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County Approves 2018 Budgets

KSAL StaffAugust 8, 2017

Saline County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved 2018 budgets for the county, the seven rural fire districts and the Kipp Sewer District.  In accordance with their tradition, they adjourned to the nearby Dairy Queen where Deister bought the Commissioners and County Clerk a celebration treat.

Last week, Deister shared a two page 2018 budget overview that can be found at

July’s monthly sales tax receipts of $379,455 are 2.63% less than those from July 2016, in the amount of $389,714.  2017’s year-to-date sales tax receipts of $2,678,989 are 1.29% below 2016’s year-to-date receipts of $2,714,125.

Road Annexation Discussion

Montoya said he received the City’s brief on the latest round of road annexation issues related to what routes are used to get to the city’s landfill.  Montoya will file a brief, then both the City and County counselors will respond to those briefs.  When pressed, Montoya speculated the matter might go before the Courts some time next year.  He then projected that a court decision will require the City and County Commissions to meet to discuss what roads might be annexed by the City and to hammer out a road maintenance plan.  Montoya repeated the County Commission’s offer to meet with the City Commission sooner than that to have the same discussions.  When pressed, Montoya said that this is the fourth year the City has withheld “tipping fees” (which have also been called “county impact” monies).   Montoya described a decision by a previous county commission as a “tough pill to swallow” when that commission authorized spending of $1,000,000 to maintain a segment of paved Water Well Road, rather than allow it to go back to gravel.   The current County Commission may face a similar decision in upcoming months.

Health Advisory Council Appointments

Commissioners accepted Health Department Director Jason Tiller’s recommendation to appoint Lori Trow and Heather Vidricksen Fuller to two vacant openings on the County’s Health Advisory Council.   Six citizens had completed “expression of interest forms” to serve on this council and also included Tracy D. Wiegert, Mary ‘Kay’ Hensely, George E. Troutfetter, and Irma Ramierez.  Commissioner Robert Vidricksen acknowledged that Fuller is his daughter and recused himself from aspects of the discussion.  Trow is a local business owner and Fuller works for Sunflower Health, which is a Medicaid provider.  The County will also likely vote next week on a resolution to re-appoint Ron Kramer to an additional term on the Health Advisory Council, as his initial term is set to expire.

In other matters, Commissioners:

  • Signed the FY18 juvenile and adult service budget applications for Community Corrections.
  • Considered a right-of-way vacation on East Crawford Road. Chuck Henry said he and his family are constructing their own driveway access to the property.  Montoya will draw up an agreement to hold the County harmless on the bridge structure that remain from when it was a county structure.
  • Signed a health insurance stop loss renewal. Health insurance premiums for county employees increased by 6.3% for 2018; in approving the budget, the Commission agreed to picking up all of this increase, along with a 3% salary increase for staff.
  • Learned the Council on Aging has replaced one of four HVAC units and is looking at replacing three more units. David Neal, director of Planning and Zoning, said an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance audit survey will soon be undertaken.  Neal felt that minimum standards were met but acknowledged that those in wheelchairs may “have to do extra work” to gain access at certain entrances.
  • Heard plans for renovating the Administrative Resource Center’s office space to create an office for a new Assistant Administrator/Finance Director. That position is being advertised in regional, state, and national venues.  Applications are due September 30th.
  • Received an update on the prescribed burn plan from Commissioner Jim Weese.
  • Received information on the Smoky Hill Museum Street Fair, occurring Saturday, September 23.

 Monte Shadwick was absent from the meeting.

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