April 30


April 30, 2020

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met in special session for the purpose of approving the end-of-the-month payroll and vouchers.  Those present were the Commissioners:  John Ruder, Corky Hagan, and Greg Balthazor.  Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk, was present to write the minutes.  This meeting was held through Zoom in order to practice social distancing and abide by the Governor’s orders to have less than ten persons in one setting.  Chairman Ruder asked all to rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The agenda was approved. 

Lori Eichman, Health Department Administrator, updated the Board with COVID-19 news.  Rooks County has six (6) positive cases to date, with three (3) considered recovered, and (1) more will be classified as recovered soon. 

Eichman and Butch Post, Emergency Management, had heard that Walmart, in conjunction with KDEM, KDHE and KDWP are having a drive through test site set up at the roadside park by Webster. They had participated in a conference call with KDEM and KDHE the previous evening to discuss the plan. The plan had developed really fast the day before, and they were not notified about it; but had heard about it through the grapevine. Post and Eichman did not like the way the plan was handled with the lack of notification for local partners.  They tested on Wednesday, April 28th, Thursday, April 29th and then shut the mobile unit down.   

Eichman reported Governor Kelly would be broadcasting her re-opening plan at 6:30 this evening.  Eichman and Post will discuss a plan with Dr. Brull after the Governor’s speech.  Governor Kelly’s re-opening plan will consist of phases.  Governor Kelly has declared the counties may have more restrictions than her plan, but they cannot have less restrictions. 

Butch Post spoke about his concerns and reservations about the mobile testing unit and how it was handled.  Post asked the Commissioners for a re-opening plan, and the Board thought they needed to wait to see what the Governor will set for a plan.  A conference call may be needed after hearing the Governor’s plan. 

Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, presented an updated farm lease between Rooks County and Steve Hageman and Ryan Hageman to lease the pasture ground at the Landfill.  Ruder made a motion to sign the farm lease agreement between Rooks County and Steve Hageman and Ryan Hageman.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

Bouchey reported his department had hauled chipped concrete to the entryway at the Tallgrass facility.  The plan was to sand a mile on that road today.

Equipment news:

  • The grader that had rolled over is back from Colby. The Foley mechanics then came to the shop to tweak some minor things.
  • Another grader is still in Salina. The engine will be tested and they will continue trouble-shooting.
  • The oil distributor that was in Topeka is done and ready to go.
  • Gail Strutt is going over the Cat truck, and has ordered some parts to replace before taking it on the road.

Bouchey asked about the tower progress.  Ruder reported they are waiting for climbers, and because of the recent windy conditions, they are somewhat behind schedule.

Commissioners Hagan and Balthazor discussed with Bouchey road concerns and employee issues.  They also asked about the new truck boxes.  Bouchey is still waiting on them.  

The Commission reviewed the minutes of April 21st.  Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes of April 21st with a minor correction.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed.  After the minutes were printed, Hagan made a motion to sign the corrected minutes.  Balthazor seconded this motion, and Ruder agreed. 

In weekly reports, Hagan reported a quiet week and that his area had received some nice rains (.70 total with three rains).

Balthazor said he had not received any calls.  He had travelled a few roads.  His area did not receive quite as much rain, but the dust on the county roads had settled just a little for a short time.  Balthazor had received a call from Topeka asking how Rooks County is handling the quarantine.  Balthazor reported the board planned to listen to the Rooks County Health Officer and the Health Department Administrator for recommendations. 

Ruder had reviewed the Coop plan received from the Emergency Management Director.  He had made a few revisions.  Red Bud Village is still on lockdown.  Red Bud Village is looking at pest control options.  They plan to potentially sign a contract with a pest control business soon. 

Roger Hrabe, Economic Development Director, had given the County Clerk two more environmental renewal applications to sign for Twig & Vine, LLC and Hometown Plumbing Solutions.  The Commissioners voiced their concerns about the programs and county-involved monies through the CDBG micro-loan fund and the community block grant fund.  Hrabe, through Zoom, explained how the programs had reduced regulations and these applications will be used for working capital.  Ruder made a motion to sign the environmental review applications for both Hometown Plumbing Solutions and Twin & Vine, LLC.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Hagan agreed. 

Hrabe informed the commissioners about his work done on the County’s website.  At this time, Hrabe pays for all the costs and uses his time to keep the web-site up.  Hrabe would like to work with a company called Revise that does web-sites for government entities and businesses.  Currently, Rooks County’s website is not accessible, especially for the handicapped.  Revise would give Hrabe a 50% discount at this time to help update the website.  Hrabe does not think his fund would be able to handle the expense of this update.  The Board said this is something to think about. 

Hrabe was asked about the snow removal equipment at the airport.  Hrabe reported the snow removal building will get its final inspection on May 6th.  A consultant is working with Farm Implement, who received the bid for the snow removal equipment, to go over all the specific regulations for the equipment.  After the specifics are finalized, the bid will be formally approved. 

Tawnya Rohr, Director of the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs, presented her budget requests through Zoom.  She reported the volunteers are still calling their clients to make sure they get anything they need.  Ten (10) Rooks County volunteers currently serve thirty (30) clients.   The Foster Grandparent program has worked so well in Rooks County that other counties have inquired about and requested joining the program. 

Hagan mentioned he had received notice from NWK Planning and Development saying Ellis County will not be paying their dues this year.  The City of Ellis is interested in belonging to and getting involved with the Planning and Development Board, but the board has questions about how to charge just a city. 

Heather Poore, Rooks County Appraiser, presented quotes for 10-ply tires.  She had received quotes from Keller’s, Ruder Oil, and Hahn’s Tire.  After going over the quotes, Ruder made a motion to approve the low quote from Hahn’s Tire for $150.00 per tire.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

Poore said she has some ‘sales’ figures with several over $200,000 in the cities of Plainville and Stockton.  The majority of the sales have been $150,000 – $190,000.  There had been some slower sales with the Covidi-19 virus, the figures are about the same as the previous year.  Poore also mentioned her department is finishing up on the oil valuations, and the personal property valuations are ready to be mailed. 

The Commissioners discussed the opening of the courthouse.  They planned to wait and hear Governor Kelly’s actions.  The Board is leaning towards a soft opening of the courthouse with limited access.  For now, the Courthouse will remain closed until the Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday, May 5th.  The Board had not talked to Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, about a Spring Clean-up.  With the pandemic, the Spring-Clean-up may turn into a Fall Clean-up. 

Ruder made a motion to review, approve and sign the end-of-the-month vouchers and payroll.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

                April 30, 2020 (Weekly)

                                                                VOUCHER           EMPLE BEN         GROSS PAY         TOTAL

County General                                 110,628.18           41,628.72             150,663.69           302,920.59

Road & Bridge                                   26,204.05                                            75,606.07           101,810.12

Noxious Weed                                  36,741.86                                             5,703.97               42,445.83

Register of Deeds Equip Res           194.84                                                                                   194.84

Treasurer’s Equipment Res             385.17                                                                                   385.17

Health Department                         1,089.18                   4,563.26               26,603.70             41,245.00

Sanitation                                    204,782.00                                                8,486.17            213,268.17

Rooks County Golf Course                                                                            1,662.00               1,662.00

Economic Develop Exp TR             1,306.45                    781.89                   4,482.27               6,570.61

                GRAND TOTAL              381,331.73              46,973.87             273,207.87           701,513.47


                APRIL 30, 2020 (Monthly)

                                                                VOUCHER           EMPLE BEN         GROSS PAY         TOTAL

County General                                163,500.70           41,628.72             150,663.69           355,793.11

Road & Bridge                                   105,249.39                                           75,606.07         180,855.46

Noxious Weed                                  51,060.97                                             5,703.97               56,764.94

Attorney Equipment Reserve           949.00                                                                                   949.00

Register of Deeds Equip Res         194.84                                                                                   194.84

Treasurer’s Equipment Res            385.17                                                                                   385.17

Health Department                         10,078.04             4,563.26                  26,603.70             41,245.00

Sanitation                                      208,355.53                                             8,486.17            216,841.70

Rooks County Golf Course              1,807.30                                               1,662.00               3,469.30

Economic Development Exp TR      1,508.62               781.89                   4,472.27                 6,772.78

Central KS Library                        13,010.80                                                                           13,010.80

                GRAND TOTAL            556,100.36              46,973.87             273,207.87           876,282.10

With a reminder that the next meeting will also be through Zoom on Tuesday, May 5th, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

Adopted this 21st day of April, 2020




John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Greg Balthazor, Member


Corky Hagan, Member



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk