• Charlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission approves release on Cox Motor land

Updated: Jul 22

MOUND CITY – On Monday, May 23, the Linn County Commissioners agreed to register two pieces of land at Pleasanton out of the county’s name.

The first piece of land is where the new Cox Auto dealership is located. County Counselor Gary Thompson gave some history about this situation.

Thompson told the commissioners that about 2015 or 2016, the commissioners were discussing with Jesse Secrest how to assist him in getting the dealership built at Pleasanton and they had a piece of land that wasn’t worth very much because of a big ditch in it.

An agreement was made that the county would make that land available. However, in order for Secrest to get the financing on his dealership, the land had to be in his name.

But the county commission then felt that they could not just sign it over until they knew for sure that the dealership was going to get built there. The solution was that the county took a promissory note from Secrest for the value of that tract.

The county held that promissory note with the understanding that if the dealership was built and up and running by the end of 2019, that the note would be forgiven, explained Thompson.

He said that has all occurred, but the note has never been formally released. The note expired, according to the agreement, however, a release was never recorded.

Both Cox Motor Co. and Oakes Auto Group of the Kansas City metro area announced last week that Oakes had purchased the Cox Ford dealership.

Thompson said that he understood that Secrest was doing something with the property that required it to be released. He said he prepared a certificate of satisfaction and release of obligation for that property. It means that the note that exists is no longer binding and has been fulfilled.

The commissioners approved the signing of the certificate of satisfaction and release of obligation.

The second parcel of land is south of Casey’s convenience store at Pleasanton that the county owns jointly with the city, Thompson said. The county owned a piece of ground where the former Mercy Clinic is now and Mercy had a parcel of ground south of Casey’s but they wanted to put the clinic north of Sixth Street on Tucker Road. So the county and the clinic basically swapped ground. (Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas now operates the clinic.)

So the county owns that piece of ground jointly with Pleasanton, Thompson explained. When that was platted, there was a street that comes into the property from Tucker Road, and then there is a plat of a street north along the edge of the tract that we own to a tract owned by Joe Pointer. That is the only access to that tract of land.

When this whole transaction was done, a couple of forms were filed in the wrong order, so that when that street was dedicated to the city it wasn’t owned by the property owner doing the dedication. So that dedication was invalid, he said.

So now technically Pointer has no access to his property, Thompson said. What the county needs to do is to jointly with the city of Pleasanton do an agreement for a grant of easement.

Thompson said that agreement was done once, but it was filed in the wrong order. So the county needs an agreement for a grant of easement. The easement will run along the edge of the county- and city-owned tract to get to Pointer’s tract.

It’s already platted there an we already intended for it to have been granted but it wasn’t and so it’s a 70 foot right of way that we are granting to the city as a street, he said. The county and the city will sign this easement that will grant the right of way to the city as a street there.

Thompson said the reason for this is that Pointer does not have official access to this property. He can get in there but, if he wants to sell it or build something and borrow money, that won’t happen unless he has a street or easement of some sort.

The commissioners voted to grant a right of way easement to the city of Pleasanton on property jointly owned by the county and the city.

In other business, the commissioners:

  • Voted to move the May 30 meeting to May 31 because of the Memorial Day holiday.

  • Hired Michael Shapel as an equipment operator at Prescott for the salary of $14.89 per hour.

  • Questioned a $5,000 expense on the bills from the sheriffs budget for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. County Clerk David Lamb said that he believed that the cost may have been for the transporting of the vehicle.

  • Approved signing of a client representation letter for the county’s 2020 audit Diehl Banwort and Bolton.

  • Approved the signing of a Transfer and Certification of Appraisal Rolls for Real Property from the county appraiser.

  • Learned from Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower, who was reporting for Public Works Director Shaun West, that there were 45 people signed up for dust control.

  • Approved purchasing salt to fill up the county storage for $40,000 from Kunshek Chat and Coal.

  • Learned from Hightower that new road signs were up in the Centerville area.

  • Learned that the Codes Court will start again on July 14. New planning and zoning director Darin Wilson said there would be at least four cases.

  • Learned from Hightower that two listening groups had been held with day care providers last week.

  • Learned from Hightower that she was planning a youth entrepreneurship challenge.

  • Learned that other entities were wanting to apply for ARPA funds. They include water districts, three cities, and Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center. She will send them applications.

  • Learned from Deputy Clerk Morgan Northcutt that she and West were working on getting Linn County certified to do CDL trainings. The county is now registered as a training provider. The county now has all the testing and training equipment to do training in house.

  • Commission Chair Jim Johnson asked why Craw-Kan was not interested in extending its fiber optic to residences in Blue Mound.

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