November 19


NOVEMBER 19, 2019

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met in regular session.  Those present were Commissioners:  John Ruder and Greg Balthazor.  Corky Hagan was absent due to previously scheduled appointments.  Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk, was present to write the minutes.  Virgi Laska, with the Stockton Sentinel, was also present.  Chairman Ruder asked all to rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The agenda was accepted. 

The minutes of November 12th were reviewed.  Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes with a few minor changes.  Balthazor seconded the motion.  After the minutes were printed, Ruder made a motion to sign the minutes as corrected.  Balthazor seconded the motion.

Gary Knight, Rooks County Sheriff, presented costs for a metal detector to use on court days in the courthouse.  Knight will be borrowing a metal detector from Russell County for the upcoming trial.  He would like the Commissioners to know that this is something he thinks the County will need, and he will bring it up for discussion again after the first of the year. 

Knight mentioned he has hired Randall Benoit for a deputy.  He will start for the City of Stockton on December 2nd, and then will transfer with the other Stockton City deputies on January 1, 2020 to the Rooks County payroll. 

Knight has signed a contract for a web-site with Huber & Associates – Interpol.  With this company, Knight will have a person to go to for any help and maintenance.  The web-site should now be working.

Knight has done some research on getting credit cards to his key employees.  The system they are using now is not working well.  Knight is working with Solutions North Bank to get six (6) cards.  There is an annual fee of $30 per card.  Ruder made a motion to allow Knight to move forward with the application for credit/purchase cards through Solutions North Bank so to be able to start at the first of the year. Balthazor seconded his motion.

Knight’s Department will be receiving $1,500.00 to be deposited into the General Fund for the Federal award for the special traffic enforcement program. 

Knight requested the Commissioners move the location of their regular meeting scheduled for December 10th to the Assembly Room on the 1st floor due to the extra rooms in the courthouse including the Commissioner’s Office being used for personnel during the upcoming murder trial.  This was approved. 

Butch Post, Emergency Preparedness Director, presented LEPC Compliance Certification papers and the list of LEPC committee members.  Balthazor made a motion to approve the certification and members’ listing.  Ruder seconded his motion. 

Post reported on the meetings he had attended last week:  KEMA and Homeland Security.  They discussed updating radios and phasing out the old ones which are fifteen (15) years old and at end of life.  Post wanted the Board to know that the templates keep changing, but the changes are imminent.  There are approximately 220 radios County-wide (not all belonging to the County) between fire, ambulance, etc., and it will cost about $25-$50 per radio to update. 

Post said his phone is listed on the Sheriff’s telephone plan, and the Sheriff’s Department had to upgrade their plan to include the new incoming deputies.  Post discussed the cost differences between staying on the Sheriff Department’s plan or having his own billing.  Everyone decided it was more cost effective to have the Emergency Preparedness Director’s phone stay on the Sheriff Department’s billing.

Post requested using any accrued vacation and comp time before the end of the year instead of having it paid out.  This was approved.  Post also mentioned he has extra sick leave hours to donate if any employee is needing some. 

Post said his desk top computer (one of the duals) is outdated with Windows7.  It will need updated before the middle of January.  He would like to purchase a laptop and also get the desk top updated.  After some discussion, it was approved for Post to purchase the computers and to split the cost between the Emergency Preparedness’ Equipment Fund and the General Computer Fund.  

Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, presented the fee reports for both the Landfill and the Road & Bridge Department.  Ruder made a motion to accept the fee reports from both the Landfill and the Road & Bridge Departments; Balthazor seconded the motion. 

Ruder made a motion to sign for deposit a check from the Landfill for cash and charge receipts in the amount of $13,423.00.  Balthazor seconded this motion.

Bouchey presented the monthly fuel bids dated November 13, 2019.  Midland Marketing was awarded the low bid with the amount of $12,695.50.  Bids were received as follows:

                Midland Marketing                          Diesel                    $12,695.50

                Farmers Union                                Diesel                    $13,085.00

                Bosselman’s                                    Diesel                    $12,995.00

The Commissioners and Bouchey discussed the Road & Bridge Department’s projects and road maintenance.  Bouchey mentioned that he had received the bill from the rented oil distributor.  It was about $8,000.00, and he will pay the bill out of his Special Highway Fund. 

At 10:00 am, Ruder opened the hearing to consider whether or not to renew the open application period for the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan for an additional three-year period expiring December 31, 2022. Those present for the hearing from the public sector were Roger Hrabe, Economic Development Director, and Virgi Laska, with the Stockton Sentinel.  There were no comments from the public, and Ruder closed the hearing.  Ruder then made a motion to move forward with the three-year extension for the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.  Hrabe mentioned that USD 326-Logan is not participating in this renewal.  Balthazor seconded Ruder’s motion. 

In weekly reports, Balthazor reported on the Kansas Association of Counties Convention that he had attended, and talked some about a few of the issues. 

Balthazor also reported on the Economic Development meeting from the previous evening with the good news that some of the buildings in Plainville have been purchased, and businesses will be forthcoming. 

Ruder presented a check from BPD Funeral Service, LLC DBA Paul’s Funeral Home, from Oberlin, KS in the amount of $500.00 for the purchase of the cooling unit located at the Golf Course.  Ruder made a motion to sign this check for deposit to the Rooks County Golf Course Miscellaneous Income.  Balthazor seconded the motion. 

Ruder had talked to Kelly Stewart about the Water Resources Building.  Stewart had asked if the County had received any feedback from the State about raising the rent of the building.  Ruder let Stewart know that the request to raise the rent for the Water Resources Building had been dropped.

Ruder said he had also talked to Marjorie Boeckner about the Cemetery District she is involved with.  The Cemetery District had held a board meeting and elected Candace Rachel as President, Joni Selbe as Secretary/Treasurer, and Marjorie Boeckner as the third board member. 

Ruder also reported some of the men from their Golf Association had winterized the building at the Golf Course. 

Lori Eichman, Rooks County Health Department Administrator, phoned in.  Eichman requested an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel.  Ruder made a motion to go into executive session for ten minutes between 10:16 am and 10:21 am to discuss non-elected personnel with Lori Eichman, Health Department Administrator, over the phone.  Balthazor seconded the motion.  Those present for the executive session were the Commissioners:  John Ruder and Greg Balthazor.  Lori Eichman, representing the Health Department, was on the phone.  After returning to regular session, there was no further discussion. 

Ties were broken, by draw, for the following ties from the 2019 City/School General Election.  Gary Hughes, from Zurich, was present. 

                Zurich City Council – tie between Gary Hughes and Bryan Wilkerson.  Gary Hughes was the winner of the elected position of Zurich City Council.

                Palco City Council – tie between Brandon Kuhn and Don Steeples.  Brandon Kuhn was the winner of the elected position of Palco City Council.

Certificates of election will be presented to those elected. 

Ruder made a motion to present all employees working on the November Payroll with a $75.00 gift card to use at either Mr. K’s Grocery in Plainville or Webster’s Grocery in Stockton.  Balthazor seconded this motion. 

An invitation was received to the 2019 Northwest Kansas Planning and Development Commission, Pioneer Country Development, Inc. and Northwest Kansas Housing, Inc. Annual Meeting.  The annual meeting and supper will be held at the Graham County Fairgrounds 4-H Building in Hill City on Thursday, November 21st, with the meal being served at 6:00 pm. 

Heather Poore, Rooks County Appraiser, was present.  She thanked the Board for the Health Insurance renewal saying she and all the employees really appreciate the health insurance offered by Rooks County. 

Poore said she is starting to receive calls since the tax statements have been mailed.  She plans to do on-site visits with all the Payment Under Protests (PUP’s).  

Poore presented information about a consulting business that is offering mass appraisal assistance.  Equitable Solutions, LLC is prepared to offer training that is essential to ensure property characteristics are listed in a consistent manner and all work will be completed in a timely manner.  They would help with the data collection and reviewing the properties in the county and provide on-site training for county staff.  Poore would like to utilize this program to help with her new girls as they are out doing the values, and she feels this would be very cost effective, saving money on mileage and hotel accommodations for the training as it is usually held in Topeka.  The Commissioners tabled any decisions on this training until all three Commissioners are present. 

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

                November 19, 2019

County General                                 71746-71778                       $14,947.35

Health Department                             71779-71788                       $1,871.65

Rooks County Golf Course                 71789-71790                       $200.87

Economic Develop Ex TR                    71791-71792                       $165.20

                GRAND TOTAL                                                                $17,185.07

The Commissioners decided to change their meeting date the following week to Wednesday, November 27th to accommodate the short week of preparing payroll.  Notices will be posted.

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

Adopted this 27th day of November, 2019



____________________________________                       ATTEST:

John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   _______________________________

____________________________________                       Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk

Greg Balthazor, Member



Corky Hagan, Member