Downtown & centrally located and Linn County’s offices

I hear the words “downtown” and “centrally located” used so much that you might think they are interchangeable … but are they?

Does “downtown” Cedar Rapids = downtown Linn County?

Does “centrally located” in Cedar Rapids = centrally located in Linn County?

The geographic center of Linn County is located about a quarter mile south of County Home Road on 10th ST in Marion.

Based upon the 2000 census, the population center of Linn County is located near Zach Johnson Drive by Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids.

I don’t know the location of the “business center” of Linn County or the “economic center” of Linn County, but it’s probably NOT in “downtown” Cedar Rapids.

When we get to the point where we need to decide where to locate Linn County’s offices, let’s make a business decision based upon objective criteria – not emotions and politics.

4 Responses to “Downtown & centrally located and Linn County’s offices”

  1. Seth Says:

    We also need to remember that centralized doesn’t always equate to convenience, either. With the old county building (and any potential downtown building) we have trains to contend with, semi traffic from our factories, and general traffic/parking difficulties associated with being in a ‘busy’ area of town.

    While Westdale may not be centralized, it is just off of Highway 30 (perhaps 5 minutes from the Interstate?), has plenty of parking, tons of room for any future needs, etc.

    What exactly are the arguments for not using Westdale, or for building another building altogether?


  2. lcauditor Says:


    Aside from my post at and a few quotes in the media from individual County Supervisors and Supervisor-elect Oleson, I don’t think you’ll find anything about Westdale Mall in the public records of the local legislative bodies of government. These are the bodies which get to make the ultimate decision on where to locate government offices. These local legislative bodies are: the Board of Supervisors, the Cedar Rapids City Council, and the Cedar Rapids / College Community / Linn-Mar School Boards.

    While these individual legislators may make comments from time-to-time outside of their public meetings, the fact that they don’t discuss Westdale Mall during their public meetings sends a message. And the fact they discuss co-location of county/city/schools in public meetings without mentioning Westdale Mall sends a message. What message(s) are you receiving from them?


  3. Seth Says:

    Based on the media coverage and some of the commentary I’ve heard, I am getting the feeling that many (of our elected leaders, not the general public) are leaning toward building a new building and co-location of all government agencies.

    I just haven’t heard much of the reasoning as to why that would be a better option?


  4. lcauditor Says:

    I asked one of my GIS mapping experts (Cory Hines) to fact check my claim that the population center of the County was on Zach Johnson Drive. Seems I’m off by a couple of blocks. The actual center is indicated at, which is close to the intersection of 32nd ST NE and Leonard Terrace NE (across from the Rockwell Collins facility).

    I have to admit that Zach Johnson Drive is easier to remember ….


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