Commissioners talk health insurance, hear tax report

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Saline County Commission met during regular session Tuesday morning, Feb. 13, where commissioners discussed a new healthcare plan and premium rate for county employees, as well as heard a sales tax report for Saline County.

Presiding Commissioner Kile Guthrey read a statement from County Clerk Debbie Russell, who was absent. It pertained to a meeting held Tuesday, Feb. 6, where the commission discussed and reviewed the healthcare insurance bids.

In the statement, Russell said county employees, who are participating in the county's healthcare program, will be covered by Aetna Healthcare. A premium rate of $560 per month will be effective March 1.

The statement also said the Saline County Commission agreed to increase the county's contribution to help offset the increase in premiums. The commission approved to raise the rate to $405 per month per employee from the current $366.22.

The employee's premium cost would be $155 per month, taken as $77.50 bi-monthly from payroll deduction.

Russell also stated Dave Hoy, Naught-Naught Insurance Agency, will be visiting with offices in the Saline County Courthouse, Saline County Sheriff's Office, and Road and Bridge, to offer details and information about the plan benefits and answer questions.

Northern Commissioner Richard Clemens said this bid is for one year. New healthcare bids are sought every year.

Saline County Treasurer Marty Smith presented the February sales tax report.

"The county received $94,229.24," he said. "That's up over $17,000 from last month, and it's up over $14,000 from last year."

He also said the county received $70,574.21 in law enforcement tax revenue in February, which was up more than $13,000 last month, and a little more than $11,000 at this same time last year.

The use tax also saw an increase of more than $28,000 to $47,554.94 in February. Smith also reported that revenue was higher than the same period last year, where Saline County saw a nearly $16,000 increase.

Additionally, Smith said the new Saline County law enforcement sunset tax saw an increase of $4,151.18 to $21,554.89 over last month.

Southern Commissioner Monte Fenner said Road and Bridge are beginning to grate roads and cut brush. Those people who have a treatment on the roads in front of their homes should be notified and see work begin, Clemens noted.

Clemens said there was a letter received from the Saline County 911 Board.

"Our prosecuting attorney has responded for the commission," he said. "They had requested we give them a portion of our use tax."

He said there was not any reference to the 911 board when the tax originally passed.

The letter from Saline County Prosecutor Donald Stouffer said, "When approaching the voter, the policy of the Commission is to carefully explain the need for the enactment or increase of a particular tax and how the money derived from the tax will be spent."

In the letter, Stouffer also noted he was unable to find any information that addressed dividing the tax among other political subdivisions other than the one passing the tax, which is the Saline County Commission.

"Only if that language was in the ballot is the only way anyone would get a portion of this other than the county," Fenner said.

Stouffer, in the letter, stated the Commission denied the request of the 911 Board for that reason.

Guthrey said the Commission is transferring funds from toxicology for an expense adjustment from Saline County Coroner William Harlow.

The motion carried.

Guthrey also said a task force meeting to discuss the one-half percent sales tax is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Volkfest Building in Slater at 9 a.m.

Fenner said Sweet Springs City Clerk Michele Fuehring has joined the task force.

Another item of business was the transfer of funds to CERF (County Employees' Retirement Fund).

"We have a commission order the payment is $18,475.93," Clemens said.

A motion was made and approved to make the transaction.

All commissioners were present. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 15, at 9 a.m.

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