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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County treasurer pushes for door, courthouse step repair

Updated: May 8

By Charlene Sims,

MOUND CITY – Linn County Treasurer Janet Kleweno challenged the Linn County Commission on Monday, April 22, to press for the installation of an automatic door and make immediate repairs to the steps and wheelchair ramp on the south side of the courthouse building. She also reported on the 2024 first quarter interest earnings.

The current entry door on the south side of the building is set to be replaced with one that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition to asking when the door was going to be installed, she said she was concerned about a dip in front of the door that needed to be repaired.

She said that people in wheelchairs have gotten stuck in the dip and have needed help to get in the building. 

Public Works Director Shaun West said that the original bid had been for ADA automatic doors on both the courthouse and the former district court building, which came in at around $9,000 to $10,000 for the doors and installation. 

“I think this is necessary,” said Kleweno about the ADA door and the concrete repair of the dip in front of the doorway.

Kleweno said the whole stairway needed to be redone.

West said that there were several chips on the stairway and the stairs and top all needed to be done at one time.

Kleweno said she would like to see the commissioners go ahead and hire the company that West had received a bid from for the door.

West said only one company had bid on the door project.

He said he would get a quote for just the one door by the next commission meeting, and Commissioner Danny McCullough said he would work with West on getting a bid from a company for the concrete.

On a financial note, Kleweno reported the banking account balances for the county last year at this time was nearly $1.6 million with interest of nearly $9,000 earned. This year the balance is almost $2.4 million and the interest earned is more than $9,700.

She told the commissioners that last year the county had almost $18.6 million in certificates of deposit (CDs) and earned almost $36,700 in interest. This year there is more than $19.6 million in CDs that have earned almost $182,000 in interest.

 In other business, commissioners:

• Certified the invoice to the state for the $12,050 reimbursement of direct costs for the Presidential Preference Primary.

• Approved the policy for use of the notification system presented by Information Technology (IT) Director Chris Martin.

• Learned from  West that one of the seasonal mowers was starting to mow today. West said that this year was one of the first times that all seasonal mower positions were going to be filled.

• West reported that he and Public Works Assistant Director Jessica Hightower met with other representatives from the Lake Region Solid Waste Authority in Topeka and then toured a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility.

West said that they will be reviewing policies and procedures for HHW. He also said that they had learned about available grant funding and will continue to look at that funding as the county needs to use those funds.

  • Learned from West that the county’s on-call engineering company had completed plans for the county’s solid waste project and will be setting up a time to meet with the commissioners. 

• Opened asphalt bids for 5.5 miles of Wall Street Road, and West will take them back to be qualified with asphalt foreman Tod Moeller. They were just over $689,000 from Killough Construction and nearly $607,700 from Bettis Asphalt.

• Heard from West that Linn County Park Manager Sheri Loveland had found an online reservation service that might be able to interface with the campsite reservation system.

McCullough asked why the county was not listing all of the cabins on Airbnb. 

West said that his understanding was that it took more manpower for the housekeeping and right now, the county was losing the cabin housekeeper. He suggested it might be better to get a new housekeeper hired and working before renting out all the cabins on Airbnb.

McCullough brought up the people living permanently at the park which he had questioned at several other meetings. He asked why they lived in the most desirable area of the park when that area would be good for people visiting the park.

West said that area of the park was the only area that had sewage lines to the lagoon. Since they lived there permanently it would be difficult for them move their campers when they needed to empty sewage. For temporary campers, it is no problem for them to drive their camper over to the lagoon waste site. 

• Learned from West that the lagoon project has been completed by A-1 Sewer and Septic. He said that 190 loads, or 3,600 cubic yards, of sludge removed from the  three cells was placed on 16 acres of farm ground. He reported that all parties seemed to be pleased.

• Learned from West that the move for the appraiser’s office and GIS/Mapping Department into the former district court building has been completed. West said that the punch list for completion of the that building project will be completed after the Pleasanton Senior Center is finished.

• Discussed what was left to do on the building for the Pleasanton Senior Center. Commissioner Danny McCullough said that the seniors “have been waiting too long” to move into this building. Commission Chair Jason Hightower said he agreed with McCullough that it was taking too long.

West said that as soon as the kitchen was finished, students from the Southeast Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) would finish the floor and the rest was up to the county to finish.

McCullough questioned whether some of the money from the sale of the other senior building could be used to hire contractors to speed up the work.

• Met with attorney Forrest Rhodes of the firm Foulston Siekin by telephone in executive session. 

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