By Charlene Sims, email@example.com
MOUND CITY – On Monday, Feb. 5, two Linn County Commissioners approved bids for improvements to the health department that were paid for by COVID grants. Commissioner Jim Johnson voted against both improvements.
Commission Chair Jason Hightower and Commissioner Danny McCullough voted for remodeling the unfinished back part of the health department into a classroom. The bid was from Randy Page, the county’s contracted construction manager, for nearly $40,000.
Page will knock out a wall in the existing kitchen to incorporate it into the classroom area, add other walls and electrical fixtures. The other bid for the project, nearly of $40,500, was received from Fresh Start Remodel from Amsterdam, Mo.
The health department frequently offers classes on healthcare topics, including prenatal care and breastfeeding, that requires a classroom. Commissioners had looked at using the unfinished portion of the building to replace the Pleasanton Senior Center before the former café building on Main Street was purchased for that purpose.
The second bid approved was from Charles Bauer for just over $8,800 to remodel the health department receptionist area so two people could sit in there when necessary. The project was not bid out because of the lower amount and Public Health Department Director Amanda Snyder had requested that Bauer do the work so that the cabinetry would match the rest of the building. Bauer did the cabinets for the rest of the health department building when it was built.
Snyder reported to the commissioners that women, infant and children (WIC) program numbers had increased by 16 participants in the month of January.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Learned that the economic development committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 6, was cancelled. The next meeting will be on March 5 at 8 a.m. at the 4-H Building.
• Approved planning commission members to attend meetings by Zoom and be allowed to vote.
• Heard a motion from McCullough to reopen the Commission District No. 2 Road and Bridge shop. The motion died for lack of a second.
• Approved the bid of more than $5,700 by JRK Welding for the repair of a trash container that was badly damaged on top. The county had previously agreed to $5,000 per container, but the company has repaired others at the price range of $4,600 to $5,200. The most recent one had to have a 12-foot section of the roof replaced.
• Heard from Public Works Director Shaun West that he and Planning and Zoning Director Darin Wilson had met with Brad Aust about the feedlot operation and discussed mitigation. West said that he would bring more information next week.
• Heard from Johnson that he had been approached by a Heritage John Deere salesman about leasing equipment. Johnson will ask the salesman to come to the commission meeting.
• Asked West to check into training for maintainer operators.
• Learned that the new van for the transportation department has not been delivered yet.
• Heard from solar opponent Mark Briggs about his concerns about county staff. Briggs recommended that County Clerk David Lamb be made accountable for fulfilling his job and supplying the solar opponents with the numerous Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) requests they have submitted, that the county hire a legal counsel that has fewer opinions and more legal facts, and that Commissioner Hightower resign immediately due to conflict of interest of his wife working in the office that he controls directly.
Clearway Energy Group representative Barry Matchett discussed the questions that were asked by the commission last week. However, the discussion was sidetracked when McCullough asked if installation of solar farms near the power plant would prevent individual land owners from benefitting from installing small scale solar in the future. He was assured that it would not.