May 2


May 2, 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.

Montgomery and commissioners discussed the continuing abuse of sick leave at retirement and changing of the personnel policy. Kim Northup, Treasurer and April Brown, Register of Deeds, was in on the discussion. Hilbrink recommended talking with department heads and elected official about documentation of abuse of sick leave as grounds for dismissal. Montgomery will invite all department heads to next weeks’ meeting.

Rick Gianni with the historical society, presented a recommendation and quote to remove the evergreen bushes and additional yard work. Ruder made a motion to have the bushes removed and the trees trim and removed by Solida Tree Service out of Phillipsburg in the amount of $900. Berland second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.  This will be paid out of the Commissioner’s fund.

Commissioners reviewed April 25th and April 28th minutes. Hilbrink made a motion to approve the minutes with corrections. Berland second

Hilbrink weekly report: She attended a KAC conference last week on Wednesday & Thursday. The big concern is the state hasn’t paid out funding to the counties for LAVTR.

Also discussed at KAC was AMS contract services being expensive. Counties are short of staff and need to contract for services.  Hilbrink visited with David Harper about doing an informal audit of the appraisals. This will give the county an opportunity to check where we are for appraisals compared to other counties. Ruder said there have been people in about appraised values and questions about the process. Berland thinks this is a good idea. Berland said Ag land is consistent between counties but Rooks County is high on value for housing.  There was a discussion about department heads evaluations. Hilbrink would like to see the department heads attend workshops or retreats.  K-Camp and K-Worc both have workshops available. She would like to see unity and teamwork between departments.

Hilbrink said she received several calls regarding Red Bud and some calls about roads.

Berland weekly report: He is getting more calls about the roads. There are spots that are starting to break loose and turn to powder.

Rich Bouchey, Road Supervisor, weekly report: The landfill had the spring cleanup on Saturday, it was slow, only 130 tons of trash and 776 tires. Hilbrink gave Bouchey a job application as the office was closed yesterday because the secretary was out.

Bouchey inquired about the grant for the Zurich blacktop. Hilbrink hasn’t heard anything. She did talk to Kelli Hansen and they are behind on getting applications reviewed.

Bouchey said Foley was here for scheduled maintenance on equipment. He flagged one of the graders because it is losing transmission fluid. The transmission fluid is not going on the ground. Bouchey expects it to go to someplace for repairs. It is under warranty.

Bouchey and commissioners discussed road concerns.

Bouchey and commissioners discussed personnel. He has one employee who has been offered a job with better pay and several who are preparing for retirement. He may be without a shop foreman. Bouchey requested to increase the wage for the employee who was offered another job. Montgomery requested to have the new pay in writing.

Hilbrink asked about K-Worc doing a safety training session at the Road & Bridge shop. Montgomery will get the information to Bouchey so he can get that schedule.

Hilbrink told Bouchey there seems to be continued abuse of sick leave. Bouchey had talked with employees about this already. Berland and Hilbrink have concern about employees fulfilling work responsibilities if they are absent two or more days every week.

Ruder made a motion to endorse the check from the State of Kansas for the Water Resource Building in the amount of $1,000 for rent. Berland second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.

Ruder had a voice mail from the Tyler Raniszewski with the windfarm looking at expanding into Rooks County. Berland talked with him. He didn’t want to come to a meeting but was willing to visit with the commissioners by zoom.

Ruder made a motion to sign the KAIP Airport Modernization Agreement for the State of Kansas between the County, Secretary of State and KDOT. This is for the grant on improvements and repairs at the airport. Berland second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.

The commissioners had a request about allowing fireworks in the county. The commissioners will discuss this later as it is too early to make a discission.

The commissioners discussed the need for funding at Red Bud. Hilbrink received phone calls about the condition of the facility. She feels there is no transparency and no communication. She understands the need for funding. She visited with Kelli Hansen about Red Bud applying for grants. If the county transfer funds to Red Bud, how long is that money going to help them. Are they going to be in the same place again in a month?  Ruder said there is an urgency in the need for funding. The commissioners don’t want to see the facility to close down, but the facility can’t seem to get ahead financially. The commissioners had an in-depth discussion about the facility. Ruder presented bills for the facility. He also had a conversation with Quentin Meyers, mayor of Plainville City about the county cancelling the sale of the property. It was cancelled because there were some concerns about the ambulance shed located on the property and there are rumors someone else was interested in the property. Meyers said the county needs to sell and if someone else purchases the property maybe they will have a better idea about how to keep it going. The sale is contingent on it being kept as an adult care facility.

Ruder requested a motion to help with building expense of around $30,000. Ruder said he would make the motion if needed to transfer $30,000 to Red Bud. There was additional discussion about funding the facility. Hilbrink made a motion to transfer $30,000 to the Red Bud Facility for building maintenance. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.

Hilbrink made a motion to sign April 25th and April 28th minutes. Berland second the motion and Ruder agreed.

Berland made a motion to review and sign the following vouchers. Ruder second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.


FUND                                    WARRANT #                       AMOUNT

General                                80516                                    $30,000.00

Alcohol Program                  80514                                    $800.00

Parks & Recreation             80515                                    $2,200.00

TOTAL                                                                              $33,000.00


Commissioners reviewed the job description for road supervisor.

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

Adopted this 9th Day of May, 2023



John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                


Kayla Hilbrink, Member


Tim Berland, Member



Laura Montgomery, Certified County Clerk