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New City Health Department Proposal

Todd Pittenger - July 16, 2013 12:15 pm

Salina City Commissioners listen to city manager Jason Gage speak Tuesday morning.

Salina City Commissioners listen to city manager Jason Gage speak Tuesday morning.

Salina City Commissioners met in a special session Tuesday morning to discuss a proposal to respond to the county regarding the Salina-Saline County Health Department

Commissioners ultimately approved a resolution affirming that they want to work together in negotiating a new inter-local agreement. As a compromise, they think the best course of action now is to find a new existing building in lieu of building new at the current location

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

Last week Saline County Commissioners proposed taking full responsibility for the health department, sending a letter to the City of Salina outlining its plan.

Tuesday morning the city agreed to pay $500,000 to Saline County for roof repair if the county declares it has no further legal claim against the city regarding this matter. The city also proposes to work together to find an existing building that can be reconfigured. The city also agreed that if the county should not choose to work to find a suitable existing building it will reduce its mill levy to offset the budget cost reduction for public health care services.

The health department board approved a letter last week asking both commissions to work together. It also asks that a committee be formed to begin a “rational process” to identify an appropriate and optimal location for the Salina-Saline County Health Department. That letter was read to the Salina City Commission on Monday, and to the County Commission Tuesday.

Saline County Commissioners later in the morning took comment on the issue at their regularly scheduled meeting. Several citizens spoke, asking the commissioners to work with the city on a new inter-local agreement.

Commissioners Tuesday were told that if the health department becomes a county agency solely, there will be some incidental increases that need to be accounted for. One big added expense will be health insurance. Currently the health department employees are on the city insurance plan. By moving to the county plan it would cost over $139,000 a year more if 42 employees are retained.

Saline County Commissioners drafted a letter in response later on Tuesday. According to Commission Chairman Randy Duncan, the county is agreeable to the offer of $500,000 to repair the current building.

Iggy p Daily

July 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

If both of these commissions are going to look for another building they better not listen to the chamber guy about the Lee building. That would be like jumping out of the pan into the fire. The building is falling down around itself. I do not believe they need a new building either. Why don’t they look at St. John’s Hospital? Here’s a building designed for health care.

Red Neck

July 17, 2013 at 1:48 am

Where are the other city commissioners? Only 3 appear in the picture. Evidently this is not important enought for them to be there. Typicial city commissioners.

Keith Davis

July 17, 2013 at 5:23 am

Good question RD.. Where is the Mayor?

Iggy p Daily

July 18, 2013 at 12:04 am

She had a previous committment. She can care less about the community she is mayor of and not showing up for the meeting does not surprise me. What I find interesting the city commissioners are so worried about the building when we have had a main artery into the fair grounds and bi-center they are completely ignoring. Aaron fix the bridge instead of running your mouth speaking trash on the health department.

Fuchs Mi

July 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I agree on the Greely street being closed. But as that commissioner Aaron H. is always stating wait to election time. He will be the first to go followed closely by Shirley our great Mayor. I also think St. John’s Hospital would be a fantastic solution as it is already set up for medical care. I wonder why they are not even considering that place?

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