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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

KDOT grant may stop county plans to sell airport

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

The Linn County Commission hopes to be able to sell the Linn County Airport, however, a grant from KDOT may force the county to keep the airport until about 2019. (Journal file photo)

By Charlene Sims, Journal staff

MOUND CITY – The Linn County Commission’s plan to sell the county-owned airport may have hit a snag. According to Airport Manager Jessica Hightower the last she had heard from the airport division at the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) was that they were checking into it.

Hightower said that in her last conversation, they said that the county might have to keep it as a public access airport for 10 years after the last Kansas Airport Improvement Program (KAIP) grant they received in 2019.

Hightower had asked KDOT if there was a way that the county could write it in a sales contract that the new owners would have to keep the airport open until 2029 or what other options might be available. The KDOT representative was checking into that with their legal division.

She said it might be possible to pay back a prorated amount of that money. The total of the funding on the last payment was $200,000. She said she would follow up with KDOT this week.

In other business, the commissioners

• Learned in an email from Linn County Health Department Director Amanda Snyder that the health department had 423 patient contacts in April. Outreach services were provided at the Jayhawk USD 346 in service day last week.

• Listened to concerns of Mike Ernst, who owns property south of Linn Valley, that Linn Valley is trying to annex additional property. The commissioners said that they had not heard this. Commissioner Jason Hightower said that Linn Valley had a lot of projects going on, but he had not heard anything about annexation.

County Counselor Gary Thompson told Ernst that Linn Valley could do it, but if the property owners are opposed to it there are several steps the city will have to go through. There are restrictions on what they do and how they do it.

Thompson said that he and the commission have not heard anything about it.

• Approved the finalization of the contract with MeeMaw’s owners to purchase the restaurant building on a 2-to-1 vote. Commissioner Jim Johnson voted against the purchase.

• Approved the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) mapping software renewal fee in the amount of $27,500 and set a yearly subscription rate of $150 for access to the secure portal. The amount for the renewal is in the GIS budget.

• Approved a conditional-use permit (CUP) requested by Samantha Mills for a commercial kitchen at 16651 County Road 1095, La Cygne. The planning and zoning board recommended it for approval with an 8-0 vote.

The condition is the use shall be operated as proposed with the conditions of all local and state licensing completed within five months and copies turned into the planning and zoning director.

• Approved a rezoning from agricultural to agricultural/residential for the purpose of dividing the property for Teresa Tibbets located north of 1000 Road and Gwynn for the purpose of dividing the land for sale. The planning commission recommended approval of the change on an 8-0 vote.

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