Salina-Saline County Health Dept. funding battle over

Saline County Health Department (KSN File Photo)
Saline County Health Department (KSN File Photo)

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SALINA, Kansas – The Salina-Saline County Health Department has been split up in two locations since May of 2012.

As their original building sits vacant.

“Once they found out about some structural deficiencies that could potentially cause some issues, that may have been around for 15 or 20 years, but it was just drawn to our attention or more, they moved out,” said Aaron Householter, Salina City Commissioner.

Since then, the city and county have battled back and forth for months to figure out how to pay for repairs to the building.

Monday evening both sides finally agreed.

The city and county each will pay $500,000 to cover the costs, and if the price tag for repairs goes over a million dollars, an additional $250,000 could be pulled from the health departments reserve funds.

While some city commissioners say they don’t agree with the offer, they felt it was in the departments best interest.

“If this is what it takes to end this building issue, then here it is and lets see if we can move forward.”

While the building issue is solved, the next topic is whether the city and county will re-enter into a joint agreement to take on responsibility for the health department.

City officials had stated in July in planned to pull out of the current inter-local agreement at the end of the year.

But pressure from the community has them thinking otherwise.

“I think the community wants us back together more than people wanted the Beatles to get back together, they’re tired of it, they think it works best.”

Just last week, Saline County commissioners approved the full budget for the health department.

It is a total of $2.6 million.

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