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News & Updates 
from Linn County Government

May 2017

Linn County Names Future Public Health and Child & Youth Development Services Building after Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris

The Linn County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to honor the late community icons Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris by naming the future Linn County Public Health and Child & Youth Development Services Building after them in recognition of their lifetime of dedication and service to health and education in Linn County.

Dr. Percy Harris and his wife Lileah were respected community leaders, advocates for the arts and education, and champions of civil rights. Dr. Harris was the first African American physician in Cedar Rapids and served as Linn County Medical Examiner for nearly 40 years.

Linn County and OPN Architects are nearing completion for the design of the approximately 55,000 square foot building that will be built on county-owned land near the Medical District, NewBo, and Oakhill Jackson neighborhoods and will be called the Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris building. Linn County employees and community members, including the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood Association, provided significant input for the design of the building and associated uses of the site.

The estimated schedule is to begin construction this year with a completion date in 2018. MORE…

Photo of Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris and the rendering of the building named in their honor
Photo of Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris and the OPN Architect rendering of the Linn County building named in their honor

Linn County Receives Financial Reporting Award for 28th 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, 2016. This is the 28th 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. 

Excerpt from Moody's website showing Aaa bond rating

Linn County Receives Aaa Bond Rating From Moody’s

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a Aaa rating to Linn County’s $7.3 million taxable General Obligation Urban Renewal County Purpose Bonds, Series 2017A. Concurrently, Moody’s maintains the Aaa rating on the County’s outstanding general obligation unlimited tax (GOULT) debt. The Aaa rating is the highest rating possible and signifies the lowest level of risk.

The Series 2017A bonds will be used to finance various urban renewal projects that include Linn County’s acquisition of approximately 485 acres of property near Squaw Creek Park. Linn County expects that acquisition of the property and use for recreation and conservation purposes will contribute to the well-being of the County’s residents and will make the County a more attractive location for new commercial and industrial enterprises.

According to Moody’s, the stable outlook reflects Moody’s expectation that Linn County’s credit quality will remain strong due to the strength of the regional economy and the health of the county’s financial operations.

Linn County Temporary Redistricting Commission Appointed

The Linn County Board of Supervisors has appointed a five-member temporary redistricting commission. Iowa code instructs the Board of Supervisors to establish the Commission by May 15, 2017 following the November 2016 election where Linn County voters voted to reduce the membership of the Linn County Board of Supervisors from five to three.

Linn County is currently represented by Board of Supervisor districts under “Plan 3”. According to Iowa code, new supervisor districts must be designated by December 15, 2017, unless a valid petition is filed by June 1, 2017 requesting a special election on the representation plan.

All three supervisor seats will be on the ballot during the general election in November 2018. The three member Board of Supervisors will take office January 2, 2019. MORE…

Updated Social Host Ordinance Now in Effect

The Linn County Board of Supervisors approved an updated Social Host ordinance that adds controlled substances to the ordinance. The original ordinance, approved in 2009, included alcohol only. The purpose of the ordinance is to prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substances by persons under the age of 21 at gatherings where adults knowingly allow or permit underage persons to consume or possess alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substances on property they own or control.

The ordinance took effect May 18, 2017, and will apply throughout Linn County including municipalities that have not enacted their own ordinance dealing with similar subject matter.

Treasurer’s Office Offers New Tool to Improve Customer Satisfaction

In an ongoing effort to create a customer-centered culture, the Linn County Treasurer’s Office has installed a computer at one of its windows for use by customers who need to renew their vehicle registrations or pay property taxes. The computer links directly to the State website and allows the public to access that site to renew their vehicle registration tags or pay property taxes online.

Not everyone has access to a computer at home or knows that these two common transactions can be completed online without a need to wait in line at the Treasurer’s Office. Vehicle tags will be mailed via United States Postal Service the next business day.

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. This is a competitive grant process open to organizations located in Linn County or that have a branch location in Linn County. Funds must be used for programs or projects that benefit Linn County residents. Applications are due Monday, June 30, 2017. MORE… 

Options staff present Community Business of the Year award to The Create Exchange
Options of Linn County staff member Wayne Clayton presents Community Business of the Year award to Jennifer Stewart from The Create/Exchange.

Options Holds Annual Celebration

On April 21, clients, family members, staff and others close to the Options of Linn County program gathered to celebrate another year of achievement. Options has provided quality services to the disability community for over 50 years.

“This is our way of saying thank you to all the clients. We love what we do every day, and they are the reason,” said Options Director Jim Fox.

Longevity certificates and trophies were awarded to Options clients, and community partners were recognized for their contributions to the lives of Options clients. HACAP was awarded Volunteer Partner of the Year and The Create/Exchange was honored as the Community Business of the Year. MORE…

Photo of roadside ditch in rural area

Iowa Mowing Laws Designed to Protect Roadside Habitats

The Linn County Secondary Road Department and the Linn County Conservation Department remind residents that Iowa Code 314.17 restricts mowing roadside ditches until July 15 to protect habitats for pollinators, young pheasants and other ground-nesting birds until they are ready to fledge.

The law applies to county secondary roads as well as state primary and interstate highways. Exceptions for visibility and weed control are built into the law, but non-essential mowing – including cutting for hay – is prohibited. MORE…

Cartoon image of officer writing a ticket for not wearing seat belt

Click It or Ticket this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the busy summer season with many more families on the roadways. May 22 - June 4, 2017, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, along with many other law enforcement agencies across Iowa, will participate in the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP) in an attempt to make sure everyone is buckling up.

Iowa’s current seat belt usage rate of 94 percent is one of the highest in the nation, but the remaining six percent of vehicle occupants account for approximately half of all traffic fatalities. 

Seat belts are the single most effective way to survive in a crash.

Most Linn County Offices Closed May 29

Most Linn County governmental offices will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

The following services will continue to operate:

  • Juvenile Detention and Diversion Services
  • The Sheriff’s Office will be closed; however, continuous operations will be available for routine and emergency responses. This includes the Patrol Division, Communications Division and the Correctional Center. In an emergency, always dial 911.

Vehicle registrations can be renewed online at any time at

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