Commissioners seek to lighten work load for maintenance staff

Updated: Feb 1

MOUND CITY – Linn County maintenance supervisor Rick Castle met with the Linn County commissioners on Tuesday, Jan.18, to update them on projects and talk about plans for the future.

Castle told the commissioners that he would like to get a snow blade to put on the front of a four-wheel drive pickup and he thought he would check with them before getting bids.,

Castle said that often the county trucks do not get to the courthouse and annex before employees start coming to work, and this would help him to clean off the parking lots there, at the new justice center, senior centers, and fire stations.

He told them that the lawn mower that he uses for the courthouse, senior centers, road barns and fire departments had 1,300 hours on it. He asked if, while the county was purchasing one for the park, if they could go ahead and purchase two.

Castle told the commissioners that the roof of the house at the park needed to be replaced. He said that work also needed to be done on the basement there.

The maintenance supervisor said that while the cabins at the park had been remodeled on the outside, they still needed new roofs. He suggested putting metal roofs on them.

He said that he also needed to purchase some new electric pedestals for the park because some had been damaged. He also told them that the underground wiring for the pedestals was aluminum and needed to be replaced in some areas. He said that he had already replaced some.

Castle reported that the steeple on the courthouse needed work because there was some rotten wood. Commissioner Danny McCullough said that there were also some structural issues with the brick wall.

He told the commissioners he had been helping to keep the senior centers clean. He said that he has been trying to help with cleaning up the glue that keeps coming out from between the tiles on the Parker Senior Center floor.

Castle reported that his assistant Danny Nation had been mowing and painting. They had done the painting at the ambulance barn in La Cygne.

Commissioner Rick James said maybe they could eliminate the mowing issue completely by hiring someone on contract. McCullough said that maintenance and janitorial should also be separate.

Linn County Counselor Gary Thompson said another option might be having someone on staff as a mower employee or contractor. They would be covered by the county insurance.

James said that would take the mowing burden off of that department.

Castle also suggested renting out the lake house, formerly the living quarters for the park supervisor, to families staying at the lake. As an alternative, he said in the past the commissioners had talked about having a deputy who could check on the lake live there.

Castle asked if he would be putting in two new condenser units at the Pleasanton congregate meals site. McCullough is still working on where the site will be.

Castle said that he would be helping Information Technology Director Chris Martin move equipment into the Linn County Justice Center.

The commissioners decided to have Castle get bids for the snow blade. Castle will bring a list of places that the county is responsible for cleaning and mowing as well as which of those places is already being done by someone besides the maintenance department.

Commissioners can then look for people to mow and clean those places the maintenance staff currently does.

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