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County Considers Road Reclassifications

Karen ShadeJanuary 30, 2019

Justin Reynolds, owner of Gypsum Valley Sporting Clays, appeared before Saline County Commissioners to ask about how the county has classified his business, located at 7702 Niles Road.  He said the road has 14” ruts; Reynolds said he recently cancelled a youth hunt because of road conditions.

Road and Bridge Administrator Darrel Fishel later told the board that terms for maintaining this specific section of road were defined 24 years ago, with another owner—who at that time agreed to provide aggregate for the road.  Fishel said that owner used sand.  Had the previous owner used a rock aggregate similar to what Road and Bridge routinely uses, the county’s equipment could more adequately maintain this earthen road.

Reynolds raised additional issues, saying his property is appraised as commercial while other properties he said are similar are appraised as agriculture.  In the study session, commissioners asked for separate input from the appraiser and planning departments.  The property’s deed of sale may yield additional clarification.

Separately, the commissioners considered reclassifying 18 sections of “gravel” road ; if approved, these will be re-classified as “earthen”.  FIshel said no homeowners would be affected.  Commissioner Rodger Sparks asked that Emergency Management Director Hannah Stambaugh check with rural fire departments to see if they have any specific needs regarding these sections of roads.

Commissioner Monte Shadwick expressed appreciation to Reynolds for bringing this matter to the commission.  Both Shadwick and Chairman Robert Vidricksen asked citizens to share these kinds of concerns with commissioners, either by attending the Public Forum (typically held at 9:00 AM every Tuesday morning in room 107, in the City County Building at 300 West Ash) or by phoning or e-mailing individual commissioners (contact information is on www.saline.org).

Community Corrections Update

Community Corrections Director Annie Grevas told commissioners that a pre-trial program is slated to start in mid-March; it will address the needs of individuals held in jail, while awaiting court hearings.  Assistant County Administrator Andrew Manley is completing additional assessments, at the request of the courts.  Andrew Pellant has been hired as the pre-trial coordinator; the hiring process has begun for a pre-trial intensive supervision officer.  Grevas has been working with district judges, court administrators, as well as staff in the county attorney’s and sheriff’s offices.

The federal government shutdown caused an $80,000 payment for the county’s drug court to stall; Grevas recently received word that these funds are now released.

Grevas met with Health Department Director Jason Tiller and representatives of Salina Family Healthcare; they hope to write a large grant to serve community corrections clients who live in poverty and who don’t currently receive health care.  Grevas hopes grant funding will provide clients with an annual physical, eye exam and dental exam.

In a related matter, County Administrator Rita Deister said that a fourth room in the City County Building is now being used for juvenile court.  She and Court Administrator Todd Heitschmidt are addressing scheduling and waiting room concerns.

In Addition, Commissioners:

  • Approved the purchase of two new dump trucks for Road and Bridge; the low bid was supplied by Truck Center Companies of Salina.
  • Appointed Mark Splitter to serve on the Board of Trustees for Rural Fire Department #5; his term will be from February 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022. He has been a fire fighter for RFD#5 for 19 years.
  • Approved a three year contract for Nex-Tech to provide internet services at Community Correction’s new office (on Broadway).

There were two executive sessions, one dealing with possible annexation and the second with staffing at the Administrative Resources Center.  Commissioner Mike White was absent.

Save the Date:

  • Monday, February 4, at 2:30 PM in room 107B of the City County Building, both the Saline County Commission and City of Salina Commission will meet jointly to discuss the EXPO Center. This meeting is open to the public.
  • All five commissioners will likely attend a regional commission meeting on March 11, at the new Road and Bridge office. Commissioners from several counties meet quarterly to discuss shared concerns and Saline County is hosting the March meeting.  Vidricksen specifically wants the group to discuss radio needs.  A future agenda will contain more details.
  • On March 22, Deister’s years of dedicated service will be officially recognized.

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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