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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission approves panic buttons for health department

Updated: Nov 3

By Charlene Sims,

MOUND CITY – Linn County Health Department Director Amanda Snyder gave the commissioners an update on people served and requested installation of panic/emergency buttons at the health department on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The commissioners approved the installation of the panic/emergency button unanimously.

Snyder reported to the commissioners that they had served 106 people the past week and 90 flu shots were given during last Friday and Saturday during a drive-through clinic.

She said that the health department would be giving flu shots at Linn Valley on Tuesday, Blue Mound and Centerville senior centers on Thursday. The staff will also be at the Judicial Building in Mound City to give Linn County employees flu shots on Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hearing the discussion about how to serve meals to the seniors in Pleasanton in the transition between the new and old buildings, Snyder offered the health department building as a place where meals could be dropped off for volunteers to pick up and deliver.

After learning about the panic/emergency buttons in other offices in the county, Snyder said she felt that was something that should also be in the health department. Snyder said the health department’s expanding infrastructure could cover the $6,535 cost of the equipment.

This would be for 10 buttons located around the building. The radio, antenna and battery would be $645 and the rest of the equipment would cost $5,890.

Information Technology (IT) Director Chris Martin said that the button equipment would be purchased from the same company, SecureTech Systems Inc., that the other buttons are from and would be added onto the existing system. He said that his department could handle the installation.

Martin explained that there were no maintenance fees and just a one-time cost for the equipment, and since the county could install it, they are saving about $2,000.

He told the commissioners that it was a radio technology that when the button was pressed two things happen. One, a popup window on both dispatch consoles comes up stating what button was pushed and where, and that a radio message is played over the air that would indicate a law enforcement emergency at the health department. Anybody law enforcement officer that has a radio and is listening can hear that and respond.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Gave the employees at the Justice Center permission to put up Christmas lights and decorations. Martin will do the installation with the use of the bucket truck.

• Approved designating Public Works Director Shaun West as an alternate to the Southeastern Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) board in the event that Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower could not attend the quarterly meetings.

• Heard the Linn County Park report for September. The receipts were $35,897, the expenditures were $23,129 for a gain of $12,768. Year-to-date the receipts have been $247,877, the losses were $222,698, for a gain of $25, 179.

• Learned from Jessica Hightower that the Garnett Airport had finished moving fuel from the Linn County Airport tank and was paying Linn County $6,241 for the 3,120 gallons. Next week the commissioners will discuss with the airport committee what to do with the tank.

• Agreed to allow Commission Chair Danny McCullough to sign a letter to the community development block grant (CDBG) board requesting a sole source purchase so that the STARS program would not have to go out for bids for their heavy equipment simulators. Only one company, SIMFORMOTION LLC, offers the brand of simulator that goes along with other simulators that the program already has.

• Removed Mike White from his District 2 position on the county planning and zoning commission for conduct detrimental to the county. Commissioner Jason Hightower made the motion and after discussion, McCullough seconded it. The motion passed 2 to 1 with Johnson voting against it.

Hightower said that he felt like White was undermining the authority of the zoning regulations that White helped write.

• Discussed getting started on putting a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in the courthouse building. West will look into it.

• Approved McCullough signing a support letter for the $237,000 transportation grant so the application could be refiled for 2024.

• Discussed what to do with items in the old Pleasanton Senior Center. County Counselor Gary Thompson suggested that West look at the purchase contract because he thought that the buyer said items could be left in the center.

• Discussed how to handle meals for seniors at Pleasanton during the transition from the old building to the new one. Jason Hightower, who is on the board of East Central Kansas Area on Aging (ECKAAA) who delivers the meals, said that ECKAAA was willing to work with the county on where to deliver meals for pickup. He said the agency thought that home delivery for a couple of weeks would be the easiest method of transition.

• Discussed date for workshop with public. Stephanie Walker inquired about the date. Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Richard Morrell said that this would be brought up at the planning commission meeting that evening. He was thinking that it might be Nov. 14 at the regular planning meeting.

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