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The Linn County Commissioners met on Monday, Dec. 19, and began with the approval of the minutes of the last meeting followed by the approval of claims in the amount of $478,213.23.

County Clerk David Lamb presented adds and abates 793-796 and 798-802, which commissioners approved on a 3-0 vote. 

Commissioner Jim Johnson read the Sheriff’s weekly report into the record and Galen Anderson with AMR reported on transports.

Commissioners then voted 3-0 to move next week’s meeting scheduled for Monday, Dec. 26 to Tuesday, Dec. 27 due to the holiday.

Missy Lancaster, Director of the Linn County Health Department, gave a brief update on tests and immunizations and requested a 10-minute executive session for legal matters.

Randy Hegwald, Linn County Rural Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator, gave an update on the number of incidents the fire department responded to in the last week and requested a five to 10-minute executive session for personnel matters.

Hegwald then asked everyone to please watch the incoming weather and be aware.

Jessica Hightower, Linn County Economic Development Director, presented Resolution 2022-37 adopting the Rural Opportunity Zone and committing the county to that program, Commissioners approved it on a 3-0 vote.

Hightower then requested an executive session for legal matters.

Darin Wilson, Planning and Zoning Administrator, presented CUP 22-05 for Lavender Patch and it was approved by commissioners on a 3-0 vote. (See related article in this edition.)

Wilson noted he had received a letter of resignation from the Planning and Zoning commission member Melanie Staton, but that he had a recommendation of Beth Staton to fill the vacant spot. Commissioner Danny McCullough moved to accept M. Staton’s resignation and to appoint Beth Staton to serve out the remainder of Melanie’s term. The motion carried on a 3-0 vote.

Lamb noted the sheriff had requested an executive session.

Chris Martin, IT Director, reported that nearly all of the back end network is done and internet should be available at the Park and Marina within a short time.

Shaun West then requested 15 minutes in executive session for personnel and five for legal matters.

Commissioners then moved to enter into executive session for 50 minutes with 25 set for personnel and 25 for legal with various department heads. That session was extended by a 2-0 vote for ten minutes for personnel matters.

When the regular session resumed, no action was taken.

Jennifer Leach with Peoples Telecommunications in La Cygne reported on the progress of the original ARPA grant of $50,000, specifically noting they have signed commitments from 90 percent of the rural homes in the designated area.

Leach then requested an additional $30,000 in ARPA funds due to the overwhelming response to their project.

Following a brief discussion, commissioners approved the request for an additional $30,000 in ARPA funds for Peoples Telecommunications.

Department heads then spoke individually to the commissioners regarding their requests for year-end transfers. Commissioners then approved those transfers as presented. Transfers are done with funds budgeted for use during the fiscal year, that are not used.

Roger Sims, Linn County Journal, spoke to commissioners requesting his online paper be added to the official paper status under the same special circumstances that USD 362 added the Journal; that being he can publish them but is not the “official” paper. Statute requires the official paper to meet certain criteria, such as be published with a print version in the county which Sims does not meet in whole because his newspaper is online only. Commissioner Rick James spoke in favor of the move and County Clerk David Lamb said he would prepare a motion in case commissioners decide to do that in the new year.

West noted a change in the plans for the Parker Senior meal site floor improvements that will cost an additional $1,522. Commissioners requested West look into the products and return with information at the next meeting.

Commissioner then entered into a second executive session for 20 minutes for personnel matters and 15 minutes for legal matters. That session was extended by ten minutes on a 2-0 vote.

Following the executive sessions, commissioners approved up to $6,200 for parts for the bucket truck.

Discussion turned briefly to the issues at the Pleasanton senior meals site, and County Counselor Gary Thompson noted whatever agreement they come to needs to be in writing.


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