July 7


July 7, 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.  Others, on the schedule, were the following:  Danielle Muir, Rooks County Attorney; Gary Knight, Rooks County Sheriff; Anna Muir, Phillips/Rooks Extension District #5 Agent; Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor; Butch Post, Emergency Management; and Heather Poore, Rooks County Appraiser.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, and the agenda was approved. 

Gary Knight and Danielle Muir presented the updated contract with the City of Stockton for law enforcement for the year 2021.  The Stockton City Commissioners were to meet this evening.  Rooks County officials will sign the contract after the Stockton City Commissioners have signed. 

Knight reported that the tower in Plainville City is completed and working.  A bill was received from Reif’s Welding & Construction, LLC in the amount of $2,992.50.  The Road & Bridge fund will pay for this bill from Reif’s Welding & Construction, LLC as part of their contribution of paying for part of the tower. 

With the new outbreaks of COVID-19 in neighboring counties, the Board talked about the Rooks County Free Fair.  A meeting will be held the following week between the Executive Board of the Rooks County Free Fair, the County Health Nurse, Emergency Management, and the Sheriff to discuss plans and protocols that need to be taken.  Danielle Muir, Rooks County Attorney, had spoken with Joe Gasper, Stockton City’s Attorney.  She said Mr. Gasper is recommending masks be worn in Stockton City buildings.  Liability issues were discussed

Lori Eichman, Rooks County Health Nurse, gave an update for COVID-19 in Rooks County.  Rooks County has had nine (9) cases of COVID, with eight (8) cases classified as recovered.  There has been an outbreak in Graham and Phillips Counties.  The nursing home in Logan has several cases.  Eichman had met with school officials to discuss guidelines coming from KDHE and KSHSAA.  The schools will have weekly zoom meetings, and the Department of Education is discussing the students wearing masks. 

                Numbers for this week are:

                                16,901 positive cases in Kansas

                                1,235 hospitalized cases

                                280 COVID deaths in Kansas

                                185,318 negative tests

                                98 counties affected by COVID

A discussion was held about the SPARK funding.  NWK Planning and Development has declined helping Rooks and surrounding counties facilitate the funding as they feel they do not have the staff to cover all eighteen (18) counties.  The Commissioners looked at the proposal from the consulting firm of Witt O’Brien.  Ruder said he would make some phone calls asking about help.  The County Attorney thought, after looking at the guidelines, questions and answers, that we should ask about what salaries could be reimbursed, as she thought the guidelines were contradictory.  Ruder made a motion to sign Resolution 2020-R7 (Rooks County’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Resolution) which is due to the State by July 13th

County Coronavirus Relief Fund Resolution


WHEREAS, securing the health, safety, and economic well-being of our residents is this Rooks County’s top priority;

WHEREAS, Rooks County is facing both a public health and economic crisis – the pandemic and public health emergency of COVID-19 – which has resulted in illness, quarantines, school closures, and temporary closure of businesses resulting in lost wages and financial hardship to Kansas citizens;

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020;

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States pursuant to Sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq. and consistent with Section 1135 of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 1320b-5), declared a national emergency that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency beginning March 1, 2020;

WHEREAS, as of this date, in Rooks County there have been nine (9) reported positive cases of COVID-19, including zero deaths with a likely second wave of COVID-19 cases expected in the Fall;

WHEREAS, Rooks County must remain flexible to account for the evolving nature and scope of the unprecedented public health emergency posed by COVID-19, while also simultaneously beginning the process of safely, strategically, and incrementally reopening business and facilitating economic recovery and revitalization;

WHEREAS, for the aforementioned and other reasons, and in recognition and furtherance of my responsibility to provide for and ensure the health, safety, security, and welfare of the people of the Rooks County, Rooks County has determined that the evolving public health and economic threats posed by COVID-19 require a proactive approach to provide immediate financial relief and long-term economic investment to communities within Rooks County;

WHEREAS, in these challenging times, this Rooks County will do whatever it can to avoid immediate dangers to the health, safety, and welfare of our constituents and prepare for future waves of COVID-19, including providing guidance and support for local municipal and educational entities who are making difficult and important decisions to protect the health and safety of their populations and facing significant economic challenges;

WHEREAS, on June 16, 2020the State Finance Council approved the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce’s proposal to distribute $992,217.00 to Rooks County to help address the health and economic challenges inflicted by COVID-19 based on Rooks County’s population and impact from COVID-19 with funds provided for reimbursement of COVID-19 related costs and as direct aid unless otherwise approved by the SPARK Taskforce.

Be it resolved that, pursuant to the authority vested in the Rooks County Board of Commissioners, including the authority granted to this body by K.S.A 19-101 in order to begin the process of safely, strategically, and proactively providing communities within Rooks County the resources they need to both mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and invest in long-term economic recovery, Rooks County Board of Commissioners any funds appropriated to Rooks County by the State of Kansas through the State’s Coronavirus Relief Fund pursuant to the following terms designed to ensure the lawful use of funds and transparency, equity, and accountability:

  1. Section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 801, provides the eligible purposes for which Coronavirus Relief Fund (“CRF”) payments may be used. Under 42 U.S.C. § 801(d) funds may be used for:
    1. necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19);
    2. not accounted for in the budget most recently approved for the county as of March 27, 2020; and
    3. incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.
  2. The following are examples of public health expenditures allowed pursuant to paragraph 1.a. above and 42 U.S.C. § 801(d):
  • COVID-19 related expenses of public hospitals or clinics
  • COVID-19 testing and quarantine costs
  • Payroll of employees substantially dedicated to COVID-19 mitigation or response
  • Expenses for establishing and operating public telemedicine capabilities
  • Technological improvements to facilitate distance learning
  • Improving telework capabilities
  • Grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures
  • Government payroll support program
  • Unemployment insurance costs related to COVID-19
  1. The following are examples of public health expenditures NOT allowed pursuant to paragraph 1.a. above and 42 U.S.C. § 801(d):
  • Damages covered by insurance
  • Payroll or benefits for employees not substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to COVID-19
  • Expenses that will be reimbursed under any federal program
  • Reimbursement to donors for donating items or services
  • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
  • Severance pay
  • Legal settlements
  1. Additionally, as outlined in guidance issued by the Congressional Research Service on April 14, 2020, “Coronavirus Relief Fund payments may not be used to directly account for revenue shortfalls related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Such funds, however, may indirectly assist with revenue shortfalls in cases where expenses paid for by the Coronavirus Relief Fund would otherwise widen the gap between government outlays and receipts.”
  2. To ensure the effective and timely oversight of local and state spending, and pursuant to a motion passed by the SPARK Taskforce on June 2, 2020, Rooks County will comply with the following reporting and recoupment structure:
    1. On August 15, 2020, counties will provide a first reconciliation of CRF funds. This reconciliation will constitute any additional receipts to be reimbursed through the CRF and a plan for spending the flexible direct aid and any unused funds provided to the county pursuant to the allowable expenditures outlined in 42 U.S.C. § 801(d). The SPARK Taskforce will approve the submitted direct aid spending plan in a timely manner upon receipt.
  1. Additionally, any funds held by a county that have not been appropriated through the county’s direct aid plan by August 15, 2020, for expenditures to occur prior to December 30, 2020, must be returned to the State for recoupment by September 15, 2020.
    1. On September 15, 2020, counties will provide a second reconciliation of CRF funds. This reconciliation will constitute any additional receipts to be reimbursed through the CRF and an accounting of all additional spending as approved through their respective direct aid plan.
    2. On November 1, 2020, counties will provide a third reconciliation of CRF funds. This reconciliation will constitute any additional receipts to be reimbursed through the CRF and an accounting of all additional spending as approved through their respective direct aid plan.
    3. On December 1, 2020, counties will provide a fourth reconciliation of CRF funds. This reconciliation will constitute any additional receipts to be reimbursed through the CRF and an accounting of all additional spending as approved through their respective direct aid plan.   
    4. On February 1, 2021, counties will provide a fifth and final reconciliation of CRF funds. This date may be subject to change based on updated federal guidance for final federal reconciliation and recoupment deadlines. This reconciliation will constitute any additional receipts to be reimbursed through the CRF and an accounting of all additional spending as approved through their respective direct aid plan.   
    5. Any unspent funds not accounted for in the county’s direct aid plan or otherwise unspent by December 30, 2020 must be returned to the State for recoupment. All reconciliation documents submitted to the SPARK Taskforce will be made publicly available by the Governor’s Office of Recovery.
  1. To ensure transparency and accountability in the deliberation, expenditure, and oversight processes associated with CRF funds, Rooks County, in conjunction with the SPARK Taskforce and the Office of Recovery, will:
    1. Make publicly accessible all meetings or hearings in which CRF expenditures are considered.
    2. Make publicly accessible any meeting materials associated with the expenditure of CRF funds, including but not limited to agendas, presentations, and minutes.
    3. Make publicly accessible a detailed and timely accounting of CRF spending, including any financial reconciliation materials.
    4. Create, publicize, and manage a process for non-governmental organizations, businesses, and Rooks County residents to provide comments on spending decisions, submit requests for new programs, and ask questions regarding CRF spending or administration.
    5. Create, publicize, and manage a process for any local entities receiving CRF funds to report spending and outcomes.
  2. To ensure that all educational and municipal entities within counties receive CRF funds to meet their respective health and economic challenges, the SPARK Taskforce Executive Committee passed a motion on June 2, 2020, to direct counties to allocate and share CRF funding to public educational and municipal entities within their counties. Pursuant to this motion, Rooks County, will develop and implement a process to share, allocate, account for, and recoup funds appropriated to public educational and municipal entities within their counties for reimbursement of COVID-19 related expenses and provide reasonable consideration of flexible direct aid spending requests made to the county by public educational and municipal entities pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 801.
    1. If a public educational or municipal entity has locations in more than one county, the entity should be treated as located in the county in which the entity’s principal office or headquarters is located.
  3. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally impacted racial minorities within the State of Kansas, illustrating long-standing health disparities for African-American, Latino, and other racial minority populations in the United States. Accordingly, Rooks County will consider and incorporate efforts to address such disproportionate impacts on racial minorities in its direct aid plan.
  4. As provided in 42 U.S.C. § 801(f), the Inspector General of the Department of the Treasury determines whether CRF payments have been used for eligible purposes. Fund payments that are deemed to have been used for ineligible purposes are treated as a debt owed by the implementing government to Treasury. This resolution signifies that, upon approval, Rooks County agrees to cooperate with any audits or inquiries by the Department of the Treasury concerning CRF funds and agrees to pay any debt incurred to the Department of the Treasury due to ineligible expenditures of appropriated CRF funds. 
  5. Rooks County understands that the United States Department of the Treasury or the Governor’s Office of Recovery may issue guidance regarding the transfer, expenditure, reimbursement, or other use of CRF funds.

