AUGUST 29, 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.
Mike Klein, Noxious Weed Director, was added to the agenda and the agenda was accepted.
Mike Klein, Noxious Weed Director, was in to discuss the purchase of a new sprayer/spreader for use at the Golf Course. Hilbrink made a motion to allow Klein to purchase a sprayer/spreader in the amount of $10,799.00 from Masters True Value out of Kearney NE. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.
Klein presented bids for the Weed Dept. from Jay Cooper, Shawnee Mission Ford and from Keller Motor, Palco for a new used truck. Klein and the commissioners discussed the bids.
Roger Morris, was in to discuss the set-up of the commissioners’ room. The public has a hard time hearing and understanding what is being said at the commissioners’ table. Ruder said the custodian has purchased an adaptor for the TV monitor so it can swivel for the commissioners to see when there is a zoom meeting. This will allow for the table to be turned and the commissioners to face the public. Morris also recommended micro-phone system as one of the commissioners is soft spoken.
Morris said most of the potholes on Section Line Road were filled but then they spread something across the road and made it worse. Morris asked who has the oversight to make sure road maintenance is being done correctly.
Morris also asked for the plan for repairing and maintaining county roads next year. He would like to see it on a map.
Ruder asked if there was anything going on at the museum. Hrabe said they are working with the State for someone to come and do a program for the kids in December.
Roger Hrabe, RCED, and Heather Poore, County Appraiser, was in with a request on the County’s NRV Plan regarding housing in Palco City. Under the plan, the property owner must make improvements that increases the value by $5,000.
Originally the plan allowed for any improvements but this was later changed to limited rehabilitation. The property owner is changing the building from one-bedroom apartments to two-bedroom apartments on part of the property and updating the remaining apartments. Hrabe doesn’t know how this will affect the property value and he is concern about the increase of the appraised value.
Poore said part of the problem is it’s hard to get value for multi-unit rental property because there are no sales. Another part of the problem is the foot print isn’t changing. If she changes the condition of the property from poor-poor to fair-fair, it is only going to increase the appraised value by eight thousand. The refund back to the property owner will be minimal.
Ruder said the idea behind NRV is for the county to give the property owner a break so they can do improvements and then the county will get the benefit of increased taxes after a time. Poore is concerned about the consistency with the application. She is also concerned about the market value falling. If the value of the property falls below $5,000, then the property is removed from the program.
Hilbrink made a motion to accept B&B Western’s NRV application with the condition they follow the rules of the program. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.
Roger Hrabe presented the Employee Recruitment Incentive Program to the commissioners. The funds will be disbursed to qualifying workforce relocating to Rooks County with provisions. Additional incentives include State ROZ Participation, State ROZ Income Tax Credit and Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. The program will be open to the pubic in the near future.
Poore and the commissioners discussed the reporting of golf carts and ATV’s. In the State of Kansas, it is the tax payer’s responsibility to report the ownership of golf carts and ATVs for property tax. If the appraiser sees untaxed personal property, she sends a letter notifying them to self-report. If she doesn’t receive a response, she taxes them at the highest rate with penalty for failure to file.
Rich Bouchey, Road Supervisor, said the Purple Wave Auction went well. He has a zoom meeting for local road safety meeting, this will be the first of several. He received an e-mail from the state regarding cost share programs. Jarol DeBoer, with Penco Engineering, will resubmit for the Zurich black top project.
Bouchey and the commissioners discussed road issues. At Hilbrink’ s request, R Road and 12 Road has been looked at. The road west of Nutrien Ag is finished. The road crew has started work on 16 Road and O Road.
Bouchey and the commissioners discussed Section Line Road, it’s patched but not smooth. Morris thought they would just patch holes and then come back later to chip seal. Bouchey said they tied to put down some asphalt but because of the heat it didn’t lay down smoothly.
The oil at the landfill still hasn’t been taken care of but Bouchey is working on getting rid of it slowly. As time allows, the landfill crew spends time picking up the trash that has blown.
Bouchey said the crews have been busy working washouts, mowing and cleaning out culverts.
The commissioners reviewed August 22nd minutes. Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes with corrections. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.
Mike Klein called and said Keller Motor wasn’t going reduce the price of the truck but were willing to add running boards. Ruder said the commissioners will discuss the bids and call him back later.
Hilbrink said she would be unable to attend the NCKLEPG meeting in Beloit but she would like Rooks County to host a meeting in the future.
Berland weekly report: There is a NWKS P&D meeting tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. He drove some of the roads and they looked better after the rain.
Ruder weekly report: He had a short Red Bud meeting and the plans for the new building are looking good.
Ruder made a motion to endorse the check from the State of Kansas Water Resource Rent in amount of $1,000. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.
Ruder made a motion to sign the Certificate of Budget for 2024. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.
Montgomery had the commissioners review the personnel policy for vacation leave longevity. She is requesting they clarify the wording when the leave starts. The commissioners all agreed it is at the start of the employee’s 10th year with the county and not after 10 Years of Service.
The vacation leave was not calculating in the Patriot System correctly. There was one employee who should have received the increase last year and it was missed. Hilbrink made a motion to pay to the employee the missed longevity from 2022 in the amount of $95.16. Berland second the motion and Ruder agreed.
Montgomery presented bids for a new county website for the county offices as follows:
Munibit: It was clean, simple and easy to use. There is no set up, design or support fees. The cost is $1188.00 annually. The downside is all of the administrator would have access to the entire site and not just their department. Montgomery felt the security was lacking.
Huber & Associates: This is the company the Sheriff’s office uses. It will take 30 to 90 days to set up. The cost is $1,250 annually plus $275 monthly.
Civic Plus: Ellis County and the City of Stockton uses them. It will take 4 months to set up. The initial Term Investment is $6,020.00 with annual recurring Services $5,428.50
Received from K Camp a letter of Nominations to Serve on the KCAMP Board of Trustees.
Received from the County Attorney a copy of the letter to Mapes and Miller regarding the Rooks County 2022 Audit. This is standard procedures after the audit.
Hilbrink made a motion to sign the August 22nd minutes. Berland second the motion and Ruder agreed.
With no further business to transact, Berland made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ruder second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.
Adopted this 22nd Day of August, 2023
ROOKS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
John Ruder, Chairman
Kayla Hilbrink, Member
Tim Berland, Member
Laura Montgomery, Certified County Clerk