May 5


May 5, 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.  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, Rooks County Health Department Administrator, updated the Commission with COVID-19 news.  Eichman reported Rooks County now has six (6) recovered cases and zero (0) active cases.  Eichman had received some calls about a livestock show and a horse show.  She had discussed the possibility of these shows being held, with Dr. Jen Brull, and they decided that, no, they cannot hold these shows until after June 1st with 90 persons, or after June 15th under the Phase Out stage of Governor Kelly’s opening guidelines. 

Butch Post, Emergency Management, said he is having some luck with orders of PEP (Protection Equipment Products).  He has delivered face masks to the nursing facilities within the County. 

The minutes of April 30th were reviewed.  Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes of April 30th as presented.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Hagan agreed.  After the minutes were signed, Hagan made a motion to sign the minutes of April 30th.  Balthazor seconded this motion, and Ruder agreed. 

In weekly reports: Hagan had drove the northwest part of the county and noticed the tree work done on E Road west of Highway 183, which was greatly appreciated by the residents in that area.  Hagan had received the call from Leonard Bristow about their upcoming livestock show discussed above with Health Department Administrator Lori Eichman.

Balthazor had travelled some roads as well reporting them rough and dusty.  The small rain that was received settled the dust somewhat.  Balthazor had drove around Webster Lake exclaiming how every camp site was filled. 

Ruder reported he plans to attend the Red Bud Village board meeting which may be held at the Knights of Columbus building in Plainville in order to social distance.  Ruder had fielded some road concern calls, and he had talked to a couple of the patrolmen who reported the roads being very dusty with the dry conditions. 

Ruder announced that Plainville and Stockton High Schools have planned graduations for July 11th.  Sign-up for the summer sports is being held.  The city pools may open by June 1st

Heather Poore, Rooks County Appraiser, said she has four tires with only 5,000 miles on them that a department could use for spares.  The Commissioners will get this message out. 

The Commissioners had received a letter from the LaBette County Commissioners asking for support for their case with the Court of Appeals Ruling in the matter of the Appeal of River Rock Energy Company for the Year 2016.  Poore explained their case of asking for support both financially and publicly as the decision will cause a substantial loss of revenue from ad valorem taxation.  With Rooks County being one of the top six oil producing counties in the State, the Commissioners told Poore they would be interested in seeing what the surrounding counties are doing. 

Heather Poore presented figures and a breakdown of assessed valuations prior to the 2019 second half Payment Under Protest hearings and using the 2019 mill levy.  The figures showed a tax deficit of $1,616,972 for the 2021 budgeting year. 

Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, reported the grader that had been in Salina is back.  Most of the repairs were under warranty, but he will have a bill for some of the tweaks that he had asked them to do. 

Road concerns were discussed, and the Board asked about a spring clean-up.  Bouchey answered that the clean-ups are only done every other year.  He has one scheduled for 2021. 

Bouchey said the new truck boxes will be delivered here from Wichita on June 9th

The cement grinder has finished getting the chipped cement from the Landfill.  Bouchey has also finished putting the chipped cement and some sand on a full mile at the Tallgrass facility. 

The Road & Bridge Department is currently working on their summer hours of 7:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday. 

Roger Hrabe, Economic Development Director, presented his 2021 budget.  Ruder made a motion to sign the Economic Development Levy Agreement.  Hagan seconded the motion, and Balthazor agreed.


                THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered into by and between the Rooks County Economic Development Board of Commissioners (hereinafter Board); The Board of Rooks County Commissioners, State of Kansas (Hereinafter County); the City of Damar, State of Kansas, through its governing body, the City Council (hereinafter Damar); the City of Palco, State of Kansas, through its governing body, the City Council (Hereinafter Palco); The City of Plainville, State of Kansas, through its governing body, the City Council (hereinafter Plainville); the City of Stockton, State of Kansas, through its governing body, the City Commission (hereinafter Stockton)’ the City of Woodston, State of Kansas, through its governing body, the City Council (hereinafter Woodston); and the City of Zurich, state of Kansas, through its governing body, the City Council (hereinafter Zurich), WITNESSETH:

                WHEREAS, K.S.A. 12-2901, the County and the Cities named above entered into an interlocal Agreement to promote economic development within the county.

                AND WHEREAS, pursuant to the Interlocal Agreement, have agreed to financial contribution for each calendar year of 1 mill levy each from Damar, Palco, Plainville, Stockton, Woodston, and Zurich, AND 1.5 mill levy from the County, as the funds become available through tax collections. 

                AND WHEREAS, the budget year of 2021, will have severely diminished assessed valuations.

                AND WHEREAS, the Board recognizes the ability to temporarily reduce the required contribution from the County and Cities.

                NOW, THEREFORE, all of the party’s signatory to this agreement do hereby AGREE, each with the other and each with all of the others, as follows:


For calendar year 2021 only, the required contribution for the County and the Cities named above will be .5 mill levy for Damar, Palco, Plainville, Stockton, Woodston, and Zurich, AND .75 mill levy for the County, as funds become available through tax collections. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have caused this agreement to be executed by their office duly authorized as of the day and date first above written.


Date:  May 5, 2020                                                           John Ruder

                                                                                                John Ruder, Chairman

ATTEST:                                                                                Ruthmary Muir

                                                                                                Ruthmary Muir, County Clerk


All County Department Heads and Elected Officials joined in the Zoom meeting to discuss the re-opening of the Courthouse and any concerns.  Questions and opinions were raised:

                Don’t open the courthouse too soon

                How to limit the number of people in the courthouse at a time

                Curbside service

                Having enough cleaning supplies (disinfecting wipes, spray, etc.)

                The fact that the District Court will remain closed indefinitely

                Requesting mask usage

                May be dealing with the pandemic for another full year

                Cannot make children wear masks

                Having only one person per family in the offices

The Commissioners made the following decisions, and a memo will be sent to each department. 

  • The Courthouse will open on Monday, May 11th, with limited access.
  • If employees travel to an area on the KDHE quarantine listing, they will need to abide by the regulations set by KDHE of quarantining for fourteen (14) days.
  • The Commissioners did not set any restrictions on travelling through the State, although they highly recommended not traveling to Ford or Wyandotte Counties.
  • Each Department Head or Elected Official should document their employee’s travel to help with the paperwork if a quarantine is needed.
  • The pamphlets on the first floor will be covered, and no loitering in the hallways will be allowed.
  • KDHE recommends the public to wear face masks, but the County will leave this up to individuals.
  • It was decided that only ten (10) persons will be allowed in the courthouse at a time. 
  • Heather Poore, Rooks County Appraiser, volunteered to register and monitor the number of people in the courthouse at a time.

Rosalee Sprick, Register of Deeds, asked about receiving a cost of living increase on wages for 2021 budgeting.  The Board answered that no cost of living increase would be allowed for the 2021 budgets.  Sprick asked that this be put in writing for her budget process.

Ruder made a motion to review, approve and sign the weekly vouchers as follows.  Balthazor seconded the motion, and Hagan agreed. 

                May 5, 2020

County General                                                 72996-73008                       $22,245.86

Health Department                                            73009-73012                       $1,546.15

                GRAND TOTAL                                                                             $23,792.01

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

Adopted this 12th day of May, 2020




John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Greg Balthazor, Member 


Corky Hagan, Member



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk