Riley County Commission February 18 and 22

BOCC Feb. 18, 2016

Julie Merklin observer

Commissioners Wilson and Wells present

There was no Monday Commission meeting because of Presidents Day Today was a fairly short meeting.

A new contract for Howies Recycling was signed. It provides that, under certain circumstances involving Howies suffering a loss of income due to low remuneration on certain recyclables, the County will pay $15,000 to offset this loss. This no change from past years, and keeps these items out of the landfill.

There were the usual tax roll corrections, a highway use permit for ATT and approval of accounts payable. Minutes for Feb 11 regular meeting and the Feb 16 special meeting were approved.

Bob Isaac presented a final plat for Pleasant Valley Unit two which the commission approved.

Jennifer Wilson updated the Commission on the activities of County Extension. She mentioned the volunteer tax assistance program – VITA, and a workshop on prescribed burning involving rural fire and emergency people.

Greg Eyestone talked about the Master Gardener program and the garden tour June 5. The tour will free this year, with donations requested.

Clancy Holeman talked about legislative matters. It is sometimes difficult to keep track of bills because of the practice of taking provisions of one bill and folding them into another.

One item he mentioned, S401, would give the state the authority to approve cell tower locations. This could be problematical in the area near Ft. Riley where height and proximity of towers to the fort could limit Ft Riley activities. If the fort is limited, it could very well make them vulnerable when the next round of BRAC evaluations occur. Will the state take this into account? Who knows?

Riley County Commission February 22, 2016

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Wilson and Wells present, Wilson chair.   Commissioner Boyd was attending a meeting of the national counties association.

Robbin Cole, director of Pawnee Mental Health Services, thanked the Commissioners for adding $22,000 to Pawnee’s current budget. She said this has been the most difficult year she has experienced as director after serving almost 10 years in that position. Externally created problems, such as the State’s pulling out of the Health Home Program in mid-year, have been the cause.

Community mental health service providers met recently with legislators in Topeka. Two issues were stressed as important. SB 402 pertains to limited liability for charitable health care providers. Mental Health Centers would like to be added to that category. HB 2571 is referred to as deemed status legislation. If a Center earns accreditation from a nationally recognized accreditation body, that would stand in place of requiring licensing reviews by the State. The State, however, would want to retain the right to step in if problems occur.

Another measure, which would require step therapy in doctor’s prescriptions, is considered adverse to patients’ health. Such a practice would require that the least expensive medication be prescribed, not necessarily the most appropriate. She also emphasized the need for crisis mental health programs to be available in the community.

Tuesday is “turn around” day at the Capital, meaning that bills from one house must have moved to the other with only a few exceptions. Bills not acted upon would be considered dead for the session.

A considerable amount of water damage has occurred in the lowest floor of the Courthouse. It was caused by a faulty connection installed by a company under contract to upgrade the system. The company has agreed to accept liability for the damage.

The Health Department will present its annual report Monday, February 29, at 7:00 p.m. in the Commission room.


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