A hundred thousand here, a hundred thousand there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money. A hundred thousand seemed to be the number of the week last week.
A hundred thousand worth of repairs to the Republic County Health Department. A hundred thousand to replace the press box and concessions stand at the Republic County High School football field and track.
The people of Republic County and the periphery are going to be hit with some probable glum news next week as board members for Republic County Hospital are expected to take a vote, and likely approve, the closure of that facility’s long term care center.
This news really comes as no surprise. The warning signs have been in front of us nationally for years. An aging population coupled with higher medical care costs and a reduction in Medicare reimbursements have been a financial recipe for disaster.
It’s very interesting to me how when it comes to the “Republic Hotel Block” that the experts are now coming out of the woodwork. With the series of building that once were: The Republic Hotel, The Print Shop, JC Penney and Coast To Coast now nothing more than a pile of rubble, people are stepping up offering view on what should be done with the left overs. Some of the more creative things we’ve heard include: saving the bricks to make a memorial wall to commemorate the historical significance of the location; putting pavers into the street to replace the fake cement bricks; using them to construct a sidewalk in one of our parks and use of the limestone as a front to a new building on the site.
These are all good ideas I am sure. But honestly it’s a little late in the game to be thinking what could have been or should have been done with the leftovers from the razed location.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s an awful lot of it available right now for those willing to provide a little time or talent. •Local organizations have until May 1 to apply for the latest round of Republic County Community Foundation grants. $35,000 is available, including $7,500 earmarked specifically for health-related projects. •On Monday, officials set a May 1 deadline for any community that wants $2,500 to encourage volunteer clean up projects in their communities. Republic County Economic
Development director Luke Mahin noted that many of the smaller communities have taxed their “volunteer capacity” to the limit. But this money, offered by the Dane Hansen Foundation, offers some creative ways to encourage volunteerism: maybe host a meal for the people that come out to help fix up and clean up.
I sometimes lament that accountability seems to be rare commodity in today’s society. Thursday afternoon I sat in court while a couple of people convicted of crimes tried to defend their bad behavior after they were granted probation. Repeated positive tests for drugs.
Repeated missed appointments with parole officers or programs designed to get them off of drugs. Repeated jail sanctions for failing to live up to the terms of the second --and third, and fourth--chance they’d been gifted. By Kansas law, most offenders granted probation are given multiple “chances” to clean up their act before they go to jail. These are people who should be in the workforce contributing to society, instead of sucking tax dollars out of the system.
I'm not a fan of the Belleville City Council's action to change protocol regarding how public comment is received at local meeting.
The city on Monday eliminated the 'public comments' portion of what has been an agenda item for as long as anyone can remember. Instead people wanting to address the council must sign their name to a list before the council meeting and state why it is they want to talk.
By now the news that Nesika Energy has sold out to a Butamax a division of British Petroleum and DuPont is surely widespread. It is not just local or regional news, but indeed a national news event with global implications.
And it is with all surety that we note the importance of what happened when the announcement was made last Friday to a small group of investors, friends and interested parties. The foundation for ‘what’s next’ was solidly put into place.