April 26


April 26, 2022

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met with the following present:  Chairman, John Ruder; and Members, Tim Berland and Greg Balthazor.  Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk, was present to write the minutes.  Virgi Laska, with the Stockton Sentinel, was also present.  Ruder brought the meeting to order, and asked all to rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The agenda was approved. 

Phillip Murrow, newly hired sanitarian with the North Central LEPG, was present to introduce himself and meet the Commissioners.  Morrow replaces Sherry Koster.  He will be answering to KDHE with all rules and regulations.  Lagoons systems on small parcels may be a problem in the future.  Rooks County does not have any acreage restrictions.   

Roger Hrabe, Economic Development Director, received the project grant agreement from the State Historical Society and it is ready to sign.  A few things:  bids and solicitation have already been submitted to the newspapers – a minimum of three bids will be needed.  The bid opening will be at 10:00 am on May 31st.  The County does not have to select the lowest bid, but will need an explanation of why they did not.  Construction will need to be finished by November 1st, and the grant paperwork should be finished up by December 1st – but a time extension may be granted.  The grant is considered a reimbursement program – one thing, such as the cleaning of the building, should be done before any money from the grant is sent. 

Ruder made a motion to sign the Heritage Trust Fund Grant Project Agreement, Project No. HTF 2022-15.  The total award amount is $81,746; the total project budget is $102,182.40.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Berland agreed. 

Hrabe also mentioned that two young men will be competing on Thursday in Manhattan for the YEC:  Taylor Ayers and Brian Garvert, from Plainville. 

The Commissioners reviewed the minutes of April 19th.  Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes of April 19th with a few changes made.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Berland agreed.  After the minutes were printed, Balthazor made a motion to sign the minutes of April 19th.  Berland seconded the motion, and Ruder agreed.  

Heather Poore, Rooks County Appraiser, was present to request a decision on her longevity.  Poore did not get the 10% that was cut from employees returned on her salary at the time the elected officials did.  Now, she is requesting getting back-to-back longevities for 2022 and 2023 because her normal longevity would be this year, and then the new scale is going into effect in 2023.  After a little discussion, Ruder made a motion to allow Poore’s longevity in back-to-back years due to the policy being updated and changed.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Berland agreed. 

Poore mentioned that she will be going to BOTA small claims with Midland Marketing.  She is still requesting some figures.  This case will probably go on to full court.

Butch Post, Emergency Management, had visited with each of the Commissioners, and requested renewing the burn ban for yet another week.  Ruder made a motion to renew Resolution 2022-R6 with the burn ban for another week until May, 3, 2022.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Berland agreed. 

It was mentioned that the LEPC meeting had been changed to May 2nd at 7:00 pm in Stockton. 

Kayla Hilbrink was nominated to be on the Rooks County Golf Course.  Ruder made a motion to add Kayla Hilbrink to the Rooks County Golf Course Committee.  Berland seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

A thank you was received from the Plainville After Prom 2022 Committee, Juniors and Seniors. 

A bond insurance check was received from Richland Fire District in the amount of $48.36.  Ruder made a motion to sign the bond insurance check for deposit into the Commissioner’s Reimbursement Fund.  Berland seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

The Commissioners received updated local pipeline safety materials for review.

The Prairie Land Board of Trustees approved new rates for irrigation services that became effective in January 2022.  The new rate includes a new rate component, kilowatt (kW) demand, for usage during the months of June through September. 

In monthly reports, Balthazor said he had received a text with the individual upset that the grader operator is blading grass onto the road.  Balthazor had travelled some of the roads – reporting them a little rough. 

Berland had contacted a local businessman about water trucks.  There is one available for sale.  The Road & Bridge Supervisor is to look at it.  He is asking about $60,000 for the truck. 

Berland had also spoke with the Palco City Mayor.  The Palco City Council is wanting to condemn three homes in Palco and get them demolished.  She was told to contact her city attorney. 

Berland had talked with Mrs. Brumbaugh – the parts of the Logan Road with new shale laid down are now falling apart.  The little rain received over the weekend had helped somewhat. 

Berland plans to join the zoom meeting the following day with NWK Planning and Development. 

Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, had looked at the water trucks that Berland had found.  He would like to have the tanker truck – the 2003 Freightliner instead of the 2003 Sterling.  He will move forward with the purchase discussions. 

A billing was received from Penco Engineering in the amount of $10,720 for the 2022 biennial bridge inspections which comes to $80 per bridge.  Balthazor made a motion to approve the billing in the amount of $10,720.  Berland seconded the motion, and Ruder agreed. 

Bouchey reported on the NW Kansas County Officials’ meeting he had attended in Colby

Road concerns and equipment discussed:

  • The crew is hauling on 6 Road south of Hwy 24 and 28 Road between X/Y Roads. The rock is not staying put where the floods had been around the Tracy Zeigler residence. 
  • A thank you was received from the Benoit’s for leveling out a road.
  • Two graders are still at Concordia – on one the front end is all worn out; the other has exhaust and def issues. The water truck is still waiting on parts at Bruckner’s.  A transmission was received the previous day for the older truck. 
  • A demolition derby will be held this weekend at the fairgrounds. A water truck will be needed there. 

Balthazor requested an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel.  Ruder made a motion to go into executive session between 11:06 and 11:17 am to discuss non-elected personnel.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Berland agreed.  Those present for the executive session were the Commissioners:  John Ruder, Greg Balthazor, and Tim Berland; and Road Supervisor, Rich Bouchey.  Upon returning to regular session, there was no further discussion. 

Zach Brown, Custodian, asked about getting some sort of vehicle to keep tools in and to haul equipment with.  The Commissioners said they would think this over.

Ruder reported on the Red Bud Finance Committee meeting held the previous day.  They had met with the CEO of Action Pact, who explained what all is needed for the feasibility study.  Rooks County has committed $70,000 for the feasibility study as long as it is reimbursed.  The committee does not want the funds yet; they are moving forward, but want to make sure they have their Community Foundation meeting first.  Ruder plans to attend the Red Bud Board meeting this week as well. 

Kim Northup, Rooks County Treasurer, requested getting a base price to work with on asking vendors for copier prices.  The copiers that she has been looking at have been approximately $6,500.  Ruder made a motion to allow Northup to purchase a copier with a price of up to $7,500.  Berland seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

With a reminder to meet on Friday, April 30th for payroll, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting. 



John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                             


Greg Balthazor, Member                                                                                                                                                                              


Tim Berland



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk