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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission warming to idea of reusing former jail building

MOUND CITY – Demolish the former sheriff’s office and jail in Mound City or repurpose the building now that both the sheriff and jail are now in the recently completed Justice Center?

That question received more discussion on Monday, Feb. 13, during the Linn County Commission’s regular meeting. While part of the plan was to demolish the building once the Justice Center was complete, Sheriff Kevin Friend made a convincing argument to keep the building during a commission discuss the week before.

Commission Chair Danny McCullough said that he had done research over the weekend about the costs of keeping the building. He said that everyone he talked to wanted to keep the building.

However, he said, he had concerns that it would end up costing the county more money money.

Commissioner Jim Johnson said the commission has started in the right direction by seeing what can be done with the building.

In other business, the commission

• Approved moving Daniel Parsons from the equipment operator to mechanic in the north shop. His new position will pay $18.33 per hour.

• Hired Enve McDaniel as an operator/driver for the south shop at the pay of $15.63 per hour.

• Appointed Darin Wilson to the employee sick leave bank board.

• Learned that Lauren Edwards had been hired as the county clerk office assistant at the pay of $16.97 per hour.

• Reviewed the January report from the Linn County Park. The income for January was $14,937 and the expenditures were $35,019, making a loss of $20,081 for the month. Those expenditures do not include personnel costs.The expenses for the park were high because the annual KCAMP insurance premium of $5,569 was paid, two months of electrical were paid to Evergy in the amount of $2,114 and a water leak caused the water bill to Linn County Rural Water District No. 1 to be $1,911.

• Learned from Planning and Zoning Administrator Darin Wilson that James Kaup, the attorney hired to complete new zoning regulations, met with County Counselor Gary Thompson last week.

Wilson says that Kaup expects to have a public hearing in April for the zoning regulations before they are approved by planning board and then come before the commissioners.

Thompson told the commissioners that Kaup has added special zoning districts for the lake communities and the unincorporated cities.

• Met with Undersheriff Bobby Johnson to update him on the progress of his request for changing holiday pay and sick leave for the sheriff’s staff that works 12 hour shifts and holidays. Commissioners and Thompson told Johnson that while they agreed with the holiday pay proposal, they were still working on the adjustment that needed to be made for sick leave for employees that work 12-hour shifts.

•Learned from Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower that the Safe Streets for All grant for $1 million was awarded to the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission (SEKRPC). The matching portion for Linn County is $1,500, but she said that match may be covered by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and the county will not have to pay for it at all.

She said that there will be a $1 million street study of the southeast Kansas region over the next two years.

Thompson told the commissioners it was to do a study of the roads to determine which ones were not safe.

• Approved paying about $30,300 to Pomp’s Tire Service for the purchase of 50 tires. Other bids were from Conlan Tire for $35,0008 and Goodyear for $36,200. Jessica Hightower said the shop foremen recommended the purchase from Pomp’s.

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