August 22


AUGUST 22, 2023

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

The agenda was accepted as presented.

The commissioners reviewed last week minutes and were accepted with corrections.

April Brown, Register of Deeds, was in and presented software cost from Tyler Technologies.  She also visited Jewell County Register of Deeds. Tyler Technologies is a web base program that supports register of deeds, county treasurers and county clerk offices. Brown likes the iDoc Market program that will allow her to accept electronic documents and allow people to pay to view recorded documents. It includes a document alert for fraud. Heather Poore, County Appraiser, utilizes Tyler Technologies with Orion and the two systems will be able to tie together. Tyler Technologies has different programs that will work with the Treasurer’s and Clerk’s Office also. They are based in Iowa and the software engineer is based in Wyoming. Montgomery expressed concerns about the security using a web base program. Brown discussed the Cyber security Tyler Technologies offers.

Ruder made a motion to sign a replacement check for Stockton Pharmacy that had been damaged. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.

Ruder made a motion to sign a Designated Medical Provider Policy provided by K-WORCC. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.

A thank you note was received from Palco VIP for after prom donation.

Brian Newell, Mayor of Damar City, was in to visit with the commissioners about chip sealing the streets in Damar. He contacted Bouchey back in April and has been trying to get back in touch with him because they plan on doing the job when the weather cools off. He needs to know how much rock to get for the streets. Newell complained about Bouchey not answering his phone. Damar City is purchasing the oil and chip rock and the county is providing the equipment and manpower. Newell and Bouchey discussed how much oil and rock is needed. Ruder asked if all of the streets will be done. Newell said yes.

Bouchey said they need to wait until it cools off, and is looking at the last part of October to do the chip seal. Newell said this will give the city time to notify people to get their vehicles off of the street.

Bouchey weekly report: The purple wave auction to sell used equipment is going on this morning.

The road crew have been working on the Lake Road. They are running both water trucks. Bouchey and the commissioners discussed roads and grader-men.  Ruder asked if Biggs run any of the equipment. Bouchey replied yes. They have put asphalt down to patch Section Line Road until it can be chip sealed.  

Ruder asked about the landfill. Bouchey said the landfill is doing good and there are no issues.

Berland requested they try to get some more mowing done, especially around the intersections.  

Berland weekly report: He only had the one call from Brian Newell.

Hilbrink weekly report: She presented replies from the e-mail she posted on list service. Across the state, the counties are having a difficult time with getting people to apply for jobs. Hilbrink had an Economic Development meeting on Monday. The Stockton Manor is close to being completed.

Kim Northup, County Treasurer was in to update signatures on bank accounts. Ruder motion to sign signature cards. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.

Northup presented small funds vouchers to be signed. Hilbrink made a motion to sign small funds vouchers. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.

Berland made a motion to sign August 15th minutes. Ruder second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.

John Mapes, with Mapes and Miller, was in for the County RNR Hearing and the Budget hearing for the County and Cemeteries.

Ruder called the RNR Hearing to order. John Mapes, Auditor, said the proposed mill rate of 61.745 is above the RNR of 60.691 mills. Mapes explained the RNR and the increase of expenditures for the county. The floor was opened for questions. With no questions or comments from the public, Ruder closed the RNR hearing.

Ruder opened the budget hearing for the county and the cemeteries. John Mapes explained the overview of the 2024 budget. He said the county held the mill levy down, it is much lower than inflation. There is no adjustment with the RNR for inflation. Heather Poore, Appraiser, had several questions. If the value of housing has increase so much, why is there not a more a decline in the levy? Mapes replied the budgets have increased because of wages, health insurance, fuel and other expenses that have increased. The housing value increased but the value of ag property went down.

Dennis Roberts said his house appraisal went up 50%. How do you come up with such a large increase? Roberts said he has never seen a grader and the road to the cemetery needs to be graded. He said the tax payers want to see the services they are paying for. Berland said the section man for his area quit and they are sending other graders to that area to blade the roads.

Roger Morris addressed the commissioners. He said they did a good job to keep the increase of mill levy to a minimal.

Morris said the proposed budget authority for Rooks County is 9,759,964 and the tax levied is 6,234,254. Where is the difference coming from. Ruder said it comes from other sources such as motor vehicle tags and oil taxes.

Morris also asked the same for the Road & Bridge budget. Ruder explained some of it is coming from the gas tax which is collected by the State and Special Highway.

For the Health Department; the county has to levy funds to match state and grant funds which is where most of their funding comes from.  

Morris asked about the health insurance provided to the employees. Ruder explained we are partially self-funded so we pay part of the insurance claims.

The Noxious Weed Department has a 1.5 mill rate. This allows the county to sell chemicals at a reduced rate.

Alcohol Program; Ruder explained the funds comes from the state and the funds are used for schools after prom program and helps with other school programs such as the purchase of vapor sensors.

Morris inquired about the increase of budget authority for the Land/Wireless Fund. Mapes explained this is to allow for the increase cost of operating the system. The funding comes from the state through taxes on telephones. Mapes said this may need to be partially funded by the county in the future.

Hilbrink explained the decreased in the Sanitation budget is because they purchased equipment and there are no plans for new equipment next year.

Ruder ask for any other questions or comments from the public. There was none.

Montgomery took a Roll Call Vote to exceed the RNR. Ruder voted yes, Berland voted yes, Hilbrink voted yes. Ruder made a motion to approve and sign Resolution 2023 R8. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed. Hilbrink made a motion to adopt the 2024 budget as presented. Berland second the motion and Ruder agreed.

John Mapes presented the audit report for year ending 2022. He reviewed each page with the commissioners and answered any questions they had.

Ruder made a motion to approve the 2022 audit and drafts to go to agencies. Berland second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.

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


FUND                                    WARR #                TOTAL

County General                 81245-81250     1,968.59

Road & Bridge                    81251-8152       129.49

Noxious Weed                   81253-81257     4,811.07

Golf Course                         81264                   200.00

GRAND TOTAL                                                   10,872.18


Hilbrink made a motion to accept the resignation of Leslie Swazzo as Township #2 Treasurer and appoint April Brown to be Township #2 Treasurer. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.

Hilbrink made a motion to accept the resignation of Ryan Brown as Township #2 Trustee and appoint Erin Balthazor to be Township #3 Trustee. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.

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

Adopted this 29th Day of August, 2023




John Ruder, Chairman                                                                    



Kayla Hilbrink, Member



Tim Berland, Member



Laura Montgomery, Certified County Clerk