Township Road Improvement Funding
Nov. 18 – A late addition to the Barton County Commission meeting agenda on Wednesday led to the county approving a memorandum of understanding with the Township of Comanche that will allow the roads and bridges department to improve 1.5 miles of SE Route 40 leading to Barton County Feeders at a cost of no more than $250,000.
Commissioner Kirby Krier said the county will be reimbursed and Comanche County will be responsible for maintaining the road after its completion.
“They will also be part of this contract,” Krier said. “They are there to help with their grader and labor.”
Before it was passed unanimously, Commissioner Jennifer Schartz commented: “Mr. Chairman, I normally don’t like things being put on the agenda at the last minute that we don’t We don’t have a study session, but we’ve discussed it many times before. , so this is not new information to anyone.”
Chairman Shawn Hutchinson agreed it should be approved now, especially since the commission will not meet next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The road passes the Ellinwood Rural Feedlot at 1164 SE 40 Road and is in poor condition. “It was a total disaster,” Krier said. “Basically, we take the whole road and we do it again, and we do a base and a top surface.” Maybe in the future it could be an asphalt road, he added.
Normally, such a project would be the responsibility of the township.
“They didn’t have the expertise or the engineers or enough equipment to justify doing it,” Krier said. “They’ll reimburse us for FEMA fares and salaries. We won’t do that without them reimbursing the county.”
Comanche Township Administrator Kenneth Spangenberg said many large trucks use this road every day. The township is working with its equipment, but does not have enough manpower to complete the project.
Grants from the Ministry of Health
Barton County Health Director Karen Winkelman reported on a renovation project that is primarily funded by grants from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Brentwood Builders submitted the only proposal with a bid of $70,928.
In July, Winkelman asked KDHE to consider providing a $50,000 grant through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) program for this project. She wants to combine two toilets into one and make a decontamination area with shower, washer and dryer. “We would use it on our environmental tours,” she said. Staff would also have a place to change before returning home, a good precaution with situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
After receiving the offer from Brentwood Builders, Winkelman said she went back to KDHE and asked for an additional $10,000, which was also approved.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the commission approved the final $10,928 for the project, using the county budget health fund.
Winkelman said the Department of Health also received a grant from KDHE for $29,000, through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Gap with Social Determates of Health Accelerator Plans program. The main objective of this grant is to reach the underserved population. The commission accepted the grant, which will be used to offset health educator Katelyn Sigler’s salary and for program supplies.
County announces vacation hours
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Barton County Commission will not meet on Wednesday, November 23. His next meeting is set for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 30 at the Barton County Courthouse.
—Barton County office buildings will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25. The Barton County Health Department and the Sheriff’s Office Records Division will be closed on both days.
—The Barton County landfill will be closed on Thursday, November 24. It will reopen on Friday, November 25 between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. It will return to normal operating hours on Saturday, November 26.
—Emergency services will operate normally.
Meeting at a glance
Here’s a quick rundown of what the Barton County Commission did on Wednesday:
—Provided a letter of support to the Rosewood Services Roots and Wings Foundation. Howard Partington said the request was for a Kansas Department of Transportation grant application. As part of the application, the Foundation will request the replacement of an older minivan and at least $10,000.00 in operating funds. This will serve to advance transportation services for people with disabilities and the elderly.
— County Engineer Barry McManaman spoke about the 2023 biennial bridge inspections and the bid was awarded to Kirkham Michael, a civil engineering firm in Ellsworth, for $90 per bridge, or $33,480. Work includes routine bridge inspections in accordance with Kansas Department of Transportation guidelines “Local Routine Bridge and Element Level Inspection Scope of Services and Forms”. Barton County is required to have all 372 bridge length structures inspected every two years. Three proposals were received. Cook, Flatt & Strobel Engineers in Topeka had an offer of less than $80 per bridge, or $29,760; Kaw Valley Engineering of Junction City offered $95 per deck, or $35,340.
“Kirkham Michael was middle of the pack,” McManaman acknowledged, adding that the company had been doing bridge inspections in Barton County since around 2003, “and we had really good service with them.” Other companies are reputable and could do the job, he said, but McManaman recommended sticking with the “local” bidder. “Anytime we have a problem, we can contact them. They’ve been very generous in sending someone to meet with us to look at a problem. … There’s some value in that, I think.”
—Jennifer Hamby, Director of Solid Waste, reported that pursuant to KSA 65-3405, Barton County is required to form and maintain a Solid Waste Planning Committee to develop and conduct an annual review of the solid waste management plan. solid waste, which is then approved by the Commission. This committee is made up of representatives from cities, counties and private industry served by the Barton County Landfill. The commission approved five committee members recommended by Hamby: Scott Turner of Pawnee County; Brad Helfrich, who is the Superintendent of Solid Waste for the Town of Ellinwood; Shawn Bates with Sunflower Diversified Services; Troy Daubert with Superior Essex; and Jon Prescott of the county commission.
-Chief Health Officer Karen Winkelman presented details regarding the CDC’s Accelerate Plans grant to close the gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerate Plans. The Department of Health will receive $29,000.
—Winkelman also reported plans to redevelop some areas of the Department of Health. Brentwood Builders submitted the only proposal with a bid of $70,928, but state grants will pay $60,000.
—The commission has agreed to help improve 1.5 miles of SE 40 Road in Comanche Township, at a cost not to exceed $250,000. The department will be reimbursed by the municipality.
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