The commissioners opened their regular weekly meeting and rescheduled next Monday’s meeting to Tuesday due to the Independence Day national holiday.
They approved paying bills in the amount of $197,859.99.
Sheriff Kevin Friend sent his prisoner count that showed 20 total prisoners with 17 in-house and three farmed out.
AMR Operations Manager Galen Anderson reported 43 transports month-to-date and 19 week-to-date. He said AMR is trying to coordinate a fly-over for fallen firefighter Josh Haynes whose funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Anderson said, “I want to give a shout out to the folks involved in coordinating Josh’s care; there was a lot of care, professionalism and kindness exhibited. It was good to see the coordination and effort involved in bringing Josh home from the city.”
He continued that a lot of volunteers with AMR wanted to be involved and there was a lot of camaraderie shown.
Fire Chief Randy Hegwald read a statement issued from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that stated the fire at Carpenter Chiropractic last week was not intentionally set and there is no ongoing investigation. “The building has been released to Dr. Carpenter.”
He continued that they believe the fire was electrical in nature; when they get a final cause another statement will be released.
Hegwald then informed the commissioners that he was requesting a resolution retiring fallen firefighter Josh Haynes’ number, 9203, from the Linn County Rural Fire roster. Haynes collapsed at the scene and was buried Wednesday with full firefighter honors.
Flags were flown at half-staff in Maryland at the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Haynes’ honor.
County offices were given permission to allow employees to attend the funeral and possibly close their offices all day per their department head.
Commissioner Danny McCullough thanked Hegwald for his work through the fire and prayer vigil held in Haynes’ honor.
McCullough thanked Scott LaMaster, Take It To The Streets, that brought a porta-potty to the fire site for fire and ATF personnel to use during the investigation.
He acknowledged Kansas City Firefighter Chaplain Chris Pinion for working with the family through their loss.
Hegwald received four bids for 10 sets of bunker gear with Weis no-bidding, Municipal Emergency Services bidding $33,419.30, Jerry Ingram Fire Services $30,180.50 and Feld Fire for $29,317.70. The bids were read and Hegwald will check them over; no decision was made to approve a bid.
County Attorney Burton Harding submitted his 2023 budget in the amount of $365,600. He said his payroll went up by $2,100 to give employees a raise and he added a one-time $41,000 expense for new court software.
He said he is “tinkering” with the diversion program; he said some of the fund goes to the Linn County Children’s Coalition.
KwiKom Communications personnel attended the meeting telling the commissioner they order material in advance and can’t work with the 20 percent hold back the county proposed.
KwiKom said materials are projected to be 52 weeks or more out for order times and holding money back could jeopardize material being on site and KwiKom’s ability to meet the two year completion deadline.
The commissioners discussed it and Commissioner Rick James made a motion to lower the retainer to 10 percent. KwiKom will let the county know if that amount is workable.
County Health Nurse Missy Lancaster said the Children’s Community Safety Fair was well-attended with 200 people there. She submitted the Health Department 2023 budget but the commissioners asked County Clerk David Lamb to work with Lancaster due to the number of grants the department receives.
She has several grants that are not completely used and Lamb said he could help get the budget into a format the county could use.
Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower told the commissioners the tarp for the airport hoop building was ordered, the Noxious Weed Department has sprayed 47 miles of roads and the air conditioner at the La Cygne AMR building was replaced by Webber Heating & Cooling for $8,700 plus several service calls prior to the replacement.
Hightower reported she received three request-for-proposals from firms for the Phase 1 Environmental Study at both the Pleasanton Industrial Park and lots owned by the county at the La Cygne Industrial Park.
Terracon bid $4,700, Environmental Works $4,800 and Olsen $7,000.
The commissioners did not make a decision and Hightower said the study was a step in the direction of getting both industrial parks shovel ready for development.
The commissioner held 20 minutes of executive session with no action following then another 40 minute session later.
Hightower submitted the Economic Development 2023 budget of $106,344 that increased due to the environmental study and payroll. The commissioners tentatively approved it.
A resolution approving a four-way stop was approved at 1250 and Andrews Roads.
Reduced dumping fees for five Linn Valley properties was approved: included in the list is 46 Black Oak Dr., 93 N. Linn Valley Dr., 238 Fawn Valley, 9 Linn Valley Dr., and 86 Silver Shadow Ln. The commissioners held a five-minute executive session prior to the list being approved and pulled 61 Spencer Dr. from the list.
County Clerk David Lamb was authorized to sign the Blue Cross health insurance contract. McCullough asked if ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds could be used to cover the higher cost the county was going to see due to losses. Hightower said she’d ask the ARPA plan administrator if those costs would be covered by the grant.
A dance on Friday nights was approved at Bunker Hill; no alcohol will be allowed and approval will be on a temporary basis.
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