February 25


February 25, 2020

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met in regular session.  Those present were the Commissioners:  John Ruder, Corky Hagan, and Greg Balthazor.  Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk, was present to write the minutes.  Sherry Koster, Sanitarian with the NCKS LEPG, was present, arriving early for her appointment.  Ruder asked all to rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The agenda was approved. 

Sherry Koster, the Sanitarian with Smith County and working with the Local Environmental Planning Group, presented the quarterly and yearly reports for 2019.  Koster reported there is not as much funding in the LEPG for 2020, as last year she did a lot of work with all the cabins in the area; but, Koster figured there is plenty of reserve funds to get by on. 

The Commissioners reviewed their minutes of February 18.  Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes from February 18th as presented.   Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed.  After the minutes were printed, Hagan made a motion to sign the approved minutes.  Balthazor seconded this motion, and Ruder agreed. 

In weekly reports, Hagan reported he had received a newsletter from NWK Planning and Development.  Randy Hrabe, Executive Director, had attended the Ellis County Commission meeting, and he said the Ellis County Commissioners are asking to lower their dues 20-25%.  The Rooks County Commissioners discussed the pros and cons of this request and thought by monitoring the work and time taken to get the work done in Ellis County, it might enlighten them as to how much they actually use Planning and Development’s resources.  The Rooks County Commissioners also thought that the City of Ellis may be willing to help financially. 

Balthazor said he had been approached by a resident of Woodston City saying there is junk being hauled back to a site that had previously been cleaned up.  This will need to be addressed. 

Balthazor had attended the Economic Development meeting, highlighting the following:

  • The “Twice as Nice” program is going well. The committee has a goal of reaching $50,000 that the Dane G. Hansen Foundation would match.  This money stays in Rooks County and is given away in the form of grants.  
  • Harrison Gilliland plans to build duplexes at the old hospital lots in Plainville.
  • The Rooks County Airport has received a grant for snow removal equipment.
  • Wes Bainter is looking to build two houses in Plainville.
  • YEC is scheduled for March 18th at the Plainville school.
  • There are two new businesses being started in Rooks County.

Balthazor had also joined a teleconference phone call with Work Force One.

Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, presented a check in the amount of $11,547.30 received from the City of Woodston for the clean up work done in the Circle pasture.  Ruder made a motion to sign this check for deposit.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

Bouchey said he is getting some calls back from the Pro-Seal Company.  Bouchey would like to get Jerol DeBoer’s (with Penco Engineering) input about Pro-Seal’s company before getting involved with them.  Bouchey has put in a call to Venture Corporation asking for a quote for millings and overlay to do the Zurich/Webster black-top which is approximately ten miles. 

Bouchey mentioned that the Doosan loader’s steering pump is out.  They believe it is a sensor making the brake system lock up.  A mechanic has been called to look at it.  The Doosan loader has a Scandia engine which needs special software and specialized personnel to look into the repairs.

Bouchey reported his safety meeting held the previous week went very well and only two employees were not able to attend. 

The new trucks will be delivered to I-70 Truck Repair in Hays by April 1st.  I-70 Truck Repair will then need to make the inspections.  The truck boxes will be ready by May 1st in Wichita.  

An ad has been published in the newspapers for bids to cash rent the Landfill pasture.  The bids are due on March 20th

The Commissioners let Bouchey know that Gary Knight, Rooks County Sheriff, had notified them that the tower in Plainville had been measured at 120’.  Rooks County’s addition of 50’ will make it 170’ high.  Bouchey said this would help his department quite a bit with being able to hear signals in the southeast part of the county. 

Ruder made a motion to sign for deposit a check received from the State of Kansas for rent of the Water Resources Building in the amount of $1,000.00.   Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

A billing in the amount of $1,044.00 was received from Michael A. Montoya, P.A. Attorney at Law for professional services and costs accrued from working on and attending Board of Tax Appeal hearings.  Ruder made a motion to pay the bill.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

Roque Garcia, Rooks County Custodian, had asked for approval to pay a bill to Fire Alarm Specialists in the amount of $683.65 to install batteries in the fire alarms.  The Commissioners called Garcia for some clarification; and then approved the payment of the bill. 

The Commissioners reviewed the Agricultural Land Value Changes from 2019 to 2020 received from Heather Poore, Rooks County Appraiser. 

Hagan made a motion to accept the 2019 Annual report from Township #9.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Ruder agreed.  

Ruder made a motion to continue their membership to KCCA (Kansas County Commissioners Association) and pay the dues in the amount of $325.00.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

Mike Klein, Noxious Weed Director, presented an annual report due to the State.  Ruder made a motion to sign the Noxious Weed Eradication Progress Report.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed.  The report showed Rooks County has sprayed 50,000 acres of musk thistle with airplanes.  Klein said he had about 5,000 more acres to do this month to finish until fall spraying begins. 

The Commissioners discussed the possibility of adding a maternity leave policy to the employee’s work policy. 

With no further business to transact, Ruder reminded the Board to meet at 9:00 am on Friday, February 28th to approve month-end payroll and vouchers.  Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

Adopted this 3rd day of March, 2020



John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Greg Balthazor, Member


Corky Hagan, Member



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk