May 9, 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.
The commissioners met with department heads and elected officials to discuss sick leave and how it is used and if any changes need to be made. Ruder said there have been issues in a department with abuse of sick leave. April Brown, Register of Deeds, said it needs to be in the policy a doctors’ note is required if an employee is absent at least three days or if an employee is absent one or two days every week. Danielle Muir, County Attorney, commented about the care of a family members and not having a doctor’s note. Rich Bouchey, Road Supervisor, said three days is too short and this doesn’t allow for children who are sick. Berland said the department head would be the first to know of sick leave is being misused and it is his/her responsibility to stop any abuse. Ruder asked if the compensation for sick leave is fair. Mike Klein, Weed Director, feels like the compensation isn’t enough. There were several that agreed with him. PTO was discussed as an alternate way leave is now being paid. Hilbrink feels there is no accountability using PTO. Also discussed was the policy for the employee to continue to earn leave if absent for a long time. The commissioners are asking for accountability from the departments. The commissioners think the policy is fair and the departments also agreed the policy is fine and no changes would be made.
Butch Post, EMD, informed the commissioners he will be on vacation starting next Tuesday for a week. He will e-mail them with a contact person in case of an emergency.
Rich Bouchey, Road Supervisor, weekly report: Bouchey presented a check from the landfill in the amount of $13,450.00 for April. Ruder made a motion to endorse the check. Berland second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.
Bouchey presented the road and sanitation monthly report for April.
Bouchey presented three job applications for the commissioners to review. He has four employees who are retiring soon. Berland asked if the shop foreman was going to stay. Bouchey said yes. Bouchey is entertaining the idea of having part time help.
The truckers are still hauling on 5 Road and the road crew is working on D Road and 11 Road. Also has a crew working on roads and culverts by Webster Lake. There has been no news on the grader that is leaking transmission fluid. Bouchey and commissioners discussed road maintenance.
Bouchey and commissioners discussed equipment and equipment repairs. Hilbrink asked about the dump trucks and if we have heard anything from the county attorney. She feels this is something that needs addressed with the frames that were cut? Bouchey, Berland and Ruder agreed. Hilbrink discussed Bouchey’s personal use of the county truck. Hilbrink and Berland want him to stop using it for personal errands.
Kelly Muir and Ruthmary Muir, with the Rooks County Fair Board was in to present the fair board budget for 2024. Expenses have increased due to repairs on buildings and utilities. The projected income is down. They used income figures from 2022. They are asking for $80,000 for next year compared to $60,000 for 2023. They are planning on having a carnival but each year it is getting harder to find one. They have made repairs and improvements on the grand stand, north feed barn and McCaslin Hall. Next on the list for building repairs are the buildings south and the horse barn. There was more damage found as a result of last year’s hail storm. This was taken to Michelle at Garrett’s insurance. Kelly Muir discussed repairs and upgrades as well as capital outlay to keep up with needed repairs such as water lines, electrical, and stone repairs.
Kim Northup, Treasurer, presented small funds vouchers. Ruder made a motion to review and approve small fund vouchers. Hilbrink second the motion and Berland agreed.
Commissioners reviewed last week’s minutes. Hilbrink moved to accept the minutes with corrects. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.
Hilbrink weekly report: She received some calls on the roads. She visited with David Harper director of property and vehicles about an appraisal audit. Hilbrink will set up a time for the commissioners to visit with him.
Berland weekly report: He had some calls about the roads.
Ruder weekly report: He talked with K-Worc about doing a safety meeting at Road & Bridge. He received a call from a museum board member who was unaware that Rick Gianni was moving forward with the yard work. Ruder said Gianni needs to communicate with the museum board.
Zac Brown, custodian, has shut off the eternal flame in front of the courthouse. Ruder said he did this because of the cost. Commissioners feel it was the intent to keep it going all the time. Montgomery said it might be because the wind blows out the flame and then there is the smell of gas. Ruder will visit with Brown about keeping the flame going.
Commissioners discuss the restaurant at the golf course. Someone needs to do inventory and get the keys back from Jason Kephart. The utilities have already been switched back to the MGA.
Ruder made a motion to review and sign the following vouchers. Berland second the motion and Hilbrink agreed.
FUND WARRANT # TOTAL
General 80517-80535 26,121.25
Road & Bridge 80536-80553 22,825.29
Noxious Weed 80554-80560 1,005.48
Sheriff Equip 80561 4,225.90
Health Dept 80562-80570 6,734.67
Sanitation 80571-80578 1,195.70
Golf Course 80579 40.00
RCED 80580-80581 153.71
Dare Fund 80582-80583 953.54
Berland requested an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel for five minutes, from 11:55 am to noon with himself, Ruder and Hilbrink. Ruder second the motion and Hilbrink agreed. Upon returning to open session there was no further discussion.
With no further business to transact, Hilbrink made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Berland second the motion and Ruder agreed.
Adopted this 9th Day of May, 2023
ROOKS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
John Ruder, Chairman
Kayla Hilbrink, Member
Tim Berland, Member
Laura Montgomery, Certified County Clerk