February 4


February 4, 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.  Virgi Laska, with the Stockton Sentinel, was also present.    The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.  The Agenda was approved. 

Gary Knight, Rooks County Sheriff, updated the Commission about the tower that had blown down during a wind storm in the fall of 2019.  The tower belonged to NexTech, and they are not planning to re-build this tower.  At this time, it is too expensive for the County to get onto a cell tower.  That rent is around $2000.00 per month.  Knight presented an estimate from VLS Communications, Inc. from Collyer, KS in the amount of $7,938.72 for a new antenna installation at the Plainville Water Tower site.  Knight projected that the cost would be close to $20,000.00 before everything was finished:  another $6,000.00 to raise the tower 30’, and another $2,000.00 for a battery back-up.  Knight recommended using the battery back-up instead of a generator, which would be very costly.  Knight planned to meet with the City of Plainville about cost sharing, and he said that the Road & Bridge Department would be liable for some of the cost as well. 

The Commissioners reviewed the minutes dated January 28th and January 31st.  Ruder made a motion to approve both sets of minutes from January 28th and January 31st as presented.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed.  After the minutes were printed, Hagan made a motion to sign the minutes of January 28th and January 31st.  Ruder seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

In weekly reports, Hagan reported receiving a couple of calls about the muddy roads.  An accident had occurred at the corner of 16 Terrace and O Road.  The landowner at this site has agreed to have the County clear out the trees and pile them up.  The landowner will take the fence down for access, take care of the piled trees and replace the fence.  The Road Supervisor will be notified.  Again, the Commissioners discussed using more sand and finding better rock to maintain the county roads. 

Hagan also reported on the NWK Planning and Development Board meeting he had attended.  Six (6) representatives from the City of Ellis were in attendance to talk about the advantages of having the NWK P & D membership.  These representatives will petition the County of Ellis to continue with their membership.  They had also contacted the cities of Victoria and Hays; but, had not received any feedback.  At this time, Ellis County is still not wanting to pay their dues. 

Balthazor reported about the fatal accident that happened in the northeast part of the County.  The grader operator is working on these roads to smooth them out.  Balthazor thought the grader operators throughout the County may want to start leaving the dirty rock in the ditches and start hauling sand onto the roads. 

Ruder reported on the Red Bud Village board meeting he had attended.  The number of residents at the nursing facility is down considerably with twenty-six (26) residents.  The assisted living complex is currently full.  The administrator is working on ideas to adjust costs to save money.  At this time, Red Bud Village does not have a dietician, but they are still in compliance using a regional dietician that makes rounds throughout the area. 

Ruder had also talked to residents about the muddy roads.  Most of them have continued to be understanding with the moisture and the road conditions. 

Ruder had talked with Roger Hrabe, Economic Development Director, and learned that the County had not received the Historical Society Grant that was applied for to maintain the Courthouse stone.  He said the Historical Society had received fifty-two (52) applications and only approved eleven (11) or twelve (12) of them.

A thank you was received from Options Domestic & Sexual Violence Services for the appropriation of $250.00 received for supporting their services. 

Ruder made a motion to sign for deposit a check from Township #12 in the amount of $156.58 for reimbursement of their bond insurance.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Hagan agreed. 

Hagan made a motion to accept the 2019 annual report from Township #8.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Ruder agreed. 

The Commission received a letter and pamphlet regarding the Twice as Nice Campaign with the Heartland Community Foundation asking for donations.  The Board felt this is a worth-while campaign, but did not feel like they should participate as a County entity. 

Ruder made a motion to pay the dues to NWK Planning and Development for 2020.  The invoice was for $8,946.00.  Rooks County pays this through distributions.  The check will be made for sixty percent (60%) for an amount of $5,367.60 with the remainder being paid with the other remaining distributions in 2020.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

Ruder made a motion to approve the executed ground lease agreement dated April 24, 2017 and the addendum dated January 2, 2020 between the Rooks County Airport Commission and Keane L. Wurm/Giddy Up Enterprises, LLC, and to authorize Jonathan Berkley to sign the lease.  The addendum added language to specify that there be a five-year review to make sure that a hangar is constructed.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Hagan agreed. 

Ruder made a phone call to Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, asking whether the trucks and truck boxes had been ordered.  Bouchey said that yes, they had been ordered, and he will put enough money on the down payment hoping to get the payments finished before the 5-year loan with the bank.  (Bouchey was unable to make the meeting due to family illnesses.)

With no further business to transact, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Hagan agreed. 

Adopted this 11th day of February, 2020




John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Greg Balthazor, Member


Corky Hagan, Member



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk