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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County appraiser plans to retire at the end of September

By Charlene Sims, Journal staff

MOUND CITY – Linn County Appraiser Kathy Bridges will be stepping down from her post at the end of September.

The Linn County Commissioners accepted Bridges’ letter of retirement following a 15-minute closed-door session during the commission’s meeting on Monday, Aug. 21. Her retirement will be effective Sept. 28.

Following the vote, Commissioner Jason Hightower thanked Bridges for her service.

The appraiser, who worked at the Wyandotte County Appraiser’s office before being hired by Linn County on July 1, 2021, took the place of long-time county appraiser Steve Thompson following his retirement.

During her two-year tenure with Linn County, Bridges (photo at right) has had to deal with skyrocketing housing and land values in the county during the COVID pandemic.

That led to increased valuations on all properties and in many cases increased property taxes, which in turn led to criticism and more people filing tax appeals.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Learned from Information Technology (IT) Director Chris Martin that the county would be able to access the discount rate from the training offered by KnowBe4 for a three-year contract and the county would be able to pay yearly for it.

• Were asked whether they wanted to move forward with the tower take down at the old jail. Martin is trying to schedule it when the tower company is in Linn County working on installing radio equipment on the towers. They decided to wait until Commission Chair Danny McCullough was back, because he was still checking on some information about this.

• Approved spending up to $45,000 for remodeling the old district court building. Public Works Director Shaun West said that the quote of $36,510 for the remodeling includes the electrical and the fiber. The commissioners approved this with a unanimous vote. McCullough was out of town but was attending by telephone.

• Learned from West that the project for assistance in cleaning the parking lot at the STARS building was completed and went well. McCullough said that he had thought the cost could be in the $40,000 to $60,000 range. County Clerk David Lamb said that he had put $60,000 in the budget for it.

• Learned that the fourth compactor container box was being repaired and welded for $5,000. West said that he is being told that there are still three that need to be reconditioned after this one. West said if they do all seven, that will bring the cost up to about $35,000. West said that it costs $10,000 to build a new one. Hightower and Johnson said to go ahead and get them repaired as prices will probably continue to go up.

• Approved a resolution to place a stop sign on the southeast corner of the intersection of Vernon and 1250 Road for the northbound traffic.

• Approved West putting an ad in the paper for an operator and driver for the north and south shops and a part-time driver for the transportation department.

• Heard from Darin Wilson, county sanitation inspector, that the baskets had been placed successfully at the Centerville sewer district several months ago. However, a pump recently went down and he replaced it with a spare pump. He told the commissioners that rebuilding the pump would cost about $1,850 in the worst-case scenario. A new pump would cost $3,000. Wilson said he would like to start a maintenance plan of refurbishing each pump. Lamb said there was money in the budget for this.

• Heard from Commissioner Jim Johnson that the bus driver at Centerville had reported that the city has not been mowed and there were weeds around guardrails and signage in the area.

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