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News & Updates 
from Linn County Government

May 2016

Linn County receives financial reporting award for 27th consecutive year

Linn County was recently awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada for the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. This is the 27th consecutive year Linn County has received this recognition.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

The CAFR review panel includes GFOA staff and reviewers with expertise in public sector financial reporting. The review panel determined Linn County’s CAFR met the high standards of the program including demonstrating the spirit of transparency and full disclosure. 

Graphic of tax dollars by service area - total of 42 dollars and 79 cents per month based on a $150,000 home

Linn County to hold outreach meeting on new Public Health and Child Development building

Linn County will hold the first of a series of community outreach meetings regarding the County’s new building for Public Health and Child & Youth Development Services on May 25 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at Horizons, A Family Service Alliance, 819 5th St. SE, Cedar Rapids. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

The purpose of the community outreach meetings is to engage the public in discussion about how the new building can be a neighborhood asset and to help ensure the building’s design and function fit the context of the historic neighborhood that includes the New Bohemia District and Oak Hill Jackson neighborhood.

The meeting will include a presentation by OPN, the architectural firm selected by the Linn County Board of Supervisors to provide architectural services for the new building.

The new building will be located on county-owned property at 1019 7th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, the former site of Options of Linn County. 

Linn County announces newly revised five-year strategic plan

Linn County has approved a newly revised five-year strategic plan focused on:

  • customer satisfaction
  • high quality of life
  • financial health
These three strategic outcomes will guide the work of the County and be part of policy and budgetary decisions for the next five fiscal years (2017-2021). The strategic plan is part of Linn County's cultural transformation to become more customer-centered.

Linn County accepting applications for economic development funds

The Linn County Board of Supervisors is now accepting applications from organizations seeking economic development funding from Linn County. The economic development fund is used to enhance the quality of life throughout Linn County by fostering and supporting economic growth.

Applications are due Monday, June 27, 2016. Application information can be found on Linn County’s website

Early voting underway for primary elections

Early, absentee voting is now underway for the June 7 primary elections. A voter must declare a party before being issued a ballot. To “declare,” a voter simply needs to indicate, on an absentee ballot request form or at the polls, which party’s ballot they want. A voter cannot be issued a ballot from each party.

Voting In-Person
Individuals may vote in-person at the Election Services Department of the Auditor’s Office at the Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.to 5 p.m.

Voting by Mail
Voters may also request to have an absentee ballot mailed to them. These voters may return their ballot by mail or hand-deliver their ballot to the Election Services Department. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before June 6.

For complete election information for Linn County, visit www.LinnCountyElections.org.

July 1 deadline to file for homestead, military, disabled veterans homestead and business property tax credit

Property owners are reminded that the deadline for applying for the 2016 Homestead Property Tax Credit, Disabled Veteran Homestead Tax Credit, Military Exemption as well as the Business Property Tax Credit is July 1, 2016. Applications received after that date will be considered an application for the 2017 credit.

Property owners outside the Cedar Rapids city boundaries may apply at the Linn County Assessor’s Office located at the Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit the Linn County Assessor’s website.

Cedar Rapids property owners should apply at the Cedar Rapids City Assessor’s Office at 500 15th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or visit the Cedar Rapids City Assessor’s website.

Updated community resource sheets now available

Community resource sheets have been updated for 2016 and are now available on Linn County’s website. The resource sheets provide basic information on assistance available locally for residents in the areas of:

  • affordable housing
  • food assistance
  • transportation
  • healthcare
  • and more.
Many of the programs and services listed have eligibility guidelines or criteria. The information is intended to be a starting point to help individuals and families attain the assistance they need to stabilize their situations and ultimately become more self-sufficient.
Blue Courage logo

Linn County Sheriff’s Office employees to receive Blue Courage training

Linn County Sheriff’s Office personnel recently started participating in a two-day Blue CourageThe Heart and Mind of the Guardian” workshop designed to create a culture of respect and resilience in the law enforcement environment. It collectively builds the spirit of community engagement by increasing dedication, productivity, collaboration, and community trust and respect.

While the program was specifically developed for sworn law enforcement personnel, the projected benefits of the training have caused the Sheriff’s Office to provide this training to all employees, both sworn and civilian. 

The workshops provide stress-resilience training designed to teach employees techniques to balance and control the mental, emotional and physiological aspects of stressful encounters on the job. Maintaining this balance helps law enforcement employees think rationally under stress, concentrate, and make appropriate decisions when seconds count. 

Bicycle repair station

Bicycle repair station installed on Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Linn County Conservation has installed the first of three bicycle repair stations along the Cedar Valley Nature Trail to allow riders to make repairs on the go. The repair station has tools attached to retractable cables that will allow riders to tighten brakes, add air to tires, and perform other types of repairs quickly.

The first repair station is at the Cedar Valley Nature Trail at Boyson Road in Hiawatha. More bicycle repair stations are planned for the County Home Road parking area and the Center Point Railroad Depot. They are made possible by donations from Blue Grass Enterprises in Alburnett, ITC Midwest, and Linn County Trails Association (Bob Westercamp memorial).

People in canoe

Things to do at Linn County parks

Looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors?

Take the Linn County Parks Challenge!
At each Linn County Conservation park, there is a hidden container (cache). To find the containers, you will need to navigate using a free app on your smartphone. Download the app and print the Challenge passport at LinnParksChallenge.org. Find all 25 caches in 25 Linn County parks!

Rent a kayak, paddleboat, or canoe at Pinicon Ridge Park!
Linn County Conservation offers up-river canoe shuttles as well as in-park, hourly rentals of canoes and paddleboats at Pinicon Ridge Park in Central City. Canoe shuttles are available in 2, 4, and 6 hour float trips for $25, $30 and $35. Linn County Conservation provides the canoes, paddles and lifejackets and can accommodate large groups. (River level and weather conditions permitting). Join us for a leisurely float down the scenic Wapsipinicon River or enjoy an hour or two from a vessel in the backwaters while watching all of the activities in Pinicon Ridge Park. To confirm availability or for questions, call (319) 438-1961 for the Pinicon Ridge Park Boat Concession or (319) 438-6616 for the Pinicon Ridge Park office.

Visit your Linn County parks!
Linn County Conservation has more than 300 campsites and 100 miles of trail for you to enjoy. We also have shelters and lodges available to rent for your next event. Visit LinnCountyParks.com for more information and see what Linn County parks have to offer.

Find us online:

Website: linncounty.org
Twitter:   @LinnCounty


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