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The Linn County Commissioners began their meeting on Monday, July 10, with the approval of the minutes of the regular and special meetings held last week. Commissioners then approved claims in the amount of $239,829.59.

Commissioners entered in an executive session with Public Works Administrator Shaun West as previously requested with 15 minutes set aside for personnel and five minutes for legal matters. 

Following the executive session, West reported the new track hoes were delivered on Friday and training on them had begun that day. 

At the request of West, commissioners voted 2-0 to hire Dennis Hardy, Jr. as South Shop Foreman at $22.2187 and Donnie Snyder as assistant foreman at $20.3890.

West then presented a contract with BNSF Railroad for a permit and easement for work on the Hell’s Bend Bridge. Commissioners gave West permission to sign those documents.

Linn County Attorney Burton Harding presented the budget for his department noting an increase in payroll as previously approved. He noted that capital outlay which is increasing and a notation that their copier is in need of replacement. Harding noted that his assistant attorney, Justin Meeks, coming on full-time has helped tremendously with the caseload which has increased with the addition of judges. Following a brief discussion on the budget as presented, the commissioners voted for tentative approval of the budget in the amount of $378,409.97.

Harding reported that, to his knowledge, all cases in relation to the Tanglewood Lakes gate incident are filed and cases are moving forward. He noted that as incidents continue and new cases are being filed, bonds are being revoked in an effort to curb those actions and stated he plans to meet with the Tanglewood board regularly to keep them apprised of the judicial process.

Commissioners then looked at bids from realtors on the current Pleasanton meals site. Commissioner Danny McCullough opened the bid noting it is from Clinch Realty for a six month listing at a proposed purchase price of $76,000, with six percent commission. County Counselor Gary Thompson reviewed the proposal and commissioners voted 2-0 to enter into the sales contract with Clinch Realty for that property and to allow McCullough to sign the agreement.

West then presented the budget for the Noxious Weed Department. He explained that the proposed budget includes expected increases in payroll and commodities with the budget increasing from $175,500 for this year to $188,850. Commissioners gave tentative approval of the budget.

West then presented the Elderly Fund budget for senior sites and the transportation program. West noted this year’s budget is set at $245,161 decreasing to $237,000 for 2024. McCullough asked if it includes the payment on food and West stated it does include the payment to East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging for meals.

Joyce Hall spoke about the van ordered for transportation and the fact that the cost was slightly higher than anticipated; as a result the state is picking up another 10 percent of the cost. Commissioner Jason Hightower moved to tentatively approve the Elderly budget as presented.

Park Manager Sherri Loveland presented the proposed budget for the Linn County Park and Marina and began with a synopsis of her department, including the number of employees and profit amounts for the last two years. Loveland then spoke on various projects as planned, including the work on the lagoon, the docks and other areas. She added that the lake will be purchasing their own portable restrooms for the lake area rather than rent them by the month. She then gave an overview of the Ventek machine and cabin rentals for the last couple years Commissioner Jim Johnson joined the meeting by telephone at this time and commissioners gave tentative approval of the budget with a total of $404,000.

Ali Hamilton with the Trading Post Museum spoke to the commissioners regarding the budget for her museum, requesting the county provide a budget for her of $49,000. 

Commissioner Johnson’s call was dropped, Lamb called Johnson back, but the call soon dropped again.

McCullough noted there should be a Historical Society committee representing each museum or historical society for accountability. Commissioner Hightower asked for clarification asking if she was requesting a budget of $49,000. He further noted that the budget was previously approved several weeks ago. McCullough moved to deny Hamilton’s request. Commissioner Hightower seconded the motion and it carried on a 2-0 vote. 


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