Diesel Spill Prompts Pavement Removal

Property Values While citizens continue to express surprise at recent property appraisals, Commissioners received State data confirming that the County’s valuations for residential and commercial properties are appropriately close to actual selling prices, after the values were set. Appraiser Sean Robertson, wrote in a memo on the preliminary 2015 end-of-year ratio study, that “our values were actually slightly lower on average” to actual selling prices. Some citizens have expressed concern about the valuation of commercial property, especially that which is being used primarily for storage. Some said that if former Appraiser Sheryl Sammons had been asked, she might have responded that perhaps the owners weren’t using the property to its full potential. Individuals who disagree with their property’s valuation can appeal the valuation. Since that deadline has passed, property owners are encouraged to “pay their property taxes under protest”. This will give them a second chance to bring their concerns before the appropriate board. Community Corrections Community Corrections Director Annie Grevas asked Commissioners to fund the cost of a public defender who participates in Drug Court. Grevas said a directive “coming from Topeka” could cause public defenders to be absent from Drug Court proceedings; without them, Grevas paraphrased Judge Johnson that Drug Court would “not maintain itself”. Grevas said $7,250 will be needed for 2016; County Administrator Rita Deister said this could come from contingency reserves. Grevas would need to budget for the annual amount in 2017. At present, one public defender spends three hours a week attending Drug Court and their hourly rate is $62. Grevas is seeking preliminary Commission approval of a $250,764 behavioral health grant application. If funded, it would pay for three staff members and voucher services. Other County Matters Commissioners received an update on Central Kansas Mental Health from Cathy Moser and Pat Kinard. CKMH provided 10,000 more hours of service in 2015, over that provided in 2014. They provided services to 2,929 Saline County residents. Commissioners learned that a recreation district has been proposed for southwestern Saline County, where some hope to put the Marquette gym to use. Because this could benefit more McPherson County residents, Commissioners were in agreement that organizers would have to “plead their case” to the SC Commission, who have jurisdiction. Court Administrator Todd Heitschmidt said the district court received one bid back to carpet sections of the third floor. Ritter Tile Shop submitted a bid of $40,786 to do the work. County sales tax collections for March amounted to $360,104. Year-to-date sales tax collections of $1,206,377 for 2016 are running slightly behind y-t-d collections of $1,216,249 for 2015. Chairman Monte Shadwick continued to ask that County Counselor Mike Montoya monitor concerns about problematic water quality at Howison Heights. Montoya said, “The State is working through compliance issues.” During the Citizens Forum, Ray Hruska continued to raise issues surrounding Commissioner Dave Smith’s reading of quotes as “announcements” at the end of each Open Forum. Hruska said that “if this continues, perhaps the ACLU should get involved”. Commissioners also proclaimed:

  • April 2016 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • April 5th as National Service Recognition Day
  • April 4-10 as Public Health Week
  • April 2016 as Fair Housing Month
  • April 2016 as National County Government Month
At the April 12th meeting, Commissioners will take final action to purchase carpet for the district court, to purchase a front end wheel loader, and approve the Drug Court Attorney Fee expenditure. Smith was absent. Commissioners held two executive sessions.  ]]>