March 21


March 21, 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. Ruder called the meeting to order and asked all to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance

The agenda was accepted as presented.

Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes with corrections. Berland second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.

Hilbrink weekly report: After comments from people at last week’s meeting she contacted other counties and asked how many commissioners and when they have their meetings as well as other questions. The counties all have three commissioners and meet during the day.

Berland weekly report: He asked about Kelli Hansen and her doing grants. It has been a quiet week. He heard some comments from people about valuations.

Ruder weekly report: He has some thoughts concerning budgets for 2024. Once the county lowers the mill levy it is hard to raise the levy in the future. Montgomery said the state has done away with the cap and the counties now are required to calculate Revenue Neutral Rate and send notices to tax payers. He has a Redbud meeting next week. Ruder attended the Zoom meeting from KRNC. The meeting was for a class action lawsuit about prairie chickens. KRNC has found a law firm to represent them. Rooks County will vote yes on the lawsuit.

Kayla talked with Township #2 Treasurer. He told her he would visit with the county clerk next week. Montgomery said he had not made contact with her.

Butch Post, EMD, ask the commissioners if they plan on attending the table top recovery exercise on Thursday in Oakley.  Hilbrink will attend along with Post and Lori Eichman, County Health Nurse. Post was approached by the Plainville Redline Cruiser to donate funds for a plaque. Ruder said any donation should be made personally and not through the county. The commissioners donate to the fair board every year for award money but it is done personally.

Bouchey weekly report: The landfill was inspected February 27 and had been written up for the following violations: blowing litter, failure to apply cover on trash with dirt every 120 days, failure to report the fire last summer to the state. Ruder asked if it is documented when the trash is covered. Bouchey said yes.

Bouchey has reached out to 4-H groups to pick up trash around the landfill and along the highway. He has one group who has replied. The county did get the permit from the state to continue to operate the landfill. Hilbrink asked if Bouchey had contacted KDOC for them to pick up the trash. Bouchey said yes but he is on a waiting list. Hilbrink said there is a high school golf tournament in April and the trash needs to be cleaned up before then.

The road crew has taken out the cotton tree talked about last week. Unfortunately, there was a fiber optic line underneath the tree that also was also taken out.

Evan Knoll, with American Warrior, was in to request putting pipe line under and along county right-of-way on Z Road between 1 Road and 2 Road.  Can they cross the county road and how close to right of way? Commissioners, Mr. Knoll and Bouchey discussed the best option to meet the request. Commissioners agreed to allow American Warrior to lay pipe across Z Road and three feet off of the road in the right-of-way.

Ruder asked about road equipment. Bouchey said everything is in good shape. He is going to start calling about the water truck the first of April to find out when the repairs will be completed.

The commissioners moved the meeting outside to the northeast corner of the courthouse. Zac Brown removed the two plaques on the courthouse wall looking for the Time Capsule. It was not there. The courthouse committee will need to locate the time capsule before the April 23rd Celebration.                       

The commissioners returned to the commissioners’ room. Berland made a motion to sign the March 14th minutes. Hilbrink second the motion and Ruder agreed.

The commissioners open their mail. K-Camp will be doing appraisals in April. Received was a renewal for termite pest control for the Water Resource Building from World Pest Control. Received from High Plains Mental Health Center a request for 2024 funding.

The commissioners discussed personnel and employees using sick leave before retirement when they are not sick. The policy states when sick leave is allowed to be taken. The county pays $50 per day at the end of employment. Hilbrink will visit with the employee and department supervisor.

Kim Northup, Treasurer, was in to have the commissioners sign small fund vouchers. Hilbrink made a motion to sign small fund vouchers for Northup. Berland second the motion and Ruder agreed.

Ruder made a motion to sign Resolution #2023-R4 to appoint a freedom of information officer. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.





WHEREAS, the Kansas Legislature adopted Sub. HB 2864 requiring that all public agencies covered by the Open Records Act appoint a Local Freedom of Information Officer; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Rooks County Commissioners believes the appointment of a Freedom of Information Officer to assist the public with its open records needs is good for public service and facilitates the public policy of open government.

NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Board of Rooks County Commissioners meeting in regular session this 21st day of March, 2023:

Section 1:  Appointment.  Laura Montgomery is hereby appointed as the Freedom of Information Officer for Rooks County and is charged with all of the statutory duties prescribed by Sub. HB 2864 and set forth in Section 2.

            Section 2:  Duties.  The Freedom of Information Officer or the officer’s designee shall:

  1. Prepare and provide educational materials and information concerning the open records act;
  2. Be available to assist the county and members of the general public to resolve disputes relating to the open records act;
  3. Respond to inquiries relating to the open records act;
  4. Establish the requirements for the content, size, shape and other physical characteristics of a brochure required to be displayed or distributed or otherwise make available to the public under the Open Records Act.  In establishing such requirements for the content of the brochure, the local Freedom of Information Officer shall include plainly written basic information about the rights of a requestor, the responsibilities of a public agency, and the procedures for inspecting and obtaining a copy of public records under the Open Records Act.


PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the Board of County Commissioners of Rooks County, Kansas, this 21st day of March, 2023.

John Ruder

John Ruder, Chairman

Tim Berland

Tim Berland, Commissioner

Kayla Hilbrink

Kayla Hilbrink, Commissioner


Laura Montgomery

Laura Montgomery, Certified County Clerk

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

County General 80175-80214  $ 23,589.94
Weed 80215-80218  $   1,792.47
Sheriff Equipment Reserve 80219  $ 10,247.97
Health Department 80220-80232  $   6,711.58
Rooks County Golf Course 80233  $      720.00
Central KS Library 80234  $   2,989.99
Insurance Claims Reimbursement 80235  $ 17,630.64
     $ 63,682.59


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

Adopted this 28th Day of March, 2023



______________________________________                  ATTEST:

John Ruder, Chairman                                                                    __________________________________

                                                                                                                Laura Montgomery, Certified County Clerk


Kayla Hilbrink, Member



Tim Berland, Member