County Approves Health Dept. Position

In a 5-0 vote, Saline County Commissioners approved hiring a hybrid position at the Health Department.   A licensed practical nurse (LPN) will devote 50% of their time to communicable disease management and 50% to public health emergency preparedness (PHEP).  The LPN will also provide immunizations to WIC clients when they visit the health department.

Health Department Director Jason Tiller said that funding for the position is coming from PHEP grant monies.  Tiller said that while he will continue to be involved with some PHEP regional meetings, the LPN will assume more responsibility for data base management.

Earlier, the Commission approved another hybrid position which reduced a full-time home health nurse to half time, while adding half-time Health Educator duties.  There were no dollar costs assigned to this change as the health education piece is funded through chronic disease management grant activities.

More than a year ago, there were periodic comments that Tiller juggled PHEP, health education and director duties.  With the recent changes, Tiller will be able to share key responsibilities with others; in a true emergency, the county will be better protected when more than one individual is versed on program protocols.

Introductions Are Made

Mitch Robinson, new Director to the Salina Community Economic Development Organization met all five Commissioners along with Commissioners-elect Jim Weese, Rodger Sparks and Robert Vidrickson.  Robinson hopes to host Kansas Department of Commerce’s Secretary at a reception in Topeka in early January.  Relatedly, the Chamber of Commerce hopes to host a “Salina Day” at the State Legislature in February.

North Central Regional Planning Commission’s Executive Director, Doug McKinney updated commissioners and commissioners elect on its programs.  He’ll come back in 2017 to do a full orientation.

Commissioner Jim Gile provided an update on a recent meeting of the Central Kansas Mental Health Center’s board.  He suggested that the new 2017-2018 Commission consider appointing its representative to a multi-year term.


  • Singed updated contracts with outlying counties that use Saline County’s environmental services.  Planning and Zoning Director David Neal said he monitors the expenses of providing services to Ottawa and Lincoln Counties to insure the contracts recoup all costs.
  • Approved purchase of four “aftermarket” network core switches, from CXtec in the amount of $15,800 for use at the Saline County Data Center.
  • Approved “annual housekeeping” measures that exempted the County from following KSA 75-1120a which waives the requirement that the county use generally accepted accounting principles; set up the transfer of unspent funds from the 2016 health department budget as well as unspent funds from road and bridge projects; cancelled one dated tax warrant; and distributed alcohol funds.
  • Heard formal updates on juvenile statistics, human resources, the appraiser’s office and the health department.


County Administrator Rita Deister questioned if there were many issues to discuss with State Legislators at a proposed January 3rd Legislative Update.  Deister said she spoke to State Legislators about tax lid concerns at a legislative update held at the Chamber of Commerce last week.

Commissioners decided not to meet on Tuesday, December 27th.  The January 3, 2017 meeting will be the last one for out-going Commissioners Luci Larson, Dave Smith, Jim Gile and John Price as well as County Clerk Don Merriman.