By TIM HORAN
Juvenile offenders in Saline County may end up in Junction City permanently.
Saline County officials approached the North Central Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Facility to become members and the facility board has given the green light.
Dickinson County Commission Chairman LaVerne Myers gave a report on the proposed membership in his comments at the Dickinson County Commission’s regular meeting Thursday. Dickinson County is a member of the Junction City facility and Myers represents Dickinson County on the board.
“Randy Duncan from Saline County (commissioner) was there,” Myers said. “He had requested that they become members. We looked at the request and we voted to accept them.”
When Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski closed the juvenile facility in that county earlier, 10 Saline County juveniles were taken to the North Central Kansas facility at the flat non-member rate of $150 a day.
“They wanted to become a member,” Myers said of Saline County. “The switch over would be June 1.”
However, Myers said the membership has not been approved by the Saline County Commission.
“It’s not official until they vote on it,” Myers said.
“That will change the structure over there,” he said about the facility.
Myers said the 28-bed facility housed in Junction City is not at capacity. The facility members include 14 surrounding counties but Saline County is not included. However, the facility still accepts juveniles from other counties.
“We might get up to 20 sometimes,” Myers said of juveniles housed in Junction City. “But we usually have 13 to 15 kids. It’s very inefficient to run one (juvenile facility) for 10 or 11 kids. If the numbers were up, we would be more efficient with our operations.”
He added that the inclusion of the Saline County juveniles would be a win-win situation. Saline County would save money as well, he said.
However, Saline County Community Corrections Director Annie Grevas said the travel to Junction City will negatively affect her staff. She told the Salina Journal the 45-minute drive and wait time to see juveniles “is going to strain our budget.”
In his report to the commission, County Manager
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Brad Homman said that after working six years for the county on the Road and Bridge crew, Jerry Showalter would be retiring at the end of the month. That position has been filled but another road and bridge employee resigned. The commission gave Homman authorization to advertise for that position.
Homman said that the county sold surplus materials through Purplewave Auction, totaling $46,146.60.
One of the items was an older motor grader. A loader and other smaller items were listed with the auction.
“We are very pleased with how that turned out,” Homman said.
Homman said that anything the county sells has to be through a public auction.
“There are a number of different methods but it has to be offered to the public,” he said. “In this case, we used the public auction service Purplewave. We essentially get nationwide or worldwide exposure via the Internet. I do have a report that Purplewave sent me that shows where all the bidders and all the purchasers were from. We had bidders as far away as California.
All three commissioners attended the Kansas Association of Counties meeting last Thursday, thus the commission did hold a regular meeting that week.
“It’s always beneficial that we attend those meetings,” Myers said. “There is always information that we get that we would otherwise miss. I actually learn more talking to some of the other commissioners after the meetings.
Commissioner Lynn Peterson said because of open meetings laws, the commissioners were assigned seats.
“You don’t walk in and look for someone you know from another county,” he said. “You really get to know commissioners from other counties. It’s a very interesting method.
“Continually I hear the message that Dickinson County is well thought of. I hear a lot of good things,” Peterson said.
“It is the first time I wrote on a survey that I wish it (meeting) would have lasted longer,” said Commissioner Craig Chamberlin. “I’ve probably attended 70 to 80 of those type conferences and I really enjoyed this one."
The commission approved the Kansas Department of Transportation Kansas High 43 repair contract.
The agreement with KDOT is to allow Jeep Road and part of Old Highway 40 as a detour. Should the detour cause damage, the county could be reimbursed for up to $10,000.
Homman said he thought that KDOT was going to repair the K-43 culvert first, but now he said they started on an Interstate 70 project.
Interstate 70 repair
Monday guardrail modification work on I-70 begins in Dickinson County, according to KDOT. The construction work will take place on the westbound lanes beginning 1 mile west of the I-70/K-15 Interchange east to a point 1.5 miles west of exit 281 (Chapman). Guard rail modifications will include the bridges on either end of the project. Traffic will be restricted to one lane with a width restriction of 13’ within the work zone.
Improvements to the guardrails are in preparation for switching all I-70 traffic head-to-head on the westbound lanes around July 1. Once traffic has been shifted, the eastbound lanes of I-70 will be milled and overlaid with 3.5” of concrete and will include multiple bridge modifications. Traffic will return to normal operations by mid-November prior to a winter shutdown.
Next spring all traffic will be moved onto the improved eastbound lanes while the westbound lanes are completed. Plans call for all construction to be completed on or about Nov. 1, 2014, weather permitting. Drivers should be prepared for changes in traffic control throughout construction.
In other action the commissioners:
• approved the consent agenda which included minutes of the May 2 work study and regular meeting, expenditures of $474,378.42 (which included $174,873 to the contractor of the Detroit Sewer project and wire transfers of $2,611.62);
• looked into removing a stop sign located at Red Road and 2600 Ave. That would take a resolution which the commission will review at its next meeting;
• appointed Annette Hernandez to the Grant Township board replacing Greg Wilson;
• proclaimed May 17 at Memorial Health System Day.