City commission votes to put insurance savings towards debt payments

By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer

With nearly $105,000 in savings from switching insurance plans in the coffers, the Concordia City Commission approved amending the 2013 budget Wednesday to put that money toward debt payments.
In August, the Commission approved switching from the state of Kansas employee health plan to Blue Cross Blue Shield. The result, Finance Director Amber Farha said, was a savings of approximately $105,000.
Last month, the Commission voted to use the excess money to pay down the debt service fund. In 2014, the debt service fund will require an additional four mills to cover debt payments. The trend of increasing debt payments will also continue after next year.
In amending the 2013 budget, the Commission approved moving the excess funds from each department and putting it in the debt service fund.
The only other item of business was to amend the City's railroad maintenance ordinance.
City Manager Larry Uri said the intent of the ordinance is to improve the City's ability to compel railroad companies to keep their street crossing in good repair. The amendment increases the penalty for failure to maintain crossings from $50 a day to $500 a day.
"Of course, we really don't want to get to that point with the railroad," Uri said. "I'm hoping that increasing the penalty will be a message from us to the railroad in question, which is the Kyle, that we need them to fix the Broadway intersection."
Uri said he had asked the Kyle Railroad three times to fix its crossing on Broadway, but no action has been taken.
"I'm hoping if you take this action, it will provide us with some leverage," he said.
During Uri's manager's report, he presented a letter he had received from Gov. Sam Brownback concerning the state's persistent drought conditions.
In the letter, Brownback urges all public water suppliers to monitor water usage and levels as well as conservation plans.
Last summer, the City was faced with the possibility of shutting down two of its wells. To avert that crisis, the Commission agreed to enter into an agreement with the Kansas Division of Water Resources to use only 32-percent of its appropriation for those two wells. In an effort to conserve water, the City was placed in a water warning, and consumption declined.
Uri said last night that staff will begin monitoring its well levels earlier this year, so as to avoid a similar situation this summer.
After a ten-minute executive session for attorney-client privilege, after which no action was taken, the Commission adjourned to a study session. Discussion included the review of purchasing, grant oversight, disbursement, information technologies, and records retention procedures.

NEWS

Courthouse 4-24-14

District Court CIVIL Denied The request of Bryan Douglas Sprung, Hutchinson Prison, for an appointed attorney was denied and his motion for relief pursuant to K.S.A. 6-1507 was denied. Settled: American Express Centurion Bank received a judgment of $3,517.88 and costs from Carroll... [More]

For the record 4-24-14

Police Dept. Report Accident—Officers investigated an Accident at 8:10 p.m., April 23, in the 300 block of West 16th involving a vehicle driven by Thomas Pudge, Delphos, and a vehicle owned by David Redmond, Concordia. Arrest—Officers arrested Amber Wogomon, 23, Concordia,... [More]

For the record 4-23-14

Police Dept. Report Damage to property—Darci J. Elliott, Concordia, reported Damage to Property at 7:35 a.m., April 22. Damage occurred sometime in the last 48 hours in the 400 block of West 16th St. Fire Dept./EMS Report At 9:12 p.m., Tuesday, Medic-5 responded to the... [More]

More News

SPORTS

Alexander signs with Eckerd College

Cloud County Community College sophomore Jordyn Alexander has signed to play basketball at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. Alexander led Cloud County in scoring (16.4) and rebounding (7.9) this past season. She shot a team best 54.7 percent from the field and 41.2 percent... [More]

Trobee leads T-Birds to rout of Brown Mackie

SALINA – Kylie Trobee scored three runs and drove in four in the Cloud County Community College softball team's 18-0 win over Brown Mackie here yesterday. The win completed a doubleheader sweep; the T-Birds won game one 13-0. Cloud County got started early in the finale... [More]

More Sports

OPINIONS

Letter to the Editor 4-18-14

Dear Editor,   Questions that need answers? 1. Why should we sign up for the Special Civility Pledge? 2. Isn't the “Bill of Rights” still acceptable?        3. Aren't the Ten Commandments still taught? 4. What happened to the... [More]

More Opinions

Buy Photos