Archive for Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SRS reaches agreement to keep Pratt office open

August 31, 2011, 10:58 a.m. Updated August 31, 2011, 1:19 p.m.


— Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Rob Siedlecki said Wednesday that an agreement has been reached to keep the agency's office open in Pratt.

Siedlecki said that Pratt city leaders agreed to pay the state's portion of rent for the office in south-central Kansas for the next two years. The agreement is similar to one reached with Lawrence and Douglas County to keep an office there open.

Under the agreement, Pratt will pay $59,827 a year for office rent and SRS will keep 12 workers on staff.

"The city of Pratt came to us with a proposal and we were more than willing to work with them," Siedlecki said. "Their proposal will help SRS to meet its cost-cutting objectives, as set by the Legislature, while keeping the Pratt office open. This arrangement works for everyone."

SRS announced this summer that it was closing offices statewide to save approximately $1 million from the agency's budget. The Pratt office was scheduled to cease operations Friday.

SRS plans to close offices in Garnett, Lyndon and Wellington on Friday, Coffeyville on Sept. 9, Marysville and McPherson on Sept. 16 and Fort Scott on Sept. 23, absent agreements with local officials in any of the communities.

The Lawrence agreement calls for the city and county governments to pay $450,000 to keep the Lawrence office open for two years. It was reached after public protests over the decision and the impact it would have on the community if SRS services weren't readily available.

Spokeswoman Angela de Rocha said there was no new information about a possible agreement to keep the Fort Scott office open in southeast Kansas. City officials there were considering spending $84,000 to keep the office open.

Siedlecki said that after 2013 SRS would make a "good-faith effort" to get funding from the Legislature to keep the Pratt office open. The new agreement with the city would be nullified if legislators provide funding before 2013, or if the city fails to pay its share of the office costs.


Paul R Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

Good news; and the beat goes on.............

Paul R Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

KC: You got that right; the legislature has been doing this to schools for years, refusing to fully fund their own formula, or cutting taxes then going home and telling the locals to raise local taxes on a smaller base to maintain their programs. It is good news only in the sense that those who most need it will continue to get local services. The legislature is likely to discuss a bill in 2012 that will do much the same to all the schools. "We need to cut taxes; if you want music, art, sports, clubs, etc., fund them at the local level with a local tax." In a few years, if this comes to pass, activity programs will be seriously diminished in all but a few counties with large tax bases.

Bob Hiller 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I remember visiting Pratt SRS many moons ago. They had a number of good people working there at the time. I am glad to hear that this office will remain open

billbodiggens 6 years, 5 months ago

Let see, the state, years and years ago took away from the counties their welfare obligations to needy citizens. Now, we have gone nearly full circle and the state will now require the counties to pay the state to do what it by law is required to do. Yep, that sure makes sense to me. . . Not.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

Brownback has never said he would cut expenditures only services.

Taxpayers are not receiving refund checks therefore taxpayers have no idea how the money will be spent.

Look for those tax dollars to find their way to a wealthy corporation aka tax dollar moochers.

Jimo 6 years, 5 months ago

As I said with the Lawrence deal, this is just a scheme to slough off the State's responsibilities for funding onto localities.

Cities have no progressive means of raising revenue, only regressive taxes. Thus, the working poor pay taxes for the non-working poor, while the wealthy pay little or nothing into the pot. This same system has been followed from Perry's Texas to Pawlenty's Minnesota: overall taxes go up but the Governor gets to claim he balanced the budget without having to break with the extremist agenda of refusing to raise revenue to pay for government.

MrMeowmers 6 years, 5 months ago

objectives as set by the legislature? i thought the legislature told him to make the cuts from Topeka administration. so he hired more admin people in Topeka and started closing offices. oh yeah, and he was using bad math to justify it, i.e. counting federal reimbursment as state tax dollar savings when they're federal dollars. I thought that was why the Ways & Means committee wanted to talk to him.

maybe I'm just confused.

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