County Declines Lease

In a 4-0 vote, the Saline County Commission declined to accept a bid to lease oil and gas rights for property given to the county by the late Oliver Hagg.  Citing Hagg’s intention to preserve the land for agriculture, the Commission wrestled with the impact that leasing the oil and gas rights might have on tenants that lease the land for farming.  Commissioners also considered if the additional revenue would allow them to give additional Oliver Hagg scholarships.  In the end, the proposed $5,000 payment over three years was not attractive to the Commission.  Commissioner John Price moved to leave the land “as it is” and not take action.  This was seconded by Commissioner Dave Smith.

Request to Vacate Section of Lapsley Road

Commissioners also heard a request to vacate Lapsley Road, between Amos and Donmyer.  Jay and Matthew Everhart own properties on either side of Lapsley.  Frustration over some drainage issues prompted this request. The Everharts said they are considering putting a gate or chain across the roadway.  Commissioners questioned how closure of the road would impact other landowners.  Later, while Commissioners were in an executive session on another matter, discussion continued with Commission candidates Jim Weese and Rodger Sparks.  Weese asked a representative from the County Clerk’s office how rural fire departments and other emergency responders were notified of proposed road vacations as such decisions might impact how they might respond to calls for assistance.  The request for a vacation will be published in the paper and a public hearing will be held in a few weeks.

Community Corrections

The Commission formally signed a resolution appointing Claudette Humphreys, Kevin Ellis and Jeff Adams to the Community Corrections Board.  This board consists of 23 members, with 12 residing in Saline County, 5 residing in Ottawa County and 6 representatives of juvenile services.  Carolee Jones, Randy Pickering and George Cardinal are coming off of the Board.

Commissioners previewed three reports which will be brought before the Community Corrections Board on Thursday and will then be formally accepted by the Commission at next week’s Open Forum:

  • FY 2017 Juvenile Carry Over / Reimbursement Narrative and Budget Summary in the amount of $204,388.
  • FY 2017 Adult Carry Over / Reimbursement Narrative and Budget Summary in the amount of $515,352.
  • FY 2016 Outcome Report. Community Corrections met goals to provide at least six educational components at their board meetings and to have at least twelve staff meetings.  They succeeded in increasing the number of clients who successfully complete their program.  In FY 2014, the success rate was 62%; in FY 2016, the success rate varied from quarter to quarter–between 68.5% to 71.7%.  As comparison, during FY 2015, the 28th Judicial District (consisting of Saline and Ottawa Counties) had a success rate of 63.7% while the state average was 70.8%.  The 8th Judicial District (consisting of Geary, Dickenson, Marion and Morris Counties) had a success rate of 70.9% while the Central Kansas Judicial District (consisting of Barton, Ellsworth, and Russell Counties) had a success rate of 74.5%.

During Open Forum, John Price said that for three and a half years, he has wanted to “take the signs down” that prevent the concealed carry of firearms on the first and second floors of the City-County Building.  Dave Smith said that he’d feel “less stress” if someone with a concealed firearm was sitting in the audience.

Commissioners also:

  • Approved a bid for corrugated metal pipe in the amount of $8,724 from J&J Drainage Products.
  • Considered bids for aggregate shoulder construction; the lowest bid enables Road and Bridge to be able to expand the amount of work to be done. This will be presented at next week’s Open Forum.
  • Heard Human Resources Director Marilyn Leamer give her monthly report. She elaborated on plans for the October 11th county staff in-service, which will focus on customer service.
  • Voted to start a newly hired truck driver, at Road and Bridge, at grade 8, step 3.
  • Approved a slight increase in funding that the State awarded the WIC Program, for its administrative budget.
  • Signed the Justice Assistance Grant. The County will receive $2,600 which the Sheriff’s Office will use to purchase a handheld thermal night vision monocular.

The meeting began at 8:30 and concluded at 11:25; there were three executive sessions.  Commissioner Jim Gile did not attend the meeting.

The public is invited to attend a Kansas Appleseed meeting on juvenile justice, at South High’s auditorium tonight from 5:00-7:00 PM.  On Wednesday, September 21, the EXPO Center committee will meet at 6:00 PM at the Show Office at 900 Greeley Avenue.