May 12, 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. Others present were: Virgi Laska, with the Stockton Sentinel; Chad Sterling, Under Sheriff; Gary Knight, Rooks County Sheriff; and Leonard Bristow, representing the 4-H Council. Chairman Ruder asked all to rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. With the addition of Leonard Bristow, the agenda was approved.
Gary Knight, Sheriff, presented his 2021 budget and requested a budget workshop on May 19th. Knight will be put on the agenda for May 19th Commissioner’s meeting.
Lori Eichman, Rooks County Health Department Administrator; and Butch Post, Emergency Management, updated the Board with recent COVID-19 news. Eichman said that KDHE is now adding probable cases (symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but no testing performed) to the reporting page, and Rooks County has one probably case listed. That case is from several weeks ago and does not represent a new infection in our community. Rooks County has no active cases at this time with six (6) cases listed as recovered and the one (1) probably case. Eichman has no idea whether Governor Kelly will go into Phase II on the following Monday. Eichman and Post reported that Rooks County will be a “Regional Testing Site” with drive-thru testing. This will be done at the Rooks County Health Center in Plainville on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The testing kits are coming from KDHE. The testing site will be operating until the end of the month and then reviewed to see whether it needs to be kept up. Post has ordered the test kits. He asked for twenty and received one hundred kits. People being tested need to be symptomatic. These tests should be processed in two/three days.
Leonard Bristow, representing the 4-H Council, was interested to see if the Council would still be able to hold the Spring Livestock Show originally scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend. Bristow said they would be able to re-schedule for June 6/7, but wanted to stay within the Governor’s guidelines which seem to be contradictory. Eichman said in order to have the livestock show, the state would have to move to Phase III before it would be able to be held. Food/vendor concessions were asked about; Eichman will need to get back to Bristow about the concessions.
Post had received several calls and questions from the local fireworks vendors wondering if the County Commissioners were thinking of a ban this year because they would need to order by June 1. The Board replied that they were okay with the fireworks for this year.
The Commissioners reviewed the minutes of May 5th. Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes of May 5th with a minor typo corrected. Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed. After the minutes were printed, Hagan made a motion to sign the corrected minutes of May 5th. Balthazor seconded this motion, and Ruder agreed.
In weekly reports, Hagan reported .40 of rain that helped pack the roads somewhat. Hagan had talked to several people about getting the County opened back up. He had also talked to the Plainville Fire Chief about the miscommunications with the City of Damar’s Fire Department. Hagan stated that Damar’s Fire Department does not have pagers, and they rely on their phones. Plainville’s Fire Department has invited Damar’s Fire Department to training sessions in Plainville.
Balthazor had drove a few roads and checked S Road at the Tallgrass entry. There is still a large dust pocket there, but the sanded road turned out well. Balthazor reported .50 of rain.
Ruder reported that KDOT has released their highway modernization and expansion projects under the Eisenhower Transportation Legacy Program (IKE).
The Commissioners reviewed the Treasurer’s quarterly statement. Hagan made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Quarterly Statement dated April 30, 2020. Balthazor seconded the motion, and Ruder agreed.
A thank you card was received from Mike Klein, Noxious Weed Director, for the memorial flowers sent for his mother’s death.
The Commissioners reviewed the High Plains Mental Health 2021 projected budget, their 2019 audited financial statements and other paperwork sent.
Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, presented the Farm Lease with Steve and Ryan Hageman as signed by all entities. Bouchey said he has switched over the meter as well.
Bouchey presented the fuel bids for May as follows: Midland Marketing received the low bid.
Midland Marketing Diesel $6,476.50
Farmers Union Diesel $7,690.00
Bosselman Diesel $6,489.00
Bouchey discussed road maintenance and mentioned the DL400 had stripped a ring in the rear wheels. Something could be wrong with the drive shaft. This piece of equipment will be taken to Central Power in Salina. The DL300 loader has warning lights showing on the dash, and a mechanic had been there to clear out the lights and planned to come back and check it again. The new crawler loader at the Landfill has been taken to Concordia for repairs. They found shavings in the final drive on the left side with only 64 hours on the machine. The old crawler loader was brought back to use while the repairs are being done.
Bouchey had received a retirement notice from employee Galen Plante. His last day at work will be May 28th.
Bouchey discussed-chip sealing versus crack-filling for the Zurich blacktop. It was decided to crack-seal the Zurich blacktop this year and wait until next year to do the chip and seal.
Bouchey said his department is fixing the dust hole at the Tallgrass entryway on this day.
Julie Yarmer, with Freedom Claims, had sent the Quarterly Review dated 01.01.2020 – 03.31.2020. The Commissioners reviewed the quarter statement and thought the figures looked good with estimated monthly and annual premiums down 16.52% – 22.75% from the projected figures.
The Commissioners discussed a letter received that the Morton County Commissioners had sent to Governor Kelly stating they thought there should be a more effective re-opening plan applied as not all counties in the State are the same.
Hagan made a motion to review, approve and sign the weekly vouchers as follows. Ruder seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed.
May 12, 2020
County General 730013-73032 $11,660.98
Road & Bridge 73033-73061 $88,255.62
Noxious Weed 73062-73065 $21,976.49
Health Department 73066-73072 $1,890.89
Sanitation 73073-73079 $1,023.35
Rooks County Golf Course 73080 $38.00
Economic Develop EX TR 73081-73082 $187.60
GRAND TOTAL $125,032.93
While signing vouchers, the Board discussed budget issues and some ideas to help cut the losses that will be incurred with the low oil valuations.
With no further business to transact, Ruder made a motion to adjourn. Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed.
Adopted this 19th day of May, 2020
ROOKS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
John Ruder, Chairman
Greg Balthazor, Member
Corky Hagan, Member
Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk