County Discusses Bridgework, Possible New Department

Saline County Commissioners approved a contract extension to provide a polymer overlay to protect the new Mentor Bridge.  This extension takes advantage of low asphalt prices.  The work will be done by Bettis Asphalt and Construction Company for $18,574.  The money will come from the 2 mil bridge fund, which has a current balance of over $1,000,000; approval of this project won’t impact other planned projects, according to Neil Cable, County Engineer.

Next City/County EXPO Center Meeting

The County Commission plans to hand deliver a proposal to the City Commission regarding future improvements to the EXPO Center at a meeting tentatively planned for Friday, September 22, from 10:00-12:00 at Kenwood Hall, which is located on the EXPO Center grounds.  Plans for the meeting date and time were suggested through the City and may still need to be finalized.

Commissioner Robert Vidricksen said he hopes the public will attend this joint meeting.

Sheriff’s Office Work Agreement

Commissioners voted to accept a three year work agreement with the Sheriff’s Office’s staff.  Human Resources Director Marilyn Leamer said that this agreement differs from the previous agreement in that it covers 2018-2020 (as opposed to the prior yearly agreements) and it reflects the Commission’s approval of a 3% salary increase in the 2018 budget.  Leamer said the County will renegotiate wages annually.

When asked, Leamer confirmed that the Sheriff’s Office’s bargaining unit was “amiable” to work with.  Commissioner Rodger Sparks noted that the agreement specified that new hires would generally start at Step 1 of their wage category.  He asked if the County would still be able to start a new hire at a higher step if they come to County with previous applicable work experience.  Leamer confirmed that the Commission could continue to approve individual exceptions to the steps of the wage scale.

Other County employees are covered by a SCAPE work agreement.  It too is for three years and is not up for renegotiation this year.

Commission on Aging to Become a County Department?

County Administrator Rita Deister shared with County Commissioners an e-mail she sent to Leslie Eikelberry, the Executive Director of the Salina Commission on Aging.  That e-mail outlines 16 tasks to be completed, should the Commission on Aging become a County Department.  These include:

  • Developing job descriptions based on the Archer questionnaire
  • Providing County applications to current staff
  • Determining sick leave / vacation liabilities
  • Transitioning staff’s health insurance
  • Transitioning staff’s KPERS retirement benefits
  • Reviewing “WC liability” (maybe workers compensation) and other insurance needs
  • Scheduling employee meetings, to answer any questions
  • Reviewing physical capacity profile for each position
  • Transitioning computers to County services
  • Installing county financial software on COA computers and training staff
  • Determining the status of the food service, janitorial and lawn care contracts
  • Giving notice to the payroll processing vendor
  • Giving notice on the building lease
  • Determining how to pay off debt and any outstanding bills
  • Inventorying equipment, furniture, etc.
  • Determining essential services during transition so there is no loss of services

Deister noted that these are “some of the tasks” to be completed before a transition and noted that the prep work will require at least 90 days to complete.

While the e-mail was presented in a commissioner’s packet, there was no actual discussion of this during the study session.  Earlier, Eikelberry said the COA would do without one worker and use the savings to pay down the balance on one of the food vendor accounts.

Maintenance Agreement on Generator

Commissioners agreed, by consensus, to a three year preventative maintenance agreement with Central Power Systems and Services.  They will perform a once a year inspection and repairs on the generator associated with the former Juvenile Detention Center.

The County’s Road and Bridge Department had been performing the maintenance as needed while the Emergency Management Department staff had been starting the generator monthly.  Recently, they had to call CPSS, only to discover that someone that tripped the breaker box inside the center and this prevented the battery from recharging as intended.  Commission Mike White said, “It’s an expensive generator; failing to service it could damage it.”  The annual maintenance inspection will be completed for $496/year.

In Other Matters


  • Awarded a bid for $3,990 for a new copier from ImageQuest for Community Corrections. They also approved a $78/month maintenance agreement.
  • Received an invitation to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for OCCK’s Kansas Rides 81 Connection, which provides transportation services to those in Concordia and Belleville. The ceremony will take place on September 15, at 11:00 AM, at the OCCK Transportation Building, at 340 N Santa Fe. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to [email protected] by September 13th.
  • Considered an offer by State Legislator Randall Hardy to meet with commissioners before the end of the year to talk about concerns or priorities for the 2018 session. Commissioners felt that area legislators had been responsive to the County’s requests.  They suggested that individual department heads may want to take up issues directly with the legislators themselves.
  • Reviewed an invitation to a regional county meeting, to be held in Abilene on October 17.
  • Met in executive session for at least 20 minutes.

Commissioner Jim Weese was absent.


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