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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission hears plan to add Shawnee County to solid waste authority

By Charlene Sims,

MOUND CITY – On Tuesday, Feb. 20, the Linn County Commissioners discussed next week’s public hearing on the five-year plan for the Lake Region Solid Waste Authority (LRSWA). The hearing is to take place on Monday, Feb. 26, at 11 a.m.

County Clerk David Lamb explained that in the past week he had received information that the LRSWA had decided to add Shawnee County to the organization. Currently there are six counties: Linn, Coffey, Franklin, Osage, Miami, and Anderson.

Public Works Director Shaun West told the commissioners that Shawnee County was wanting some help with its comprehensive plan. Shawnee County, which includes the state capitol Topeka, has a much larger population than other members of the group. He said there was quite a bit of work done with the LRSWA board in order to assure the other members that a large entity isn’t going to consume a lot of staff and board time.

West said that Shawnee County’s intention, and the way that it was proposed to county representatives, is that their buy-in and desire to be a part of the authority is for the comprehensive plan part of it. The county already have plans and programs in place for the rest of its programs.Their interest is in moving the comprehensive plan through the state like every other entity in the groups.

He said that the LRSWA Regional Coordinator Shay Hanysak has the wherewithal to help them and assist them with that.

West said they also bring, for grant purposes, a larger area or region to the group so it both benefits the authority’s current six counties and the authority benefits Shawnee County. However, it’s not a position where there is a large group consuming a smaller group.

Lamb said that part of what Shawnee County needs from the LRSWA is interlocal and memorandums of understanding. He said that the LRSWA was asking the current member counties to approve three agreements. 

West said that Hanysak will give the same explanation of this move with a few more details. He said that Shawnee County’s interest was in solely one part of the program but they bring a larger population to the table, which may assist the LRSWA in other areas and benefit the group as a whole.

The commissioners decided to wait until Hanysak was at Linn County next week before voting to approve the agreements.

In other business, the commissioners

• Heard the Linn County Treasurer’s fourth quarter interest and delinquent tax report from County Clerk David Lamb. Lamb reported that the interest earned in the fourth quarter of 2023 was more than $38,700, and for the whole year of 2023 it was nearly $245,300.

Lamb reported that the delinquent real estate taxes were nearly  $1.15 million and the delinquent personal property taxes were more than $26,400. 

  • Learned from Information Technology (IT) Director Chris Martin that the new radio system was nearly done. He said all the hardware has been installed and the radios in all the trucks have all been programmed. Martin also reported that the camera was installed in the annex so that the back of the room could be on video. It shows up in a corner of the screen.

• Heard from Martin that while he had been having good luck with Evergy’s customer service about finding out information on the former jail’s electric bill, he had not received other information he needed from Evergy’s field people. He said that he would work to get that information in the days ahead.

• Allowed West to spend up to $5,230 for mechanical gasket and axle repairs for 2016 John Deere grader. 

• Approved repairs for the landfill track loader up to $19,000  after hearing from Rodney Warren from Foley Equipment. 

• Heard from West that the new Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) Director of Aviation will be attending the March 4 commission meeting to answer questions that the county has. 

• Received a bid from Overhead Door of more than $6,700 to repair the south bay door at the south shop. West said that top and intermediate sections of the door would be replaced as well as some angle iron added. 

Commissioner McCullough said he thought the bill was too high. West said that in dealing with other companies about doors, many companies thought the distance was a problem. 

West said he will see if he can get other bids.

• Took no action on an application request from Pleasanton for the county to work on a gravel road, Magnolia Street from 10th Street to Park Street.

McCullough reminded the commissioners that they had decided to not accept applications for assistance until the county road work is caught up. 

• Approved a resolution designating the following as surplus property a refrigerant reclaiming device and a electrical circuit tester kit that was missing parts. 

West said that he would keep the tester in his office for awhile in case the parts were found. 

• Heard two bids for servicing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units at county locations that do not already have a service contract. The first bid was an annual amount of $6,543 from Myrick Mechanical. This bid could also be paid in quarterly installments of $1,636.

The other bid was from Webber Heating and Cooling had two options. One for semi-annual servicing, $75 per unit for a total annual cost of $3,900. The second option was for quarterly servicing at $60 per unit or an annual cost of $6,240.

West will qualify the bids and bring them back to the commissioners next Monday. 

• Learned that only one bid had been received for roofing the shelter house at the Linn County Park with a metal roof. The bid from Roofing Force also included two options, one for a metal roof directly over the current shingles for $19,589 and the second option was for metal roofing over 1-by-4-inch battens over the shingles at $20,809. The commissioners will decide next week when county construction contractor Randy Page is there.

• Requested an update and deadline for the new Pleasanton Senior Center completion. McCullough expressed his frustration over the amount of time that it was taking. 

• Heard from Jay Allen, director of the Southeastern Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) about how money was being spent and where large donations were coming from.

• Asked for a sign-up sheet at the Solar Public Forum on March 4. The sheet will ask information including name, address, resident, landowner, and whether the person is for or against solar farms.

• Heard from solar opponents Jason Cahill, Alison Hamilton, and Amanda Reed during the public comment session.

• Heard from Linn County resident Stephanie Walker about a proposed quarry that has not passed the planning and zoning board yet. Walker asked at what point does the planning board and commissioners decide that this application should not go through. She pointed out that 80% of the landowners within 1,000 feet were at the hearing. 

• Approved reduced dumping fees for James Kerr 307 S. Seventh St., Mound City; City of Pleasanton for Sheri Johnson at 200 W. First St.; and the city of Pleasanton for Mary Sylvester at 107 E. 13th St. 

• Approved for West to go out for bids for a road tractor for the south shop, fuel, tires, and culverts. 

• Approved a surplus proposal budget of $5,000 for Terracon as they work with the state on revisions for the CD landfill.

• Had a discussion with West about making the courthouse doors more Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible. West had a bid from CDL for more than $9,600 to make some of the doors easier to operate. He will look at other companies suggested by the commissioners.

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