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City, County Still At Odds Over Health Department

Todd Pittenger - July 9, 2013 3:50 pm

Saline County Commissioners Tuesday discussed the status of the Salina / Saline County Health Department. The county has been at odds with the City of Salina over the future of the organization.

A structure problem with the roof caused the agency to close over a year ago, on May 31, 2012. Since that time, city and county commissioners have been trying to come up with a plan for a permanent facility.

The county would like to fix the damaged roof of the current facility, while the city would like to tear down the building and build a new facility.

Last week, the city proposed a plan in which both the city and county would contribute $500,000 to the project, the health department would contribute $850,000, and the rest would be funded through bonds. The health department would pay $150,000 rent a year to pay for the bonds.

The county rejected the offer, saying they would like to proceed with fixing the current facility. Since then they have been proceeding with making plans to repair the current facility.

The city also has given the county notice that at the end of this year they have elected to terminate the joint agreement between the two organizations, meaning that the county would solely be responsible for the health department. Currently, Saline County is one of only five health department in Kansas that shares services with the city and county.

If the joint-agreement ends, more than likely the health department will have to cut back on the services it offers. That fear has prompted numerous citizens to attend meetings from both bodies since, urging them to work together to solve the problem.
Multiple people spoke at the county commission meeting Tuesday morning, urging county commissioners to work with city commissioners to resolve the issue.

Commissioners Randy Duncan and John Price affirmed that the city’s action last week to terminate the current agreement at the end of the year means that the health department will become a county entity if no agreement is reached. The city has indicated that they would like to negotiate a new agreement, while the county seems reluctant to do so.

B Koz

July 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I have a suggestion. I think it’s time for the elected officials to listen to the people and resolve this matter. The same people that elected you to office…to serve the people…get it?
I’m not trying to be smart here….just stating the obvious.
You’re starting to look like the Hatfields & McCoys….and it’s really getting old. Good grief, you’d think you were in Washington DC the way you’re all acting! Stop this nonsense and get your heads together to resolve it instead of bickering back & forth.

Tyler Rathbun

July 9, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Bring it to a City and County VOTE!! Let the people decide where the money goes!

Iggy p Daily

July 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

The county commissioners are listening but its the city commissioners who are a bunch of bullies are the problem. The city should be fixing the roof on the building as that is the agreement they had on the property when they entered into the agreement with the county. After they fix the roof then they should deceide whether they wish to move or stay in the building. Seems to me its the city commissioners who are wanting to shut the health department down not the county boys. There is one guy on the city commission old Aaron who has been over riding his mouth and who will surly be gone next election. Until then he needs to watch what he says because many of us tax payers have had enought of the disgrace he and the other commissioners (with the exception of the 2 newest) have brought to our town.

Aaron A. Aurora

July 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Well as long as we have the current old city commissioner namely Aaron, kay and our wonderful mayor this will continue. It would take 3 saints on the county commission to agree with these 3. It is correct that the city entered an agreement with the county, then once there was a problem now are trying to walk away from fixing the roof. The city was responsible for all repairs now they are trying to bury that information. We taxpayers are not stupid well maybe a little as we did nothing on that art project on south 9th or the magnolia road fiasco. But the bottom line is 2 of you will not be back and if more people got out to vote the 3rd one would have been gone also.

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City of Salina