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County Talks Tires; Building Authority Talks Guns

Karen Shade - February 21, 2017 3:57 pm

Among other things on Tuesday, Saline County Commissioners discussed possibly beginning an effort to recycle tires. Meanwhile, the City-County Building Authority discussed concealed carry of weapons in the building.

At last week’s Farm Bureau meeting, County Commissioners Bob Vidricksen and Jim Weese learned that used tires are being dumped in rural areas and this creates nuisances.  Vidricksen said Ottawa County hosts special tire collections, twice a year, to address the problem.  Chairman Monte Shadwick noted that the time Road and Bridge crews spend collecting discarded tires takes time away from other efforts.  The Commission plans to look into alternatives.

While attending last week’s Salina Airport Authority meeting, Vidricksen learned that those flying in and out of the airport experienced “six bird strikes” last year; these bird strikes involved smaller birds and did not result in accidents.  Vidricksen learned that when it comes to the County’s future plans regarding a pond at the Road and Bridge facility, the SAA recommended letting the water flow, rather than maintaining current efforts to retain water in a pond.  Next week, the Commission plans to take up a request by Road and Bridge to build two box structures where the pond’s drainage field intersects with R&B’s egress and exit routes to their property.

Commissioner Jim Weese attended a meeting of the Prescribed Burns Association that strives to collaborate efforts among those who burn pastures, typically in the spring.

Commissioners:

  • Appointed Rex Tjaden to serve on the Board of Trustees for Rural Fire District #6; his term will be from February 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020.
  • Approved a request from Sheriff Roger Soldan to purchase ten (10) TaserX26P units and batteries for $10,454.87 from Taser International.
  • Approved changing internet providers; Cox is the current provider at $312.90/month. Nex-tech will use a fiber system that will improve up and downloading speeds for $350/month.
  • Accepted “low bid” from Systems 4 for $8,554 to replace a 23 year old HVAC unit at the Health Department.

Commissioner Rodger Sparks and County Administrator Rita Deister traveled to Topeka to participate in an event at the State Legislature, so they did not attend this meeting.  The Public Forum lasted from 9:00 AM until 9:20 AM.  The second “study session” lasted from 9:22 AM until 9:47 AM.

Earlier, Commissioners Jim Weese and Mike White attended the monthly Saline County-City Building Authority meeting.  Court Administrator Todd Heitschmidt asked members to identify the kinds of information they wanted to see collected in regard to “taking down the signs” that prevent concealed carry of weapons in the building.  The Building Authority will need to comply with State legislation on this matter that is scheduled to take effect on July 1.

Heitschmidt hopes the Board will discuss this in March and take action in April.  For the March meeting, members asked that information be gathered on:

  • How similar courts and county buildings manage security, including different courts’ policies on allowing cell phones in courtrooms.
  • Staffing needs and costs for securing just the third (courts) floor as well as other building entrances. Heitschmidt speculated that total wages and benefits for each of the three Sheriff’s deputies who currently secure the third floor average $50,000 to $60,000/year.  The costs for securing the third floor are paid by the county; however, a grant from Community Corrections pays for one bailiff, whose duties go beyond securing that area.  At this time, it is unclear if securing the building at another entrance would reduce the number of deputies needed on the third floor.
  • Equipment needs and costs for securing one or more building entrances.
  • Staff preferences; the City completed a staff survey last year.

Building Authority members also discussed options for:

  • Tinting windows, as an alternative to using screens.
  • Possibly slowing the movement of vehicles on the “north drive”.
  • Updating information directories in the building, perhaps with some kind of television monitor(s).

The Building Authority met from 8:00 AM to 8:40 AM; Sparks did not attend.

Bridget Fuller

February 22, 2017 at 3:39 am

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