This document shall be filed with Rooks County Clerk. It shall become effective as of July 7, 2020.



John Ruder                                                                                ATTEST:

John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ruthmary Muir

Greg Balthazor                                                                           Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk

Greg Balthazor, Member


Corky Hagan

Corky Hagan, Member


Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, gave his weekly report from his departments.  Bouchey has been contacted from a vendor asking to purchase the extra scrap iron.  Discussions were held concerning the 36-hour work week and budgets.  Bouchey asked how long the 36-hour budget cut would last, and was answered that it would last through the 2021 year.  Bouchey feels the Sanitation Department is doing well financially and is self-sufficient.  The Commissioners have decided to include the Road & Bridge and Sanitation Departments in the budget cuts to be fair to all employees. 

Commissioner Hagan said he had been contacted by Mark Shaw with Webster State Park about the Bureau of Reclamation asking about N Road and if the County has any plans for reconstruction of this road.  The Bureau of Reclamation wants to help, financially, if they can.  Bouchey said he had also talked to a representative from KS Wildlife & Parks asking the same questions. 

A thank you was received from a northwest county resident for the roads, and Balthazor commented that the grandstand grounds looked good.

Anna Muir, Phillips/Rooks County Extension District #5 Agent, asked for clarification about the courthouse shutting down.  The Commissioners said the courthouse will not be completely shut down on Fridays.  The Custodian will close the courthouse as normal.

The Commissioners reviewed the minutes from June 30th.  Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes of June 30th with a couple of minor corrections to be made.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Hagan agreed.  After the minutes were printed, Hagan made a motion to sign the corrected minutes of June 30th.  Ruder seconded this motion, and Balthazor agreed. 

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

  June 30, 2020 (weekly)

                                                                 VOUCHER           EMPLE BEN         GROSS PAY         TOTAL

County General                                       115,264.63           42,580.49             155,154.98      313,000.10

Road & Bridge                                             3,216.77                                          76,585.36        79,802.13

Noxious Weed                                                  53.35                                            6,923.25          6,976.60

Special Highway                                         11,592.00                                                                  11,592.00

Sheriff Equipment Reserve                          1,200.00                                                                    1,200.00

Health Department                                      13,021.83             4,354.49              25,433.17       42,809.49

Sanitation                                                          12.00                                            8,486.17        8,498.17

Rooks County Golf Course                                35.00                                            2,488.50        2,523.50

Economic Develop Expandable TR               1,894.19                781.89                 4,482.27        7,158.35

                GRAND TOTAL                          146,289.77           47,716.87             279,553.70    473,560.34


June 30, 2020 (monthly)

                                                                  VOUCHER           EMPLE BEN         GROSS PAY         TOTAL

County General                                        241,706.11           42,580.49             155,154.98     439,441.58

Road & Bridge                                             71,849.50                                         76,585.36     148,434.86

Noxious Weed                                               20,639.11                                          6,923.25       27,562.36

Special Highway                                            11,592.00                                                               11,592.00

Sheriff Equipment Reserve                             1,200.00                                                                 1,200.00

Health Department                                        23,865.36           4,354.49               25,433.17      53,653.02

Sanitation                                                        1,586.42                                          8,486.17      10,072.59

Rooks County Golf Course                             3,983.11                                          2,488.50        6,471.61

Economic Develop Expandable TR             2,053.76               781.89                   4,482.27         7,317.92

CKLS                                                           35,038.19                                                               35,038.19

Sheriff Registration Fund                               906.75                                                                       906.75

 GRAND TOTAL                                      414,420.31           47,716.87               279,553.70    741,690.88                          

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

Adopted this 14th day of July, 2020




John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Greg Balthazor, Member



Corky Hagan, Member



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk