Saline County Commissioners agreed they want to look further at adopting and funding a plan for upgrading gravel roads. County Engineer Neil Cable prepared a report that helped Commissioners understand the number of miles involved, the cost of upgrades and the magnitude of what is being contemplated. His 17 page report can be found at www.saline.org under Commissioners’ agenda, for 2-28-17.
For over thirty minutes, Commissioners asked questions of Cable and Road and Bridge Superintendent Darren Fishel. Some discussions centered around the possibility of devoting a certain number of mils to road improvements, much like the “2 mil bridge” fund that was established by a prior commission.
Chairman Monte Shadwick said Commissioners now have the information; the next step will be part of the budget process. Shadwick said he is a fan of bonding for these kinds of projects. Commissioner Bob Vidricksen suggested the Commission hold an “open meeting” to discuss roads.
Subdivision May be on Horizon
While it has been a few years since the Planning Commission has taken up consideration of a new subdivision, there’s a possibility a new subdivision may be proposed in upcoming months. To that end, Planning and Zoning Director David Neal told Commissioners he is guided by the county’s comprehensive plan, zoning requirements, and the subdivision code. He looks specifically for the availability of a rural water supplier and the impact a development will have on roads. Neal said, “The demand is there for subdivisions”.
In addition, Commissioners:
- Approved the purchase of three 10 ton HVAC units for the 4-H Building; a low bid of $20,758 from Callaibresi’s was accepted.
- Signed contracts to house inmates in jails in Marshall and Rooks Counties. Both of these counties will charge Saline County $35/day to house inmates. Sheriff Roger Soldan said the Butler County Jail is currently experiencing difficulties hiring corrections officers, the Chase County jail lost its medical director and is having mechanical issues, and the McPherson County Jail asked Saline County to pick up six of Saline County’s inmates as the McPherson County Jail was overcrowded.
- Received copies of Expression of Interest forms from those interested in serving on the Planning Commission.
- Heard a summary of a “stewardship meeting” between Deister and Assurance Partners. Desiter urged the Commission to wait a year to pursue looking at a new liability insurance provider, as the County agreed to settlements last year that might negatively impact rates.
- Contemplated the servicing requirements of the generator at the juvenile center.
- Consulted with County Counselor Mike Montoya on the possible effective date for securing the entrances of the City-County Building. Montoya said the building had been “grandfathered” in, and the effective date for either securing the building or permitting the open carry of weapons will be January 1, 2018.
- Met with the chiefs of Rural Fire Districts. As a group, the chiefs appreciated recent changes in the purchasing requirements that allow them to make decisions on purchases up to $10,000 without having to appear before the commission. RFD#3’s Chief Scott Abker said that his district is in need of a “better mechanism for funding”. He also said that when calls come in during the day, many districts scramble to find volunteers who can respond. While he’d like to be able to send two volunteers in a truck, often only one can go and then operates the hose by remote control.
- Heard an orientation on Emergency Management from Hannah Stambaugh. Discussion followed on controlled burns and severe weather.
Commissioner Mike White was absent.
Next week, the Commission will likely vote on a measure to build two box structures at Road and Bridge.