At the conclusion of a meeting that lasted nearly four and a half hours Monday evening Salina City Commissioners accepted an offer from Saline County in regard to funding of the Salina-Saline County Health Department.
Commissioners went into executive session after concluding regular business on their agenda, Following the executive session commissioners accepted the county offer.
The offer includes the city paying $500,000 for repair of the current building, and the county paying $500,000. If the roof repair costs more that $1 million, an amount of $250, 000 from the health department’s reserve funds could be used as needed.
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.
In early July 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 wanted to negotiate a new interlocal agreement. A divided county commission, though, has proceeded with making the health department a county agency. Commissioners Randy Duncan and Jim Gile support a county health department, while Commissioner John Price supported working with the city to negotiate a new inter-local agreement to jointly operate the health department.
Last week county commissioners approved their 2014 budget. The $37.6 million budget includes a mil levy increase of 3 mils, and full funding of the Saline County Health Department.
The budget includes $2.6 million to fund the Saline County Health Department. Of the 3 mil increase, a little over 2 mils is attributed to health department funding.
Effective January 1st the Salina-Saline County Health Department becomes the Saline County Health Department.