Mar 25, 2020 5:12 PM

County teleconference meetings to continue

Posted Mar 25, 2020 5:12 PM
The City County Building. Salina Post file photo
The City County Building. Salina Post file photo

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saline County commissioners conducted their first meeting via teleconference Tuesday. 

According to information from the county, all future meetings will be conducted via teleconference until further notice.  Citizens can call in by:

Dialing 785-621-0800.

Enter Participant Code: 782956 followed by #.

If a citizen wishes to speak when the chairman allows public comment, dial *9 to alert the moderator to open the line.

Meetings can be viewed on Salina Media Connection via Cox Cable Channel 20 or online at

The commissioners dealt with a variety of issues during their Tuesday meeting. Highlights from the meeting include the following, according to information from the county.

Justin Mader, county engineer, told commissioners that Saline County has awarded a High-Risk Rural Road project on South  Simpson Road between East Magnolia Road and East Crawford Street.  This project would begin in late 2021 or 2022, will add shoulders to the roadway and regrade the ditch slopes with flatter slopes.  All drainage structures will also be extended or replaced.  This program allows for a 90/10 cost share, with Saline County’s cost estimated at $58,000.  Commissioners approved that the appropriate forms be sent to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to receive the funds and move forward with the project.

Mader also told commissioners that Union Pacific Railroad and KDOT have two projects that would add crossing signals with gates on county roads.  One project is on South Muir Road, south of Kansas Highway 140 and the second project is in Bavaria east of the grain elevator.  Union Pacific will build and maintain the projects, while KDOT will be responsible for 100 percent of the engineering and construction costs.  These entities have asked for Saline County to provide the advanced warning signs, which are already in place, so there is no budget impact on Saline County on these projects.  Commissioners approved to sign the agreement with Union Pacific and KDOT.

Commissioners awarded the bid for traffic paint to Vogel Paint & Wax Company to purchase white and yellow paint.  They also awarded the bid for reflective traffic beads to McConnel & Associates.  The combined cost of these items is $91,982.

Commissioners voted to authorize the chairman’s signature on the construction manager at risk contract with Turner Construction as it relates to the Saline County Jail Project.  Their fee for pre-construction services is $58,000, which will be paid out of the Capital Improvement Project account.

Commissioners approved a temporary COVID-19 advanced paid leave directive for Saline County.  This directive helps to provide some relief to employees who have depleted their leave time or for new employees who haven’t accrued enough leave time.  This directive could advance up to 80-hours of paid leave to employees that are directly affected by COVID-19 quarantines or isolation measures, arrangements for alternate child care, or providing child care on an emergency basis.

Commissioners also approved several personnel policies to be updated.

County announcement

Saline County is still accepting expression of interest forms from citizens who have an interest in serving on the Saline County Crime Victim’s Fund Board.  This board position serves to assist with fiscally aiding victims of crimes and assist in the review of applications from victims applying to receive funds.  These funds are derived from diversion fees and reimbursements or restitution collected from offenders.  Interested citizens can fill out the form online at:

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Mar 25, 2020 5:12 PM
UPDATE: SM Hanson cancels Heartland Bluegrass Festival

UPDATE: SM Hanson Music has canceled this year's Heartland Bluegrass festival because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rick Hanson, CEO and president of SM Hanson Music.

The Temple in Salina. Salina Post photo" />
The Temple in Salina. Salina Post photo

SM Hanson Music is bringing back bluegrass! A bluegrass festival, that is.

The SM Hanson Heartland Bluegrass Festival 2020 is scheduled for April 26. The event is scheduled at The Temple, 336 South Santa Fe Avenue, with doors opening at 10:30 a.m. This venue is handicap accessible.

"The SM Hanson Heartland Bluegrass Festival 2020 will include several bluegrass bands from around the state, some general playing and picking sessions, an Instrument Petting Zoo (for kids and adults), open mic stage time, a few instrument vendors, and local food trucks," said Rick Hanson, CEO and president of SM Hanson Music, Inc. "Attendees are encouraged to bring their instrument to join in the music community during the day."

Admission to the event will be by a suggested cash donation or canned food donation for the Salina Emergency Aid Food Bank, Hanson said.

"This will be our first bluegrass festival since the mid 1970s. We held several events in the '70s at Memorial Hall with bluegrass bands coming from Oklahoma and Arkansas," Hanson explained.

This year, however, the festival will be at The Temple.

"We will use the Grand Entrance on Santa Fe (big bronze doors)," Hanson noted. "The steps can be a place to begin picking if the weather is nice. The foyer and second floor space will provide adequate room for performances, picking areas, petting zoo and vendors."

The schedule of performers will be released closer to the date of the event, Hanson said.

The Kansas Bluegrass Association also plans to participate in the festival, he said.

Additionally, The Temple will have volunteers on hand to discuss the beautiful and historic facility that is being used for so many events.

"This will be a great opportunity for the public to see The Temple and listen/participate in the bluegrass music event," Hanson said.

According to Hanson, the festival is sponsored in part by Salina Arts & Humanities.