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AUDIO: County Rejects Offer Of Joint Health Department

Todd Pittenger - August 6, 2013 4:56 pm

County Counselor Mike Montoya discusses the health department with county commissioners late Tuesday afternoon.

County Counselor Mike Montoya discusses the health department with county commissioners late Tuesday afternoon.

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.

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.

County Counselor Mike Montoya told commissioners that the only way to become a joint health department would be through a new agreement.

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.

Effective January 1st it will be a county health department.

County commissioners Tuesday also discussed a settlement from the city in regard to repair of the current building, but did not reach any decisions.

Commissioner John 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.

Price said that if you take into consideration an increase last year for the department, it is really now over a 4 mil increase.

Earlier in the day County Human Relations Director Marilyn Leamer updated commissioners on the progression of transferring the health department into a county agency. She discussed differences in health insurance plans. She did not say how much extra month it will cost the county in health insurance. Several numbers have been discussed, and while there is not known how much extra a year it will cost, all of the estimates are over $100,000. For the family plan, health department employees will pay nearly $300 a month more than the currently plan.

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.”

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

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.

do gooder

August 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Gile and Duncan you two are impossible, you would cut your own nose off in spite of yourselves….. Gile you can make your own mind up for yourself don’t be so damn afraid of Duncan.. and do the right thing…..

do gooder

August 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm

The city supported you when you made your racist comments

Iggy p Daily

August 7, 2013 at 7:54 am

Do gooder get a life. The city commissioners were the ones that said they wanted out of the agreement to begin with. The county just took them up on it. As to your comment on racist remarks what was said was not racist. The word used is used daily by the black community as they evidently do not consider it a vile name because if they did their race would never use it.

do gooder

August 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Wow iggy D spoken like a true racist…. Sounds like you need a new life, one where they don’t talk like that… I would hope you would hold yourself to a higher standard than to speak like that…. Both sides need to do what is best for the city and county… raising the mil just to support what health dept is doing now is crazy for the county just need to admit both sides made mistakes and lets forget them and work together…. Everyone thinks like you all about themselves… Good job Iggy Daily

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