July 9


July 9, 2019

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met in regular session.  Those present were the Commissioners:  John Ruder and Greg Balthazor.  Corky Hagan was absent.  Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk, was present to write the minutes.  Virgi Laska, with the Stockton Sentinel, was also present.  Chairman Ruder opened the meeting and asked everyone to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The agenda was approved as presented.

The Commissioners reviewed the minutes from July 2nd.  Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes with a slight adjustment.  Balthazor seconded the motion.  After the minutes were printed, Balthazor made the motion to sign the corrected minutes of July 2nd.  Ruder seconded this motion. 

Gary Knight, Rooks County Sheriff, asked to have the Road & Bridge Supervisor erect a road sign for 17 Terrace and Y Road to help new emergency personnel with directions.  The request will be passed on to the Road Supervisor. 

Knight reported he has put ads in the newspapers for deputies, and he will start interviewing soon.  Stockton City is working on getting two vehicles from KHP, which should be in-county by September.  At that point, the Sheriff can out-fit and insure them.  Stockton City reports they will make a decision about what option to take concerning their pickup by next week. 

Knight has presented his budget with numbers reflecting the changes due to the contract of taking on Stockton City’s law enforcement. 

In weekly reports, Balthazor said he had received a call about J Road/14 Road.  Balthazor has a conference call on Thursday with Work Force One.

Ruder reported meeting with Red Bud Village/Estates.  The administrator had to let their maintenance man go, but has a couple of people interested in the position.  Megan Zahn, Administrator, will talk to Farm Implement about a mower.  The nursing facility seems to be having a little trouble with a water heater. 

The County Clerk will let Roger Hrabe, Economic Development Director, know that there will be two Commissioners attending the Business Appreciation Dinner on July 17th to be held at the RCH Education Center in Plainville.  Also, the Clerk will send in the RSVP attendance sheet for the Northwest Kansas County Officials Fall Meeting at the Ellis County Fairgrounds in Hays that is slated for September 11th.  Two Commissioners (Hagan and Balthazor) plan on attending along with the Road & Bridge Supervisor, Rich Bouchey. 

A request from Kelly Stewart, with Water Resources, to have the County pay to have the Water Resources building sprayed for bugs was approved. 

A request was received from the Jewell County Community Development of Assisted Living Facility Committee for information concerning Rooks County’s Nursing Facility.  Ruder will call the contact person to give her the information she needs. 

A call was received from Commissioner Hagan from Alaska.  Hagan was put on speaker phone and updated on some of the meeting discussions.

Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, reported the good news that the mower tractor at Kan-Equip in Ellsworth, does not have anything wrong with the engine.  It seems to have blown a head gasket.  The mechanics cleaned up the head, and the tractor will be back soon. 

Ruder said he had had a conversation with Farm Implement personnel about a government program helping with a lease program when turning tractors over. 

Bouchey said the department is finishing rocking on P Road between 28-30 Roads, and will then rock between 26-28 Roads.  There was an auto incident on the black-top at T/U Road.  The Road & Bridge crew has replaced six posts on the guard-rails.   Bouchey will inquire about getting reimbursed for these supplies and time spent on the project. 

Road concerns were passed on to Bouchey, and Bouchey was also told to get a road sign put up at 17 Terrace and Y Road as requested. 

Stan Simon was present with some road concerns near his residence.  Simon requested replacing a culvert on 12 Road between V Road and U Road.  At this time, he needs to drive four miles out of the way to farm a quarter.  There is a culvert on 11 Road that has needed cleaned.  Simon has cleaned this culvert himself.  Simon asked about W Road, and Bouchey said the rock is made and the department plans to get there soon.  Simon asked about the County’s policy for snow removal by grader-operators.  He was disappointed that it took the County two days to come by his residence after a larger snow.  Also, Simon asked whether there is anything the County can do about land owners that do not take care of the musk thistle problem.  Simon had talked to Mike Klein, Rooks County Noxious Weed Director, and Klein said he would go look at this particular thistle problem. 

A public notice regarding a proposed Kansas Water Pollution Control Permit for the Plainville Wastewater Treatment Facility was received.  The permit will be posted publically for comments until August 3, 2019. 

Ruder made a motion to sign Resolution 2019-R5 authorizing participation in the Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) Student Loan Repayment Program for 2020 as follows.  Balthazor seconded the motion.

Resolution No. 2019-R5



Section 1.  Pursuant to K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 74-50,223, the Board of County Commissioners expressed its intent to participate in the Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ student loan repayment program.

Section 2.  Rooks County has been designated a Rural Opportunity Zone pursuant to K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 74-50,222.

Section 3.  Rooks County Commissioners hereby obligate Rooks County to participate in the ROZ student loan repayment program as provided by K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 74-50,223 for a period of five years, which shall be irrevocable. 

Section 4.  Rooks County agrees to pay in equal shares with the State of Kansas the outstanding student loan balance of any resident individual for five years, if the resident individual meets the terms of qualification provided by the State of Kansas in K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 74-50,334, and the appropriate rules and regulations.  The number of qualified resident individuals receiving such payments will be subject to the availability of funds. 

Section 5.  Rooks County intends to enter into partnerships with Cities, Employers, and Foundations for the direct sponsorship of Rural Opportunity Zone Applicants.  Sponsored Applicants must meet all qualifications of the ROZ program.  All sponsorships will be subject to ROZ student loan repayment rules and regulations.

Section 6.  The maximum student loan balance for each qualified resident individual to be repaid jointly by Rooks County and the State of Kansas shall be $15,000.00 over a term of five years.

Section 7.  Rooks County shall allocate $29,500.00 for year 2020 for the purpose of matching payments from the State of Kansas to qualified resident individuals.  Rooks County shall revise its ROZ budget on an annual basis and shall inform the State of Kansas of any changes to the annual allocation.  Rooks County shall submit their obligation I full to the Department of Commerce before the first day of September each year. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall be published once in the official county newspaper and shall be in effect from and after its date of publication. 

Adopted this 9th day of July, 2019 by the Board of Rooks County Commissioners, Rooks County, Kansas. 


John Ruder                                      

John Ruder, Chairman                                                                    ATTEST:


Absent                                                                         Ruthmary Muir­­             (SEAL)

Corky Hagan, Member                                                                   Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk                                                         ­­­­­­­­­­­

Greg Balthazor                       

Greg Balthazor, Member


Balthazor had questioned the high costs of telephone services and asked for the amount of monies paid to Nex-Tech.  He will check with Nex-Tech about trying to get some discounts or better rates. 

Ruder had been contacted by Mary Weingarth Newton.  She said she had not received a tax statement through the mail that is past due, and now owed penalties of $27.31.  She wanted to pay the tax statement, but asked the penalty be removed.  Ruder made a motion to abate the penalty amount of $27.31 for the tax statement to Mary Weingarth Newton.  Balthazor seconded the motion. 

The Commissioners reviewed department budgets, and they will be prepared to send on to the auditor. 

Ruder made a motion to review, approve and sign the weekly vouchers as follows.  Balthazor seconded this motion. 

                July 9, 2019

County General                                 70728-70741                       $8,205.63

Noxious Weed                                   70742-70747                       $23,500.74

Health Department                            70748-70757                       $3,219.30

Rooks County Golf Course                70758-70760                       $431.35

                GRAND TOTAL                                                              $35,357.02

With no further business to transact, Ruder made a motion to adjourn.  Balthazor seconded the motion.

Adopted this 16th day of July, 2019



John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                              


Greg Balthazor, Member


Corky Hagan, Member



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk