September 14

SEPTEMBER 14, 2021


The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met in regular session.  Commissioners present were:  John Ruder, Chairman; and Greg Balthazor, Member.  Tim Berland was absent due to other obligations.  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, and Heather Poore, Appraiser, were present to discuss the GIS Fund and how the two of them are sharing the monies.  Knight requested leaving $8,000 in the GIS Equipment Fund in case it is needed for a new plotter if the older machine does not last.  Also, Knight said the current plotter does not have any maintenance on it, and he would like to do the service contract now.  The cost would be $175 for initial service, plus $.35 per foot for the mapping.  Each department uses a different GIS Specialist for their different needs.  The yearly for the Sheriff’s GIS Specialist (doing more 911 work) is $2500.  The Appraiser’s GIS Specialist’s (doing more Appraisal work) cost is $7500.  The Commissioners approved getting a service contract for the plotter.  The Commissioners will decide whether to keep the GIS Fund in 2023 and have the Sheriff’s Department and the Appraiser’s Department budget for their own needs.

Knight also mentioned he is looking to change vendors to clean the locks and update the electronics for the electric doors and camera system at the jail. 

The Commissioners reviewed the minutes from September 7th.  Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes as presented.  Balthazor seconded the motion.  After the minutes were printed, Balthazor made a motion to sign the minutes of September 7th.  Ruder seconded this motion. 

In weekly reports, Balthazor reported he had fielded some calls with questions about the mill levy and personal property taxes.  Balthazor had travelled some of the county roads and reported a weed problem.  He will discuss with the Road Supervisor to see if the grader operators can scrape the weeds along the county roads. 

Ruder reported the Red Bud Village’s 501c3 Board had held interviews.  They have decided to offer the administrator’s position to Brandon Johnson from Wichita.  Johnson will sign a letter of acceptance, and then a background check will be done.  Johnson is a certified administrator, but the interim administrator plans to stay for a couple of months in an advisory role to facilitate the change-over.  Ruder mentioned nursing homes in the area are all struggling financially.  Census is down as well. 

Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, said he was receiving several calls asking about the Purple Wave equipment. 

Balthazor mentioned the road/weed problem.  They will educate the grader operators on how to scrape the weeds in the ditches. 

Bouchey presented the September fuel bids.  Midland Marketing received the low bid of $16,726.90

                Midland Marketing          Diesel                    $13,051.00

                                                         Unleaded            $3,675.90             Total – $16,726.90

                Farmers Union                  Diesel                    $13,060.00          

                                                          Unleaded            $3,685.50             Total – $16,745.50

                Bosselman                         Diesel                    $13,323.50

                                                            Unleaded            $3,720.30             Total – $17,043.80

Bouchey discussed some powdered roads and some maintenance he had done at the State Lake.  The crew had worked around the Tallgrass Station.  Bouchey plans to do the chip and seal project at the Plainville Lake around the October 4th week. 

Bouchey will be doing an on-line course with the Bureau of Local Projects.  The course needs to be taken before Rooks County can be selected for a bridge project.  A representative from the Kansas Department of Labor will be checking the County buildings on Thursday.  Bouchey and Commissioner Balthazor plan to attend the Northwest Kansas Highway Officials meeting in Grainfield on Wednesday. 

The County Clerk requested an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel.  Ruder made a motion to go into executive session for the purpose of discussing non-elected personnel for ten minutes from 9:35 am until 9:45 am.  Balthazor seconded the motion.  Those present for the executive session were the Commissioners:  John Ruder and Greg Balthazor; Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk; and Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor.  There was no further discussion after the executive session ended. 

A letter was received from the Rooks County Attorney furnishing the Commissioners with information in connection with the 2020 audit.  The letter stated that the County Attorney had not been engaged to give substantive attention to, or represent the County in connection with material loss contingencies.  Rooks County was not a party in any civil lawsuit, except foreclosure cases where Rooks County was named as an additional party for the sole purpose of paying tax liens, if any, with no exposure to any civil liability. 

A letter was received from the Division of Property Valuation citing the Rooks County Appraiser’s procedural compliance review for the 2021 appraisal year to determine substantial compliance within the office had been completed.  Rooks County has met the criteria and is determined to be in substantial compliance. 

A letter was received from the Kansas Water Office saying the Kansas Water Authority had approved proceeding forward to the formal public input phase of the KWP update process.  Hearings and comment periods are taking place on the updated draft of the Kansas Water Plan on Thursday, October 7th at 2:00 pm and on Friday, October 8th at 10:00 am. 

Zach Brown, Custodian, had left a billing for a service contract with Glassman’s in the amount of $2,200.00 for approval.  The Balthazor made a motion to approve the service agreement in the amount of $2,200 with Glassman’s.  Ruder seconded the motion. 

At the Health Department Administrator’s (Lori Eichman) request, the Commissioner’s discussed paying for the County employee’s and families’ flu shots.  Balthazor made the motion to approve providing flue shots for County employees and their families.  Ruder seconded the motion. 

The Commissioners discussed pay for employees contacting Covid and/or needing to quarantine.  The Commissioners decided that employees will need to use their own time if and when needed for Covid illnesses and/or quarantine time. 

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

                September 14, 2021

County General                                76210-76242                       $43,640.88

Road & Bridge                                   76243-76249                       $4,701.36

Noxious Weed                                  76250-76253                          $414.13

Health Department                           76254-76259                       $4,199.43

Custodian Equipment Reserve          76260                                    $112.30

Sanitation                                           76261-76262                         $213.88

Rooks County Golf Course              76263-76267                           $628.51

Economic Development EX TR       76268-76269                           $162.10

Dare Fund                                           76270                                    $692.35

                GRAND TOTAL                                                                   $54,764.94

The Commissioners approved the elected officials going back to their original salary (after the initial cut from last fall) if their budgets allowed.  This would include the Commissioners, the Treasurer, the Register of Deeds, and the County Clerk.

Balthazor mentioned he would be attending a Work Force One meeting on Friday by zoom and an Economic Development meeting on September 20th.  With no further business to transact, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Balthazor seconded the motion. 

Adopted this 21st day of September, 2021




John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                         


Greg Balthazor, Member


Tim Berland, Member



Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk