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The Linn County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, April 3, 2023. The meeting began with the approval of the minutes of last week’s meeting which was followed by approval of claims in the amount of $187, 732.11.

Commissioners approved three abatements, 2022-887-889 with a change of -$132.80.

Galen Anderson with AMR reported numbers are up a little bit this last week and they are still looking to fill an open paramedic position.

Linn County Rural Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Randy Hegwald reported that Rural Fire had responded to 21 incidents last week. Hegwald stated he had spoken at an event on Thursday for USDA about burning in the county and had gotten some feedback on the burn ban policy.

Linn County Sheriff Friend reported the jail currently has 46 inmates, 28 of which are farm-ins. He noted he will be increasing federal inmates in the next week or so and should be at 40 farm-ins over the next month or so. Friend reported that CHC had lost the medical assistant that staffs the jail, but is utilizing staff from other sites and is currently interviewing for the position.

Linn County Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower reported that there will be three surveys opened this week for the housing program.

Shaun West, Public Works Administrator provided numbers from Construction Consultant Randy Page on renovations at the Health Department and Memaw’s Kitchen, as requested. 

West requested permission to price plastic or poly culverts for smaller culverts due to the price of metal culverts and commissioners agreed.

West reported the heavy rock truck at the north shop now needs a new transmission or a rebuild. Pricing indicates replacement will be cheaper than rebuilding. Commissioners agreed to purchase the new transmission at a cost no higher than $17,000.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Darin Wilson reported a public hearing on the zoning regulations is set for April 27 at 7 p.m. at Prairie View High School. Copies will be sent to commissioners and available at the Courthouse Annex.

County Counselor Gary Thompson reported to commissioners on his research regarding charging municipalities for inmates housed at the county jail. (See related article in this edition.)

Commissioners approved a motion to terminate the contract with the landfill at Arcadia on April 10; unless there is a change in circumstances. West noted that Allen County has an application process; but, he will need to start that process and commissioners asked he do so.

Commissioners then entered into an executive session for five minutes for legal matters with Thompson. Following the executive session a brief recess was held.

Commissioners asked Wilson for an update on the building codes, and Wilson reported he is still working on those and should have something in the next few weeks and a workshop was set for April 24.

Representatives of Kwikom internet service reported to commissioners on their project in the county, noting they have not started yet due to weather issues and hiring problems, but hope to get started in the next few weeks and should be done within six months; and, when completed will be able to serve Blue Mound, Centerville and Parker. 

Discussions then turned to the Linn County Health Department with County Clerk David Lamb providing new job descriptions for the positions of Director and Head Nurse. The discussion was tabled until employees from the Health Department could attend. Later in the meeting the discussion picked up again and not long into the discussion Thompson recommended they move to executive session to protect the rights of individual employees. Commissioners then entered into a 30-minute executive session for personnel matters with Amanda Snyder and Danielle Casey being asked to join them at various times. (See related article in this week’s edition.)

J.R. Kerr reported to commissioners on his proposal for repairs at the transfer station. West noted that repairing the transfer station right now would give the county time to acquire funding for the switch over as recommended by Pfefferkorn Engineering. 

Following a discussion between commissioners, West and Kerr on what those repairs would entail, Commissioner Danny McCullough moved to authorize Kerr to consult with Construction Consultant Randy Page on those repairs. West will bring in an overview of measurements and permit information next week.

Discussions then moved on to the Pleasanton meal site with commissioners looking at costs related to renovations at the Health Department, which would take half of the storage area and the bathrooms would be shared with the Health Department. 

West reported that he cannot give a time frame on either project but did supply estimated costs. McCullough noted he is in favor of the Memaw’s location and Commissioner Jason Hightower asked how to fund it. Lamb noted there is $30,000 in the elderly fund and funding became the matter at heart. Hightower also noted he like the idea of Memaw’s, but funding is the issue. Discussions then turned to negotiating with the property owner and Thompson recommended they enter into executive session for the purpose of discussing land acquisition, which the commissioners did, approving a motion for a 15-minute executive session. Following that session, McCullough moved to be allowed to speak with property owners Doug and Becky Grant for purposes of negotiating. Hightower seconded and the motion carried on a 2-1 vote with Commissioner Johnson voting against. 


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