By Charlene Sims, Journal staff
MOUND CITY – As her retirement date of Sept. 28 nears, Linn County Appraiser Kathy Bridges reported to commissioners on Tuesday, Sept. 5, that she had received notification from the Kansas Property Valuation Division that Linn County is now in statistical and procedural compliance and received a score of 100%.
She explained that the Property Valuation Division performs a comprehensive compliance check each year. This annual review was put in place to assure accurate and uniform appraisals are documented in Kansas in each county each year.
Bridges told the commissioners that the county commissioners had been visited the last couple of years by that office because the county was not in compliance.
She said she was thankful she could report that the county was in compliance and that she couldn’t have done it without her staff. She said that the score of 100% was the maximum amount that a county can receive.
Bridges told the commissioners that she went back into the records as far as 2015 and that was the highest score Linn County had received.
She said that she wanted to commend her staff because it was a team effort and the county had a really good team in the appraiser’s office and a really good process in place.
Commission Chair Danny McCullough, who was not at the meeting two weeks ago when she gave her notice, thanked her for her work. He said that before she came the appraisers office had been in a mess.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved and authorized McCullough to sign a notification of the county appraiser change to the Property Valuation Division.
• Learned from Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower that the Kansas Department of Commerce was going to give each county in the Rural Champion Program an extra $25,000. Linn County will use $15,000 of the grant to extend Rural Champion Darcy Wilson’s contract and $10,000 for three housing incentive programs: Paint Linn County, Demolition Assistance, and Long-term Vacancy Program. They are all designed to help put homes on the market that are not currently being lived in.
Commissioners also accepted the $25,000 received from the Kansas Commerce Department and allowed the chairman to sign the agreement.
• Heard from Jessica Hightower that she had attended a ceremony in Chanute with Jay Allen for the community development block grant (CDBG) that was received for the Southeastern Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) program. Allen received a “big check” for photo purposes, and a time will be set up at next week’s commission meeting for the commissioners and Allen to have photos taken with the check.
• Approved a motion to pay Scarecrow Farms $45 for a mowing that someone else did at the fire station in Prescott. They also agreed to notify Scarecrow Farms that, because of the drought, all future mowings this year will be done as needed when ordered by the county. The motion passed 2 to 1 with Commissioner Jim Johnson voting against the measure.
• Approved hiring the following people for the public works department: Shelly Collins as an Operator I in the south shop at $16.63 per hour, Jack Schreckhise as an All District Mechanic I at the Pleasanton Shop at $18.67 per hour, and Lucas Vaughn as an Operator II in the North Shop for $17.49 per hour.
• Accepted and approved an easement agreement between Linn County and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway for the area above the railroad at the Hell’s Bend Bridge project north of La Cygne.
• Accepted the revisions to the Hell’s Bend Bridge Plans as approved by BNSF.
• Heard from McCullough that he would like to reopen the Pleasanton shop and asked West to check into the pros and cons.
• Approved the rezoning of a piece of land in Section 22, Township 19, Range 22 from A-Agricultural to CS-Country Side requested by Mark Hays.
• Approved an agreement between Linn County, Gettler Farms LLC (the landowner), and A-1 Pump and Jet Services for draining of the lagoons and disposing of the waste on the Gettler Farms property.