July 12


July 12, 2022

The Rooks County Commissioners met with the following present:  Chairman, John Ruder; and Members, Greg Balthazor and Tim Berland.  Laura Montgomery, 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 accepted as presented with Butch Post being added at 10:30.

The commissioners reviewed and approved the minutes from July 5th with minor corrections.

The commissioners discussed the request from Lori Eichman, County Health Nurse, to have the roof damage repaired by Washington Roof out of Great Bend. The roof has a special coating and Lorraine Baughman had told her to use caution when having someone repair it. Berland said the warranty on it had expired and he didn’t think it would hurt to have Hill City Roofing do the work. The commissioners decided to stay with Hill City Roofing for repairs. John called and talked with Eichman about their decision.

A request was made from Montgomery for the commissioners to appoint a Democrat and Republican to witness the ballots from August 2020 be destroyed. She recommended Danielle Wells, a Democrat, and Sheryl Cundiff, a Republican. Balthazor made a motion to appoint Danielle Wells and Sheryl Cundiff to be witnesses to having the August 2020 ballots destroyed. Berland second the motion and Ruder agreed.

Kim Northup, Treasurer, was in to talk about the tax firm doing the delinquent tax sale for the county. It will not cost the county anything, the taxpayer pays the fees. Because the county has severed minerals and the county ends up with some the interest after a tax sale, the firm will need to come up with a way for the fees to be paid. The County will not have to pay any fees.  Berland asked about if the delinquent severed mineral interest can be deeded back to surface owner. This can’t be done at a tax sale but the county can have a surplus property sale and the surface owner can buy the interest then.

Northup said there are 4 new credit cards coming, one each for maintenance, Register of Deeds, Appraiser and Clerk of District Court. The statements will be mailed to each department and it will be their responsibility to have the statements paid on time.

Balthazor made motion to sign small funds for Northup. Berland seconded the motion and Ruder agreed.

Balthazor weekly report: He travel some roads. P Rd between 28 Rd and 30 Rd is getting better. He didn’t have a lot of complaints on the roads. The roof at the fairgrounds is almost done.

Berland weekly report: 5 Road is still bad and he talked with Bouchey who said someone will look at it. 

Ruder weekly report: He attended a Red Bud meeting. They looked at 3 different locations for a new nursing facility. 1. Where it is at now 2. Next to the hospital. 3. Downtown across from Arnolds. There are a couple of empty buildings and a vacant lot. There will be another meeting in month with numbers. Several people have asked Balthazor, if Plainville City will take over the nursing facility. It is the intention for the city to own and operate the facility. Berland asked about the assisted living nursing facility being in separate locations. That was also part of the discussion. The assist living should be expanded to make it feasible. They also discussed future use for current facility. The downtown location would have infrastructure so new water lines, sewer line, utilities wouldn’t need to be installed. The location by the hospital doesn’t have any infrastructure.

Ruder made a motion to endorse the landfill check in the amount of $17,813.20. Berland second the motion and Balthazor agreed.

Rich Bouchey, Road Supervisor, weekly report: He has been talking with Collins & City of Stockton about raising the rate at the landfill. If is currently $30 per ton for solid waste and $30 per ton for CND. He wants to increase solid waste to $40 per ton. The last increase was 8 to 10 years ago and we are low compared to other counties. Bouchey explained the difference between solid waste and CND how it’s treated at the landfill. Bouchey plans on using 1/5 mill tax for spring cleanup that was cut from budget. Bouchey said the rate increase would take effect January 1, 2023. This will affect cities budgets. He will get more data for next week for the commissioners. Also discussed were the fees for tires, both what people pay when the tires are brought to the landfill and when the county gets rid of the tires.

Discussed was the oil distributor still not working. Ruder said he thought KDOT will be around to help. Bouchey said the City of Stockton could also help.

One of the Road & Bridge employee has given notice and Bouchey will put an ad out to hire a new employee. A couple of the bridge crew has been helping at the fairgrounds with the track.

