After discussion with Noxious Weed staff it has been determined that this is a fair settlement price.
Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips and Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller provided details.
Following up on this, the commission then approved the purchase of a replacement truck.
The county will use the $42,257 from the settlement earmarked for the truck to replace it with a 2016 Dodge 5500 regular cab chassis 4X4 from Marmie Motors for $46,900.
Current spray equipment will be repaired and installed on the truck with the balance of the insurance funds and transferred to the new vehicle.
• Approved the replacement of two motor graders. The Road and Bridge Department utilizes five motor graders for jobs including ditch clean-out, snow removal and asphalt overlay. It was suggested that two 1994 Caterpillar 140Gs be traded in for a 2011 John Deere Grader 672G with 2,930 hours and a 2013 John Deere Grader 670G with 2,095 hours.
Murphy Tractor and Equipment offered the newer equipment at a net price of $216,500 with the trade-in of the county’s 1994 units.
Phillips the county doesn’t usually buy used equipment and was only scheduled to buy one grader, but these “low-hour machines” are still under warranty and a good value.
“All of this equipment is on our long-term replacement fund,” commissioner Don Davis said.
• At the close of the regular meeting, County Appraiser Barb Esfeld announced that Sheriff Brian Bellendir will be at the St. Rose Auditorium, 1412 Baker Ave., at 6 p.m. on Thursday, talking about law enforcement. The public is invited.
• Commissioners discussed other regular business following the close of the agenda meeting. This included a proposal to move the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles offices from the second floor of the courthouse to the fourth floor and subsequent changes related to that move. The Great Bend Tribune will have more about that discussion in Wednesday’s edition.