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Viewing tower being reviewed
new deh county commission K4 Overlook Tower image use web
The plans for the Cheyenne Bottoms scenic overlook near Hoisington are being redrawn since the initial concept came in more expensive than anticipated. - photo by Tribune file photo

 When the bids came back for the much-anticipated Cheyenne Bottoms scenic overlook east of Hoisington on K-4, state and local officials were a little shocked, the Barton County Commission learned Monday morning.

Barton County has partnered with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and  Tourism and the Kansas Department of Transportation  on the effort. After letting the project, the construction bids for the proposed viewing tower were in excess of the projected cost, County Administrator Richard Boeckman said. 

Technically, there are two projects involved in this effort, Boeckman said – the paving of the parking lot and sidewalks and the tower. It was only the platform that is impacted by the change.

So, it was then determined that a less expensive design is needed, Boeckman said.  

As a result, KDOT requested the county sign a supplemental agreement for the paving and the tower. The maximum amount of funding available through KDOT for the two projects is $328,000.  

For this, the commission approved Monday contracting with PBA Architects of Wichita for up to $10,000 for the redesign. The county will split the cost of architectural services with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Boeckman said. 

Barton County hired PBA to design overlook improvement project in the first place, but the money set aside for these costs has been spent. To date, PBA has invoiced Barton County once for $3,273.75, which was also split with the KDWPT. 

“We have been on this project for a very, very long time,” Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. “We really need to support this.”