Charlene Sims, Journal staff
Commission discusses proposed swimming area for county park
The renewal of the contract for operation of Linn County Park needs to be approved by Evergy, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Tourism and the Linn County Commission. (Journal file photo)
MOUND CITY – On Monday, Dec. 12, the Linn County Commissioners met with Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Fisheries Biologist Don George about the contract with Evergy for the Linn County Park.
The contract for the park is an agreement between Linn County, Evergy and KDWPT. KDWPT is in charge of the lake at the park.
George said that he was there to talk about the area that Linn County wanted to designate as a swimming beach. He told the commissioners that while he wasn’t quite sure where the county planned on putting the swimming area, the KDWPT was interested in working with the county to develop new opportunities at the park and anything they can do to help.
George told the commissioners after they showed him the county’s final plan he would make a decision on whether to approve it. Commissioner Rick James and George agreed to work together on the plan.
Public Works Director Shaun West said that his understanding of the contract was that it was a three-way agreement to open up the swimming area. The plans would have to be approved by KDWPT and Evergy.
West said the county would be asking an engineer about erosion control and planning on safety and then it will be brought back to the commission for approval.
“Taking a step away from my biologist job, you really need to be promoting what you have,” said George. “You’ve got a fantastic area up there that needs some new ideas.”
George that creating a rock climbing area for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) would be a draw. He said there were thousands of trailers that go by Linn County to Bourbon County to do rock climbing. George said he did not see that in the contract.
County Counselor Gary Thompson said that Evergy specifically did not want the county to have an ATV area in the park.
West said that the land manager for Evergy was not in favor of including ATVs in the contract.
Does that one person have the power to do that if we came together as a county, asked George. If you sign that, does that prevent the county from going back and trying to do trails later.
George also pointed out that the Linn County Park Lake was one of the best bass fishing lakes in the Midwest. He said that Linn County does not promote that.
Thompson told the commissioners in very general terms that the county had the possibility of entering into the contract as it stands and requesting amendments to it later or refusing to enter into it as it stands and taking the chance of losing what the county has.