The Linn County Commissioners met on Monday, Aug. 28, and began their meeting with the approval of the minutes from last week’s meeting and followed that with the approval of claims in the amount of $458,519.35.
Commissioners moved to reset the meeting originally set for Sept. 4, Labor Day, to 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Linn County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Randy Hegwald reported that Evergy is bringing the foam trailer down this Wednesday to the La Cygne Generating Station at 10 a.m. Following the ceremony the trailer will be housed at Station 950 in La Cygne. Hegwald reported that Linn County Fire had responded to 12 calls in the last week bringing their year-to-date total to 300.
Linn County Sheriff Kevin Friend reported he has 64 inmates in custody with 42 of them being farm-ins with 17 new cases opened and 12 closed. He further reported that at this time the daily income at the jail is $3,224.50.
Commissioner Jim Johnson asked Friend about an email he received that the Sheriff’s Office gifting a vehicle to another department and asked if it was proper procedure. County Counselor Gary Thompson noted that the practice of transferring vehicles from one department to another is not unheard of and added that the Sheriff’s vehicles are under his control. He does not need commission approval to gift it to another department; however, the department that received the vehicle would need approval to accept it.
IT Director Chris Martin spoke to the commissioners about the demolition of the tower behind the former jail. Following a brief discussion the commissioners approved paying Hayden Tower $19,500 to tear it down, remove the antenna for the county to keep and haul the rest of it off.
Thompson presented an application for dump fee forgiveness for 204 Main Street in Centerville. Thompson noted the house at the address had burned down and it needs to be hauled off, Commissioners approved the request on a 3-0 vote.
Discussion then turned to the nuisance regulations for unincorporated cities and lake communities that Planning and Zoning Administrator Darin Wilson had brought in previously. Wilson asked if commissioners had given thought to the section he wrote to cover those areas.
Johnson asked why the county needed to police the lake communities when the HOA (Home Owners Association) can make their own regulations or create even stricter ones. Following a discussion on the matter, Commissioner Danny McCullough moved to approve Resolution 2023-37 accepting the nuisance code for unincorporated cities and lake development communities as part of the county regulations. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Jason Hightower and carried on a 2-1 vote with Johnson voting against.
Wilson requested an executive session for legal matters with Thompson, Public Works Administrator Shaun West and County Clerk David Lamb also attending.
West reported on an issue last week with a tube on Botkin Road south of 1000 Road similar to the sloughing issue on 1077 that will also need to be rebuilt.
West told commissioners that in regards to the mowing contract he has asked department heads to let him know on a week-to-week basis if any mowing needs done. He added that mowing will not take place this week due to a lack of growth.
West requested a 10-minute executive session for legal matters and five for personnel along with another five minutes of personnel without Hightower.
Commissioners then entered into a 30-minute executive session with 20 set for legal with 10 for Wilson and 10 for West and an additional 10 minutes for personnel with five minutes of that 10 being without Hightower.
Upon resuming regular session, Commissioners spoke with Brandon McGinnis with Clinch Realty, the real estate agency contracted for the sale of the original Pleasanton senior meals site. McGinnis recommended reducing the listing to $60,000 and commissioners agreed with his recommendation. A motion followed and was approved to allow the reduction.
Discussions turned to current budget levels and the revenue neutral rate with Lamb noting the county is currently $72,000 over revenue neutral. He added that the fire budget is under revenue neutral, but for purposes of revenue neutral they cannot be combined. McCullough asked about requested budget amounts for Southeast Kansas Mental Health and TriKo and whether or not reductions on those two items would take the county below revenue neutral. No decision was made in regards to the reductions. (See related article in this edition.)
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