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The first order of business at the Linn County Commissioners meeting on July 25 was the approval of the minutes of the last meeting followed by approval of bills in the amount of $226,147.46.

County Clerk David Lamb then presented adds and abates 2022-169 through 171 for a total change of -$59, which were approved on a 3-0 vote.

Commissioner Jim Johnson then read the reports from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and AMR.

Randy Hegwald, Linn County Rural Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator, presented a report detailing calls for Rural Fire for the last week and also for the last year.

Shawn West, Public Works Administrator, reported that they are beginning to move the County Attorney and staff into the new Justice Center and asked commissioners how they wanted him to dispose of furniture and items that would be left behind. Consensus was to offer it to other departments and then auction all not taken.

West then noted he needed permission to request bids on tires needed for road equipment; which was approved.

West then stated that Linn County Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower was unable to attend the meeting but had asked him to request permission to order 4,000 gallons of fuel for the airport. West stated the cost would be just under $23,000 and Hightower plans to raise the price to cover the increase in cost. Commissioners approved the purchase.

West reported that the Noxious Weed Department is currently spraying for Johnson grass and had completed spraying around the lights at the airport.

County Counselor Gary Thompson told commissioners he had a request from the city of La Cygne for reduced dumping fees and the commissioners approved.

Thompson then provided information regarding the county’s involvement with the Southeast Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Center and how their yearly cost is determined. (See related article in this edition.)

Commissioners entered into a 40-minute executive session with 10 minutes for legal matters requested by Commissioner Danny McCullough; 10 minutes for personnel matters requested by Commissioner Rick James; and 20 minutes for legal matters requested by West. Upon resuming regular session no action was taken.

County resident and Planning and Zoning Commission member David Berglund then spoke to commissioners asking questions regarding the choice to contract a per need engineer rather than hire one. Thompson explained the reasoning behind it noting it saves the county money that would be paid out on a regular salary, as well as, the cost of benefits.

Berglund stated he thought the county should be looking at expanding to a five-person commission, which would allow for better input and representation for the county.

“As we get bigger and the population grows, I think it’s a need,” Berglund stated.

Commissioners then approved the signing of the contract with Diehl, Banwart and Bolton for the audit.

After a review of the final budget as presented, with Lamb noting the county is currently revenue neutral, the commissioners approved the budget for publication.

Burton Harding, County Attorney, made a request to put diversions into his fund rather than into the general fund as they are currently budgeted, so that he could use the funds for training and other expenses. 

Linn County Fire Board representative Eddie Andersen told commissioners they had been looking into the possibility of a memorial for fallen firefighters but had decided it should be for all first responders.

Andersen then asked permission to place the memorial in front of the courthouse and consensus of the commissioners was agreement to allow the project. Andersen stated they are still lining out details and discussing possibilities.


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