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The Linn County Commissioners met on Monday, July 31, with only two commissioners, Jim Johnson and Jason Hightower, present for the meeting.

The meeting began with the approval of minutes of last week’s meeting, followed by the approval of claims in the amount of $504,714.93.

Hightower read a thank you card from the Brown Family for the county’s contribution to the Walter Scott Brown road sign.

Linn County Rural Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Randy Hegwald noted his department had responded to five incidents in the last week.

Hegwald then noted that he encourages the stations to hold family events. One such event was taking place at the Prescott Station, when it was interrupted by a vehicular accident.

“It brings family into the fire stations and keeps our doors open,” he explained.

AMR representative Louis Aloi, Operations Supervisor, gave the weekly update, noting the agency had responded to 65 calls for service so far this month, including 16 transports in the last week.

Linn County Sheriff Kevin Friend reported there are 58 inmates, 31 of which are farm-ins, and noted that they had 59 calls to 911 last week.

Linn County Economic Development Administrator Jessica Hightower reported the request-for-proposal (RFP) requests were sent to five newspapers, plus the two local papers, and three people have already reached out.

EDA Hightower noted the county had been awarded a $100,000 CDBG grant on behalf of the STARS vocational school. She added that an agreement will need to be drawn up and signed at next week’s meeting.

EDA Hightower then told commissioners of an upcoming ceremony for Rural Water District 2 at the new water tower site. A ribbon cutting is currently set for 10 a.m. on Aug. 4 at the water tower site at Kansas Highway 52 and W. 600 Road.

EDA Hightower also requested a five minute executive session for legal matters, and 10 minutes with Levi Fyock from Scarecrow Lawn Care, also for legal matters.

Johnson asked a question regarding the contract with Scarecrow Farms and a discussion between the commissioners, the county counselor, and two department heads followed with Fyock agreeing in the end to credit the county for all but two mowings. (See related article in this edition.)

Public Works Administrator Shaun West noted he had sent commissioners several things, including an assistance application from the Fair Board for preparation of the arena for the truck and tractor pull, boom mowing by the creek, etc. West noted the Board will pay for the spraying and the operator will donate his time. West stated the agreement is pretty much the same as last year and commissioners approved it on a 2-0 vote.

West then presented the RFP for the demolition of the Park house and commissioners approved it on a 2-0 vote.

Denny Hardy, the new south shop foreman spoke to commissioners regarding his initial work at the shop to go through and organize things. He stated he had re-drawn the districts and feels the districts are more evenly divided under this set up and it gives the county an excess grader that can allow them to dispose of the one with the most hours and regroup the others.

West then requested a five minute executive session for legal matters.

County Counselor Gary Thompson presented a road easement for boundary line adjustment to give the county a full 70 foot right-of-way on the Todd and Lori Ferguson property. Commissioners approved the easement.

Commissioners then entered into an executive session for ten minutes; five with EDA Hightower and five with West, both for legal matters. Following the session Hightower noted there was no action to be taken.

Darin Wilson, Linn County Planning and Zoning Administrator, presented a change to the nuisance code that goes along with the rezoning for lake communities and unincorporated cities. Commissioners opted to wait until Commissioner Danny McCullough returns to take action on the change.

Discussion then turned to budgets and County Clerk David Lamb presented several, but again, commissioners opted to wait for Commissioner McCullough’s return next week to take action.

County resident Mike White asked commissioners what it would take to move to a five member commission or larger, and commissioners, as well as, Thompson and Lamb responded that it would require a ballot vote and redistricting and then detailed the process.


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