April 11


April 11, 2023

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met with the following present:  Chairman, John Ruder, and Members Tim Berland and Kayla Hilbrink. Correna Swaney, Deputy County Clerk, was present to record the minutes as the County Clerk was absent.  Virgie Laska was present to write a report for Stockton Sentinel. Ruder called the meeting to order and asked all to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The agenda was accepted as presented.

Dale Winklepleck was in about the County Appraiser and how she is doing her job. He brought in a spread sheet of other counties to show comparison with other appraisers on SNB properties. The counties included Rooks, Graham, Norton and Trego. He used appraised, assessed, tax, levy, valuations and more. For the last 10 years there were some differences between valuations. The percent change was high in 2021 in comparisons to the other Counties. In 2023 Rooks County jumped to 52.969% where only one other county increased to 0.949%. So, his question is; “the County Appraiser has to follow State Statue guidelines for the County Appraisers. Are the rest of the County Appraisers following the same statues? If they are, why is Rooks County so much higher than the other three counties he brought in for comparison. He feels like she is not doing what is best of Rooks County. Rooks County has a real big problem with the County Appraiser and what’s going to be done about it? Why is one person allowed to make this kind of decision with no accountability?

Rich Bouchey was not in, there wasn’t anything new going on.

Rick Waters was in to visit about the burn policy. He’s called the Sheriff office several times and has been told “No” because of the Red Flag warning. He has 90 acres of CRP that needs burned. Ruder said he would look into it and call him back. Waters was good with that. Ruder called Butch Post. Post said it was because of the Red Flag warning. They are not letting anyone burn because of the high winds and low humidity.

Kelly Muir wants to know if Commissioners are paying for insurances for the Spring show May 21, Demolition Derby April 22 and Fair Week August 7-13. They are reopening the insurance claim from the storm. There was more damage than they thought. Muir said progress is coming along and they are getting ready to start on the rebuilding. They are working in phases to get everything finished. Also, they are replacing the lights around the race track.

Don Rivera from Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center. The mission is to heal the trauma of abuse to children and adults through prevention, support and service. Services are free to children, their families and organizations working on child protection. Asking for $2,500.00 appropriation for 2024.

The Commissioners reviewed the minutes from April 4th. Ruder made a motion to approve the April 4th minutes with correction. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.

Denise Murchie was in to discuss Centennial Celebration on April 20th. The Committee wants Ruder to give the welcome speech. Ruder agreed. Also, asked if the County is closing all of the offices for 30 minutes for the commencement, then reopen. This was approved by the commissioners. Murchie asked about the cleaning and doing a walk around to see what needs to be cleaned and have the custodian staff see that it is done. We have the color guard, band from the Stockton school, Father Leo and Roger Morris coming for the commencement.

Hilbrink weekly report: Inmates from correct facility were out cleaning up trash around the 183 Hwy by the Golf Course. The road going into the Golf Course is fixed. Talked about the up-coming Golf Tournament.

Berland weekly report: He didn’t receive any calls on roads. He asked about the water truck still in Hays.

Ruder weekly report: Bob Plante said the driveway was fixed. He also asked about the millings Plante wants to use.

Ruder call Doug Wiltfong about the paper Doug needs that states who is authorized to sign for the loan for the new track hoe caterpillar. They agreed that Wiltfong would take the loan papers to Ruder Oil so Ruder can sign them.  This was approved by the Commissioners.

Gail & Diana Strutt was in to discuss employee matters. Ruder made a motion to go into executive session for thirty minutes with himself, Hilbrink, Berland, Gail Strutt and Diana Strutt to discuss non-elected personnel from 10:55 am to 11:25am. Berland second and Hilbrink agreed. Upon to open session there was no further discussion.

Randal Riffel was in to discuss Road conditions for section #1. The roads are being dragged from the ditch onto the road and the roads are getting to be too narrow. The roads need to be wider.

Ruder made a motion to review and sign weekly vouchers as follows. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.

County General 80315-80345     14,137.44
Road and Bridge 80346-80361     12,238.09
Sheriff Equipment Reserve 80362          700.00
Health Department 80363-80373       4,103.04
Sanitation 80374-80379       1,981.35
Rooks County Golf Course 80380-80381          859.02
Economic Develop Expandable Trust 80382-80383          154.42


Laura Montgomery, County Clerk, requested using the funds from the LATCF funds received in January for the installation of a phone in her vault. The phone will be used for election support as there is no cell reception in the vault. The commissioners approved her using $1371.34 from the LATCF funds.

The commissioners approved paying Newell Plumbing for fixing the water leak at the Golf Course. It will be paid out of Parks & Rec Fund.

With no further business to transact, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.

Adopted this 14th Day of April, 2023



John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                              


Kayla Hilbrink, Member



Tim Berland, Member



Correna Swaney, Deputy County Clerk