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  • Charlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission commits nearly $11K to connectivity project

MOUND CITY – On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Linn County Commissioners agreed to commit $10,800 to a grant written by Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission (SEKRPC) for hiring an engineer to look at roads that might be improved for reconnecting Linn County communities with each other and other areas.

Linn County Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower told the commissioners that a new Reconnecting Communities Pilot Discretionary Grant was being offered through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. SEKRPC is going to write the grant for the 12 counties in its region. SEKRPC has estimated the approximate match for each county in the 80/20 grant match would be $10,800. The total grant amount would be $650,000.

Hightower explained that this would be just Phase 1 of the grant process. It would only provide the research and planning for the project. After an engineer determines the needs of each community a Capital Construction grant will be written for those projects. Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) cannot be used for match money.

According to the grant website, the projects funded by this grant would reconnect communities by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating highways or other transportation facilities that create barriers to community connectivity, including to mobility, access, or economic development.

Discussion about this grant brought up paving Devlin Road to the Miami County line to meet the paved road that Miami County has already completed. This would provide a direct route from Parker to 169 Highway without any railroad crossings.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Heard the sheriff’s office prisoner count. There were 35 prisoners, 18 from other counties. No Linn County’s prisoners were in other facilities.

• Accepted a bid from MFA Oil Company for propane for county buildings of $1.75 per gallon for the first 10,000 gallons. Other bids were $1.85 from Ferrellgas, $1.85 from D & D, $1.80 from C & J, and Heartland did not provide a bid.

• Learned from Public Works Director Shaun West that bids will be accepted for the Hell’s Bend Bridge in April 2023.

•Approved a request for dumping fees for a house in La Cygne which had a wall collapse. The property is at 402 South Broadway, La Cygne and is owned by Sue Duncan.

• Spent an hour and a half in executive session to discuss the performance of individual employees. Commissioners were doing evaluations of department heads.

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