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Salina Surgical Hospital
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City Schedules Special Wednesday Meeting

Todd Pittenger - August 7, 2013 10:58 am

A day after the county rejected an offer of a joint city-county health department Salina City Commissioners call a special meeting.

Saline County Commissioners reaffirmed late Tuesday afternoon that they do not want to enter into a new interlocal agreement with the City of Salina in regard to the operation of the Salina-Saline County Health Department.

About a month ago the city gave the county notice that they decided to terminate the joint agreement between the two organizations at the end of this year, meaning that the county would solely be responsible for the health department. City commissioners have indicated that they would like to negotiate a new agreement.

Since that time both sides have sent several proposals. Each city proposal has called for a jointly operated health department, while the county has steadfastly maintained that the agency is will become a county department and have been preparing for the change.

Unless a new agreement is reached, which seems unlikely, the health department will become a county department January 1st.

While discussing a proposal from the city Tuesday afternoon, county commissioner John Price made a motion to have the city draft a proposed agreement to jointly operate the health department. The motion died for a lack of a second.

Price said “this health department is going to cost the taxpayers, it doesn’t sound like a good choice.”

Earlier in the day Saline County Administrator Rita Deister told commissioners that a tax increase of over 3 mils would be needed to fund the county budget for 2014. Over 2 mils of the increase is attributed to the health department becoming a county agency, and retaining all of the current services.

City commissioners had reiterated Monday evening that they would like joint funding and operation of the health department.

On Tuesday County Commission Chairman Randy Duncan said that “the city should realize that since it is a county health department, they don’t have to help fund it. But that’s their call.”

A structure problem with the roof caused the health department to close back in May of 2012. Since that time, city and county commissioners have been trying to come up with a plan for a permanent facility and the best course of action for the future of the agency.

The special Salina City Commission meeting to discuss the issue begins at 3:00 Wednesday afternoon.

Fuchs Mi

August 7, 2013 at 11:10 am

Why doesn’t the city give it up. It was they who broke the lease. Then it was the city who gave the county an notice that they were pulling out on 1-1-14. That tactic did not work and the city commissioners and city manager got a bunch of pie in their face because the bully tactic did not work. Time to go down the road CITY commissioners you made your bed now lie in it.

do gooder

August 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Well why not just try to work it out,,,, yes city made a mistake, now they are trying to work it out whats wrong with that… Raise taxes to make Duncan happy CRAZY talk Man….

Iggy p Daily

August 9, 2013 at 8:10 am

Well Crazy man Aaron H. has not helped the situation. The city made a big mistake in breaking their lease with the county and further did not help the issue by saying they wanted out totally. This is no small error one can push aside. These people were elected to run the community in an fair and unbias manner and none of them are coming close to doing that. Taxes are going to be raised by both the city and the county but what you should be concerned about do gooder is the school system raising taxes because they spent money all these years to fix and maintain schools within the system but did not do so. Now they want $111 million dollars. All they are wanting is to keep the bond issue which is set to expire, to continue breaking their promise to the taxpayers when they wanted it to begin with that it was temporary. Now the time has come and they are like snakes squirming to find a way to keep the bond.

do gooder

August 9, 2013 at 8:55 am

Yes Iggy i do agree with that statement, Remember when they passed the property tax increase some decade ago for school improvements I think that is getting ready to expire and that is what has them scared. I agree can’t argue that..

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City of Salina