Riley County Commission, June 22 and 25

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Riley County Commission June 25, 2015

Joan Strickler, observer

Riley County Commission June 25, 2015

Commissioners Wells, Boyd and Wilson present, Wells presiding.

In general comments the Commissioners expressed a great deal of frustration with the actions taken in the Legislature during the current session.   They tended to doubt that the tax limitation placed on the counties would gather the votes in the veto session to eliminate the problem.  Reportedly Pottawatomie County Commissioners are threatening to declare “Home Rule” and ignore the law.   A question was raised about the possibility of avoiding the limitation problems by passing a county budget in June (the current fiscal year) to avoid coming under the new restrictions voted for FY 2016.

It has been reported that the Kansas Department of Transportation will have no money to fund any asphalt overlays in the coming year.

Assistant County Engineer Gary Rosewicz recommended a cost increase of $2 a ton to handle the Municipal Solid Waste disposal delivered to the County site. The increase is needed to keep the facility self-funded.  The Commissioners voted to approve the increase beginning August l.

It was agreed to name a small group of knowledgeable people to come up with recommendations on how to proceed with a new RCPD shooting range training facility.  Commissioner Wilson will serve on the committee.  The committee will be staffed by the Planning/Special Projects Director Monty Wedel.  It is hoped that the objections of area residents near the proposed facility can be addressed positively.

A budget work session focused on requests from those services providing agencies not part of the County government such as the Crisis Center, Pawnee Mental Health etc.   It was suggested a 10% cut be made to all the agencies requests, but instead agreed that each should be dealt with individually.

Posted by LWV Manhattan/Riley County at 1:25 PM No comments:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Riley County Commission June 22, 2015

Riley County Commission June 22, 2015

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Wells, Boyd and Wilson present, Wells presiding.

The director of Extension appeared at the meeting to ask for clarification of proposed changes to the Extension budget.  The Commissioners responded that actions taken by the Legislature and the Governor have imposed budget limitations on counties that will affect a county’s ability to fund many local programs and projects.  They fear that local governments will be blamed for the increases to property and sales taxes made by the Governor and Legislature as a result of their income tax cuts for certain business owners.

The Commissioners discussed a confrontational meeting held recently dealing with the proposed location of a new shooting range to train law enforcement personnel.   Commissioner Boyd said the meeting reflected a pervasive distrust of government that has grown in recent years.

EMS Director Larry Couchman discussed potential increased staffing costs to his agency resulting from the former Mercy Hospital’s change in ownership.  The new owner is demanding that personnel funding practices be the same throughout its system.   The problem is that hospital workers hours and those of EMS are not comparable.  EMS personnel work 24 hour shifts and do not provide breaks for meals or increased compensation for overtime or night shifts. Such practices do not relate to the on call emergency nature of EMS.  If required to follow the funding practices it could increase costs for 2015 to $110,000 and to $220,000 for 2016.

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