City and county commissioners hold joint luncheon, discuss senior services and dispatch consolidation

City and county commissioners had a joint luncheon meeting Wednesday, after the city commission had a quick action meeting and study session.


During the joint luncheon, commissioners heard from Aging Services Director Doug Stueve, on the updates after county commissioners approved allocation requests for the county senior centers. Stueve says he appreciated the opportunity to inform folks of the services provided.

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Each of the six centers are independent organizations, with three of them operating as non-profit organizations. Stueve says they provide numerous services to the community, more than just senior care. The county commission approved $55,000 to be spread through the six area centers, with Emporia Senior Center getting the majority of that money, due to size and activity range.

In other business, commissioners from both parties discussed dispatch consolidation, a process that's been taking place for the past 6 months. Interim Assistant City Manager Jim Witt says the decision is now in the hands of the commissioners, with a joint ordinance looking to be approved within 2-3 weeks. After that is approved, it will go to the state Attorney General for approval from that office.

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Witt says some downsizing will occur with the transition, and all current dispatch employees will eventually become county employees. The word "partnership" was used to describe the consolidation efforts, but Witt says it's more like family.

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During the city's earlier action meeting, the commission approved bids for the Industrial Park 4 Sanitary Sewer Project, and for landfill expansion. Following that in their study session, they discussed changing city ordinance to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in the civic auditorium during large events. More data will be collected on that issue at a later date.

The commission also discussed their goals for this year, and updating legislative policy.

Thursday, the city commission will host local lawmakers at 6 pm, in White Auditorium City Conference Room 1AB, to present their ideas and thoughts before the legislative session begins next week.

On Saturday, Jan. 18, the city commission will have a Dialogue session sponsored by the Chamber and Visitors Bureau Government Matters Committee and the League of Women Voters. The meeting starts at 8 am at Trusler Business Center.

A date for the State of the City address has not been officially set, however Mayor Rob Gilligan said it's coming up in February.


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