There is a new home going in at 16 Rd & Y Rd. Bouchey is meeting with the new home owners on improving the road so they can have access to their property.

Bouchey and the commissioners discussed equipment and road repairs.

At the request of Montgomery, Michael Baxter with Jeter Law Offices was in to discuss research on severed mineral interest. He is interested in doing the work for the county. After hearing what the county is looking for, he said he would be back with a price for the work. Montgomery had also contacted John Grover with Grover Land Service out of Andover, KS. He is also interested in doing the work. His price is $300 per day plus travel expense. Fred Hambright’s rate is $450 per day plus travel expense.

Butch Post, EMD, will be out of the state for a week, starting Sunday. He has new contact information for Toby Prine and also there will be other EDM available should there be an emergency. He has replaced two of the tires on his vehicle because there were damaged. The estimate for hail damage to his vehicle is $1,500 to $2,000. The vehicle is schedule to go in for repairs end of August.  

Casey Frasier with Foley Equipment out of Concordia was in to visit with the commissioners. He asked if there is anything they need. The commissioners told him they are still waiting on the motor grader to be repaired. Foley is waiting on the exhaust elbow and they had sent radiator off to be rebuilt. The commissioner asked Frasier what the expectation is on it getting repaired? Maybe next week if the radiator is repaired.

Gary Knight, Sheriff, will need a new car next year and it has to be ordered by July 15th. Chad’s vehicle was total by the insurance company. It is drivable but needs to be replaced.  Knight plans on pricing both Ford & Dodge vehicles. He is going to replace the dog vehicle and he may also have to buy a new cage because he doesn’t know if the old one will fit the new car. Because of vehicles getting damage and out for repair, there are no extra vehicles. He asked the commissioners if they have ever leased vehicles. This was discussed as an option in the future. He has enough fuel on contract that should last until fall. Zac has been helping out with repairs at the jail. The jail sergeant and bookkeeper are both out on sick leave.

Kim Northup, County Treasurer and April Brown, Register of Deeds was in to visit with the commissioners about switching to a new computer system when the contract with Aumentum has expired. Brown had recently attended a ROD meeting. The discussion at the meeting was the continuing service by Aumentum. Kevin Juenemann is going to be retiring in a couple of years and they are concern about what kind of service we will continue to get. Northup thinks we will need to look for to a web base system when current contract has expired. They are asking the commissioner to proactively put aside funds for a new computer system. Brown is pushing for the CIC system that is currently being used by most of the counties in Kansas. Northup and Brown are wanting to put aside some of the ARPA funds. Ruder said he doesn’t know if ARPA funds can be used.

Ruder made a motion to sign the waiver from Western Kansas Child Advocacy for their grant process.  Berland second the motion and Balthazor agree.

Commissioners review the monthly statement from the credit card company.

Ruder read the note from the County Attorney about doing a special tax sale for the building in Plainville. She said she could do it but it won’t be done before the end of the year and it could be after the first of the year. Ruder had talked with the compliance officer and Plainville is also wanting some other unoccupied buildings. Ruder was hoping to expedite those eligible for the tax sale but it’s not going to happen.

Ruder made a motion to sign the Tax Emption Project for Hill City Roofing. Balthazor second the motion and Berland agreed.

Received by e-mail was a Federal Surplus Property Program Eligibility Application.  The commissioners reviewed and discussed the benefits of the program. Montgomery will fill it out and have ready next week for the commissioners to sign.

Berland made a sign the July 5th minutes. Balthazor second the motion and Ruder agreed.

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

FUND                    WARRANTS                        TOTAL

General                78335-78360                       18,994.53

Road                      78361-78372                       75,219.23

Weed                    78373-78379                       26,657.97

Sheriff Equip        78380                                      989.10

Health                   78381-78388                        2,242.89

Sanitation             78389-78393                         2,273.55

Golf Course         78394-78395                              86.47

TOTAL                                                           126,463.74

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



John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                     _____________________________________                    

Greg Balthazor, Member


Tim Berland, Member



Laura Montgomery, Rooks County Clerk