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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County misses out on first round of moderate-income grant

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Darcy Wilson, far right, Linn County's Rural Housing Champion, meets with other rural champions at Topeka last week. The group met with Lt. Gov. David Toland during the the day. (Submitted photo)

MOUND CITY – Linn County Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower updated the commissioners on projects in her department on Monday, April 10.

Hightower reported to the commissioners that the county did not receive the moderate income housing (MIH) grant this round. She told the commissioners that the Kansas Housing Corporation (KHC) announced that they are doing a whole new program with moderate-income housing and she said she was very interested in it.

There are a couple of workshops that the KHC are putting on about the MIH grant. They are about the application process and how best to fill that out. She said that she and Rural Housing Champion Darcy Wilson are looking into that and will rework the county’s application for the next round of grants.

The MIH grant would have helped the county bring a developer or developers to build homes throughout the county. The county would have matched the $650,000 grant with $100,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

In another development, Hightower told the commissioners that the county received 19 Youth Employment grant applications. She said the Economic Development Committee would look at them and score them next week. Then, the next week she will bring them in front of the commissioners. Hightower said the county gives out 10 grants every year.

Hightower told the commissioners that the county’s mowing contractor, Scarecrow Farm Lawn Care, asked her if the commissioners wanted them to seed or sod the area around the Justice Center. The commissioners approved her getting an estimate for seeding from Scarecrow.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Agreed to end next week’s meeting at the landfill to discuss issues there.

• Learned that Sheridan Township Treasurer Maggie Griffith was resigning and Sheridan Township officer Karen Springer has agreed to take the position but that leaves a vacancy on the Sheridan Township Board. Commissioners appointed Karen Springer as Sheridan Township Treasurer.

• Reviewed the monthly park report. The March receipts were $16,859 and the expenditures were $27,284. Year-to-date expenditures are $46, 339 and expenditures are $75,444.

County Clerk David Lamb pointed out that looking at the past years’ reports, the county could expect the income to start going up in April and increase through the rest of the season. Typically for the summer the income exceeds expenses.

• Hired Kris Wharton as a probationary firefighter at the Mound City fire station.

• Learned that Public Works Director Shaun West will be installing drainage pipe around the front of the courthouse to protect the gardens that are being planted there.

• Learned from West that the road crew foremen have asked that, instead of replacing two backhoes, the county look into buying two small track hoes.

• Heard from West that he soon should have the estimates for the proposed transfer station floor project.

• Approved the Commission Chair Danny McCullough to sign land leases for hay and farm ground. The leases were signed with Umphenour Farms for the hay ground at the Linn County Airport and with Chad Gorman for the farm ground near the landfill.

• Agreed to have Kansas Wildlife and Parks Don George place a trailer at the Linn County Park. The aquatic trailer would be for cleaning equipment that might be used on the Linn County Park Lake to prevent contaminating the lake with zebra mussels.

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