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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County hires interim appraiser as former appraiser retires

Updated: Nov 3

MOUND CITY – On Monday, Sept. 25, the Linn County Commissioners hired Lisa Kellstadt as the interim appraiser for up to six weeks to take the place of Kathy Bridges, who resigned her post effective Friday, Sept. 29.

Bridges said in a separate interview on Tuesday, Sept. 26, that she is retiring from working as a public servant but starting a new career in a different enterprise.

Bridges, who came to Linn County from Wyandotte County and has professional credentials as an appraiser, said that she never intended to make being an appraiser a career choice and was looking forward to leaving behind the constant criticism of the public for following state mandates.

The county appraiser’s office has come under more intense criticism since 2020 – essentially the same time period that Bridges has been county appraiser – as market values of property in Linn County has soared by as much as 40%.

Bridges said state statutes require that the appraisal value is within 10% of the market value of the home.

Kellstadt, who is presently employed in the appraiser’s office, will make a salary of $32.18 per hour.

County Clerk David Lamb will send a copy of the resolution appointing her as interim appraiser to the state property values department this afternoon for their approval.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Hired Nicole Browne as a part-time transportation driver at the wage of $14.48 per hour.

• Received information from Public Works Director Shaun West about a proposal of $5,000 from Pfefferkorn Engineering and Environmental LLC, the county’s contracted engineering company, for design services for Queens Road in the wildlife area where the road embankment is failing. The commission did not take any action.

Commissioner Jim Johnson asked if Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) was offering any money to help with the engineering study.

Commission Chair Danny McCullough questioned spending money and county employees time on a stretch of road that did not have any landowner’s on it. But, it was brought up that landowners in that area use that road to reach their property.

West will ask the KDWP representative to come in and answer questions.

• Received a request from West about the county helping with installing kitchen cabinets, sinks and counter tops in the 4-H building at the fairgrounds. He said the Mound City office of the Marais des Cygne Extension service office will donate cabinets that were being torn out of the Extension office.

West said that the present kitchen and cabinets at the 4-H building were very dated.

He said he did not know what the cost would be.

Johnson said all the commissioners needed to know was how much it was going to cost.

West said he would bring Abbie Powell from the Extension office in to answer questions.

• Learned from West that Terracon Consultants Inc. estimates that the Linn County C & D landfill has about 6.6 years of capacity remaining. West said that if the level of the existing cells is raised, the capacity could go up to 10 years. The commission discussed other issues with the solid waste, including the city compactor sites, a new tipping floor, options for other locations to take the trash, and landfill fees. No action was taken.

• Learned from County Counselor Gary Thompson that the attorney’s report about Tanglewood Lakes is virtually ready. They are just waiting on information from the county attorney’s office.

• Heard a report from West that a private donor is willing to donate a boat slip to the Linn County Park for free. The commission did not take any actions on this proposal. The replacement cost of a similar boat slip would be $45,000 to $60,000. Commissioner Jason Hightower and McCullough both said they were interested in it for the park.

• Heard an update on how county building remodeling (STARS) students are working on the new senior center in Pleasanton and Randy Page is working on the interior at the former judicial center.

• Discussed what to do with the former sheriff’s office/jail. Hightower said that he thinks the county should keep the building for when other departments either want to expand or move out of the courthouse. He said if the county is not going to use it, they should sell it.

McCullough said that he was not in favor of keeping the building. Johnson said that he was concerned about the mold in the building. No action was taken by the commissioners.

• Approved entering into a memorandum of understanding between Linn County and Bates County for the maintenance of two State Line road bridges. West said Missouri does the maintenance and the inspections. The memorandum formalizes the verbal agreement for the state.

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