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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County, Evergy closer to renewing lease for park

The Linn County Commission on Monday discussed details of a lease renewal for Linn County Park with Evergy, which owns the La Cygne Generating Station. (Journal file photo)

MOUND CITY – On Monday, Nov. 28, Public Works Director Shaun West updated the Linn County Commission on a proposed lease for Linn County Park.

West went over the working copy of the proposed lease for the park with Evergy. He pointed out that some of the changes that the county is asking for involve Evergy and Kansas Wildlife and Parks. Wildlife and Parks holds the lease on the lake. West said any changes that will affect the shoreline or water usage will require working with both entities.

West said that he plans on bring in Kansas Wildlife Biologist Don George to go over the lease with the commission before sending it back.

For the first time, Evergy seems agreeable to having a swimming area in the lake. James said that he thinks that is a big step for the park and will increase attendance a lot.

The county had asked about having utility task vehicles (UTVs) and golf carts off road but Evergy was not receptive to that and did not put anything in the contract. Right now, UTVs and golf carts are allowed on the roadways and roadways only with a yearly park pass or permit.

Horseback riding trails are in the contract. West said that right now a person is clearing the trail system with their own time, money and equipment.

James said that he thought the contract should be returned with the suggested amendments and changes. This is the first time a swimming area has been considered.

West then reported the county has now taken possession and control of the caretakers’s house and he will be cleaning it out and doing inventory to see what damages there are and what repairs are needed.

West said there were multiple options for the uses of the house. It could continue to be a rental property, a weekend rental, or an Airbnb rental.

West then presented the park fee changes for 2023 and they were approved by the commission.

West said that camping hookups will be raised $1 and for right now and there will be no change for the cabins or shelters.

Daily parking passes will go up from $3 to $4. Yearly parking passes for out of county residents will change from $25 to $30. For Linn County residents, the cost will go from $15 to $20. A second parking pass will increase from $6 to $7.

Camping with no hookup will go from $9 to $10. Camping with 30 amp electrical service will increase from $14 to $15. Camping with 30 amp service and water will increase from $15 to $16. And camping with 30 amp service, water and sewer will go up from $16 to $17.

Camping with 50 amp service and water will change from $17 to $18. Camping with 50 amp service, water and sewer will go from $18 to $19.

Camping with an additional tent on site changes from $6 to $7. Camping with an additional vehicle will go from $3 to $4.

The small shelter houses will stay at $40 per day. Daily large shelter house rates will stay at $50. The cabins will stay at $50 daily. The boat slip will go from $3 to $4 after it is repaired.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Adopted a policy letter for county committee policies and member term limits.

• Broke a three-way tie for Scott Township Clerk between Robert Burns, Hollie Breedlove, and Jim Hendershot. Each candidate had three votes. The three names were put on slips of paper in a cup and Commission Chair Jim Johnson drew the winner: Robert Burns.

• Received the October Cost Summary by Task for the Public Works Department.

• Voted not to use the buy-back program for maintainers. Public Works Director Shaun West reported that he recommended not taking advantage of the buy-back program. West told the commissioners that the buy-back amount for each maintainer was $115,000. The cost for a new maintainer is $380,000 to $420,000. West recommended not using the buy-back program so other older equipment could be replaced.

• Continued last week’s discussion about the Zenor Road bridge. Commissioner McCullough said that he thought the road should be vacated because it does not go anywhere except in the wildlife area. West is looking at that option but wants to work with the United States Wildlife to make sure that vacating the road would not hurt the wildlife’s area chance of getting a grant.

• Approved reduced/waived dumping fees for a property located at 11433 Thomas Road owned by James Higgins.

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