Riley County Commission, May 22 and May 25, 2017

Riley County Commission May 22, 2017

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Wells, Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells chair.

During the open comment period Commissioner Wells expressed frustration at recent remarks made by Representative Ron Highland that Wells felt downplayed the serious fiscal situation now facing the State.  He and Commissioner Rodriguez spoke against any plans to raise State funds by increasing the cost of utilities.  Wells said the State should face the funding problems for schools openly and fairly, not by imposing hidden burdens on poor and elderly persons by taxing basic utilities such as gas and electric services.

Pat Collins, Emergency Management Director, said Riley County Fire District #1 just completed a classification audit from the Insurance Services Organization.  The ISO evaluates municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the country.

According to Collins the report was mostly positive.  All but four stations received an upgrade in status.  Ashland, Peach Grove, Mayday and parts of Hunters Island, however, were downgraded.

A legislative report presented by County Counselor Clancy Holeman essentially indicated most work remains on hold until the questions of funding for schools and the basic State budget are resolved.

County Commission May 25, 2017

Commissioners Wells, Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells chair.

Commissioners approved a resolution reappointing the County Appraiser.

Craig Cox, Assistant County Attorney, asked Commissioners to approve or disapprove an agreement to accept Via Christi’s proposed increase in management fees pertaining to ambulance services. Via Christi allowed the Board until May 30, 2017, to either continue the current arrangement of ambulance operations or accept a termination date effective December 1, 2017.

The Commissioners agreed to send a letter to Via Christi accepting the services termination date as of midnight November 30, 2017.  Most likely the ambulance staff at the hospital will move over and become County employees.   It is estimated the change will result in $200,000 or more in savings to the County.

Commissioners approved a Health Department request to submit a letter to the Caroline Peine  Charitable Foundation for a grant to develop a quality improvement program to support and train family child care providers.  The Commissioners approved the request.

Kevin Howser, IT/GIS Director, said search and rescue operations are being utilized in locating Little  Apple bicycles.   The project is being used for training the search and rescue operators.

Country Stampede will be held June 22 through 24.

The 29th annual Garden Tour is scheduled for Sunday June 11.

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