Salina, KS

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County Gets COVID Update

Todd PittengerSeptember 23, 2020

Saline County Commissioners received an update Tuesday on the local COVID-19 situation as part of the bi-weekly review of the mask mandate resolution. County Health Officer Jason Tiller said there has been an increase of 123 cases and 2 deaths since the last update.  Community spread is prevalent, with several of the new cases not being able to determine the source of infection. Tiller urged the need to remain vigilant as COVID-19 is not over yet.  Wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home if you are sick are proven methods that individuals need to continue doing to keep kids in school and businesses operational.  The County Resolution on the mask mandate is in effect until it is rescinded by the Commission.  No action was taken.

In other business:

Commissioners voted to approve signing a contract with Motorola for a new emergency radio communications system in Saline County.  Staff has worked over the past few weeks to allocate costs between the City and County with the County taking the bulk of the costs associated with the backbone infrastructure and needed radios for the County public safety agencies and the City of Salina taking the costs associated directly with the 911 dispatch center and their public safety agency radio costs.  The total cost for the infrastructure and radios for the County is $8,010,654.62.  There are also yearly costs for maintenance of the system over 15 years and other subscription services that make the total cost of the contract $10,962,757.10 for Saline County.  This project has been one of extreme collaboration with the City of Salina, Saline County, and Rural Fire for many years.  This project will replace the antiquated emergency radio communications system with a modern system that is capable of growth, upgraded technology, and interoperability to serve Salina and Saline County for many years.  Because this system will utilize existing infrastructure and coverage from the State of Kansas KSICS radio system, an expedited build out will occur and Salina/Saline County Public Safety agencies will be operational with a new system in 8 months, with the full build out to be completed by February 2022.

Phillip Smith-Hanes, County Administrator, presented the Commission with agreements with subrecipients for the Coronavirus Relief Funds.  These agreements are with the agencies and organizations that will receive funds through the direct aid plan.  Of particular note and discussion was the agreement with the Chamber Foundation, as their agreement was modified slightly when it came to the agreement that the County hold the Foundation harmless for up to 50% of any judgement or penalty assessed against the Foundation in the event the program is found to have been in violation of federal rules.  The Chamber Foundation is slated to receive the largest single distribution of the funds, $2,713,313.71 or 24.7% of the total amount.  Their focus will be on providing funds to for-profit businesses in the County who experienced business interruption due to COVID-19 and meet eligibility criteria.  The Chamber Foundation has also committed to contact those businesses who applied to the County for funds back in July.  Commissioners approved the memoranda and exhibits, 3-1.

Commissioners heard four requests from Annie Grevas, Community Corrections Director.  The first request was the approval of the FY20 Year End Outcomes Report which covers the goals that the agency worked towards throughout the fiscal year.  Their efforts included partnering with providers in the community for childcare and wellness checks for clients, increased successful client completions, and tracking data for dispositional departures that are supervised by Community Corrections.  The other three items were department budget related where Commissioners were asked to approve an adjustment to the 4th Quarter FY20 budget that simply moves funds from different line items into others but does not affect the bottom line.  The other two budget items were asking Commissioners to approve the FY21 Adult and Juvenile carryover reimbursement budgets.  Commissioners voted to approve all four requests.

The annual flu shot clinic is set for October 14th at the 4-H building.  This will be a drive-thru clinic only and only for those individuals 19 years of age and older.

 

 

 

 

*   Commissioners approved for several items from Road & Bridge to be declared no value and sold on Purple Wave.  Any proceeds from the sale of these items will be deposited into the Road & Bridge special equipment fund.

 

 

 

*   Justin Mader, County Engineer, presented the Commission with a request that came from landowners to improve access to agriculture property on McReynolds Road.  This particular section of the road has three different locations where Dry Creek crosses the road and bridge.  It is the recommendation of the County Engineer to explore further building 2,300 feet of a new earth road that would bend in the channel to allow for access to the agricultural land.  It is estimated to cost between $75,000 and $125,000.  Commissioners heard from the landowners and provided consensus to Mr. Mader to move forward with the necessary reviews and studies to determine costs.

 

 

 

*   Annie Grevas, Community Corrections Director, provided a Department update for March through September 2020.  Mrs. Grevas reported on the several grants that were submitted, the effects of COVID-19 on their operations, and the UpTrust platform that the Department will be implementing very soon.  This platform will provide push notifications to clients to remind them of court dates and appointments.  It will also allow Central Kansas Foundation the ability to notify clients and their Supervision Officer of appointments or non-compliance.  This platform is secure and compliant with HIPAA.  Coronavirus Relief Funds were secured by Community Corrections to implement this platform.

 

 

 

*   Phillip Smith-Hanes, County Administrator provided his weekly update reporting on the next steps for the formation of the Public Building Commission for the finance funding for the emergency radio communications project.  A resolution will be brought to the Commission next week and Mr. Smith-Hanes asked Commissioners to begin thinking about who they would like to appoint to this Commission.  Mr. Smith-Hanes also reported that in the approval of accounts payable that Commissioners signed, was the first distributions for the Direct Aid plan to agencies.  A dashboard has been put on the Coronavirus Relief Fund portion of the website for citizens to track to see where the County is at on distributions of the Coronavirus Relief dollars https://www.saline.org/Coronavirus/CRF-Funding.

 

 

 

*   Jamie Doss, County Clerk, reminded Commissioners and the Public that today is National Voter Registration Day.  She encouraged citizens to check their voter registration to ensure that it is correct and also encouraged those that are not registered to vote to do so.  Citizens can check their registration status at www.voteks.org<http://www.voteks.org/> or contact the Clerk’s office.  The last day to register to vote in the November election is October 13th. ​

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2020. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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