County comprehensive plan open house draws modest audience

Updated: Apr 9

La Cygne-area resident Paul Porter, from left, and county comprehensive plan committee members Richard Morrell and Hal Aggers discuss the proposed plan while Tina Aggers reads a chart outlining county development goals. (Photos by Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)

MOUND CITY – Linn County Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower reported to the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, March 28, that the Comprehensive Plan Open House attendance was not as good as she had hoped.

Hightower said that there were 35 people in attendance, 23 members of the public and 12 committee members.

However, Hightower told the commission that Jennifer Reinhardt from the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) the company developing the new comprehensive plan had a really good presentation and there were some good discussions. She said that the comprehensive plan should be finished by the end of June.

The presentation can be viewed online at the county’s website.

Hightower told the commissioners that due to the high number of applicants for the Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) grant, around 300, the Kansas Department of Commerce needed more time evaluating the grants. She said they will probably be awarded in 10 days.

Hightower wrote a $1.4 million grant for the county to certify its industrial park at Pleasanton. If received, the grant will be matched with $490,000 from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

The BASE grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce is offering $100 million in COVID-19 relief funding for eligible economic development and infrastructure proposals.

Attendees at the open house were encouraged to place a sticker on issues they believed were the most important, and objective D.2.1 under land development received by far the most stickers at 25. That objective was: "Update zoning regulations to include design review for industrial wind turbine and commercial solar array in limited zoning districts."

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