February 8


February 8, 2022

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met in regular session.  Commissioners present were:  Chairman, John Ruder; and Members, Greg Balthazor, and Tim Berland.  Laura Montgomery, Deputy County Clerk, was present to write the minutes as Ruthmary Muir, County Clerk, was absent. 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 as presented. The Commissioners reviewed last weeks’ minutes. They were approved for printing with a minor correction. 

Berland attended a zoom meeting with NWKS P & D last week. The State of Kansas received a $100 million to be loaned out.  Applications for the loan needs to be in by February 15th.  The county would not benefit from applying for the loan.  They also had election of officers and they are the same as last year.  Berland said he had received compliments on the job the road crew had done on Red Line Road.

Balthazor had a few complaints about the roads being rough but everyone knows there isn’t much to be done until we receive some moisture. He also thinks now is the time for the road crew to be cleaning out the culverts so when we do receive rain the water won’t wash over the roads.

Ruder attended the zoom meeting with Jerry Moran. It was a good meeting and well attended. After the meeting he discussed the COVID funds earmarked for Red Bud.

Kelli Hansen and Kayla Hilbrink with Heartland Community Foundation were in to request funding from the commissioners. Hansen and Hilbrink explained to the commissioners what the foundation is about and how they have helped many groups in Rooks County over the past 15 years. For every dollar raised by Heartland, Dane G Hansen Foundation matches. During the month of February, if the foundation raises $50,000 the Dane G Hansen Foundation will match the $50,000 and they earn an extra $25,000. Stockton and Plainville Cities had donated $5,000 each and Palco donated $1,000 last year.  Rooks County has donated $5,000 but in 2021 only gave $3,000 and this year $2,000.  This is through RCED. The schools have been the biggest recipient as they have the greatest needs. For the foundation to have funds matched and also receive the bonus funds, all donations need to be received by February 28th.  Ruder thanked them for coming in and said the commissioners would need to discuss any donation further.

Rich Bouchey, Road Supervisor, was in for his weekly report. He said he had a few complaints about the roads being rough. The most complaints have been on the Logan Road and the road south of Codell. The road south of Codell is currently being used by heavy trucks until the repairs on the bridge in Ellis County can be finished. Bouchey is making a plan on putting down rock and water on the road.

The crew spent four days on Red Line Road and it is in much better shape. Berland informed Bouchey he had received compliments on the job. Bouchey said they lost the transmission on the yellow truck used to haul water. He is looking for a water truck but hasn’t found one yet. Berland suggested getting a used transmission. Bouchey said he hasn’t ruled anything out yet.

Berland said he had complaints on E Road between 16 and 18 Roads.  Also discussed was the road going by Mongeau Farms.

This week the road crew is working two miles north of Woodston and on the road south of Codell.

Ruder made a motion to approve and sign the monthly landfill report and the Road & Bridge report and the Landfill’s monthly check in the amount of $5,320.40. Balthazor second the motion and Berland agreed.

Bouchey is looking to purchase a new Tiger Mower. He has prices for a 5’ and 6’.  He will need to talk with Strutt but was thinking the 5’ would be better because then all of the mowers would have the same size blades.

Butch Post, EMD, Doug Jackson and Marc Marcotte, with Rolling Hills Electric, and Kirk Girard with Prairieland Electric were in to speak and answer questions on shutting off power during a wind event. Nowlin Numrich and Tom Ruth with Western Coop, joined by phone.  Ruder started the meeting off by stating that after the wind and fire event on December 15th, the commissioners would like to be prepared should there be similar event in the future.

Girard talked about the line maintenance and all of the upgrades to the lines the electric power companies have done over the past five to ten years. Shutting down power can be done, but it’s bringing the power back online is where they have concerns.  The power companies need to send out crews to inspect every mile of the lines before the power can be turned back on.  If there is a line break or a line down across a road, there is no way to detect it when the power is off.  This is why crews need to inspect all of the lines before turning power on.  Turning the power on without inspecting could result in a fire or someone being electrocuted or something else. When the power grid is on it is easier to tell where a down line is located.

Tom Ruth, Western Coop, said there are also consequences for emergency responders who depend or need to have electricity for things like being able to pump gas for vehicles, and pump water from wells for the fire departments. They will shut off power for public safety but most of it has to be done manually which requires sending workers out.

Marc Marcotte, Rolling Hills, agreed with the conversation from the other power companies that turning off the electric isn’t as simple as flipping a switch and it could take weeks to restore power.

Girard said the power companies state-wide are looking at solutions.

Post wanted to know what the parameters for shutting off the power would be and who would have the authority to do that. The Commissioners agreed that shutting off the power was more complicated than they had thought. 

The Commissioners requested the Clerk’s Office send thank you notes to all in attendance for their time to come meet and answer questions from the commissioners.

The Commissioner’s reviewed the Twp #10 2021 Annual Report and their mail.

Ruder made a motion to sign the Conflict of Interest for the Loyd Group LLC. There was one for each Commissioner to sign. Balthazor second the motion and Berland agreed.

Ruder attended the Plainville City Council meeting. The Council made a motion to donate $140,000 to Red Bud. It passed by a 3 to 2 vote. After the vote Ruder thanked the council for helping to save the jobs and to keep families’ loved ones in Plainville. He feels this will benefit Plainville City.

Ruder made a motion to approve and sign the following weekly vouchers:

                General                warrants #77301-77324                  $17,375.69

                Noxious Weed      warrants #77325-77329                  $4,195.33

                Health Dept           warrants #77330-77339                  $2,790.35

                Golf Course            warrant #77340                                   $38.00

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




John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                               


Greg Balthazor, Member


Tim Berland



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk