The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met in regular session. Commissioners present were: Chairman, John Ruder; and Member 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. Ruder brought the meeting to order and asked all to rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The agenda was approved.
The Commissioners reviewed the minutes of September 14th. Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes of September 14th with a couple of minor adjustments. Balthazor seconded the motion. After the minutes were printed, Balthazor made a motion to sign the minutes. Ruder seconded the motion.
In weekly reports, Balthazor stated he would discuss the NW Kansas Highway Officials meeting when the Road Supervisor was present. Balthazor attended a special Economic Development meeting with Community Coach Sarah LaRosh featuring the market opportunity profile of Rooks County. He reported a very good meeting. Rooks County is behind on most all profiles, mainly due to not being able to find people to work. Balthazor also attended the regular Economic Development meeting. The director is busy trying to line up participants for the Rooks County Vision Leadership class to be held in October. Balthazor had also attended a Work Force One meeting by zoom. He reported they are needing seven hundred (700) jobs in SW Kansas.
Ruder reported on the newly hired administrator at the Red Bud Village. For now, he and his wife are renting an apartment in Hays. They are looking into moving to Plainville. The acting interim administrator has made contact for getting the feasibility study done for the nursing home building.
Butch Post, Emergency Management, updated the Commissioners with the county disaster declaration listing from around the State. There are only twenty counties that do not have an emergency declaration in place any longer. Since people around the State are starting to have issues with testing supplies, Post recommended keeping Rooks County’s Disaster declaration in place for a while.
Post was elected as president of KEMA last week. He took office as of Thursday evening. It is a one-year term. He will need to travel to present KEMA awards. One presentation will be in Overland Park, KS. Post asked permission to let his wife ride along to this presentation as they will be staying at a relative’s residence. This was approved.
A check was received from the State of Kansas for rent at the Water Resources Building in the amount of $1,000. Ruder made a motion to sign the check for deposit. Balthazor seconded the motion.
A thank you was received from Bonita Wagner for the memorial sent for the death of her mother. Instead of a plant or flowers, a donation was sent to the Stockton Food Pantry.
Rich Bouchey, Road Supervisor, presented the August fee reports for both the Sanitation and the Road & Bridge departments. Both sets of reports were approved.
Bouchey presented a check in the amount of $14,703.00 for the cash and receipts at the Landfill. Bouchey said there is still one outstanding bill from December 2020 that he will continue trying to collect. Ruder made a motion to sign the Landfill check for cash and receipts for deposit. Balthazor seconded the motion.
A letter was received from the Kansas Department of Transportation in regard to the application that Rooks County had sent for the Federal Fiscal Year 2023 Off-System Bridge Program. Rooks County’s project to replace LPA Bridge ID OFF 70, NBI Structure #000820615004104 was not selected for this round of eligibility.
Bouchey presented information about a High-Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) Program Request for Application for FFY 2024 and Local Road Safety Plan (LRSP) Applications for FFY 2022. For the HRRR program, there are eligibility guidelines. The County is usually responsible for 10 percent of construction and engineering costs plus all costs related to preliminary engineering, right of way, and utility relocations. A LRSP is mandatory to be eligible for HRRR funding. Counties may apply for a FFY 2022 LRSP. This will be the last year for the LRSP program. Bouchey had planned to use the program to replace road signs, and to identify troublesome intersections. Rooks County replaced approximately 50 stop signs and 50 yield signs per year. Bouchey stated it would cost Rooks County $5,000 for the county’s share for 2022. The Commissioners decided to visit with Jerol DeBoer, from Penco Engineering, first, before deciding.
Bouchey had received an email from KDOT stating they had processed the request for reimbursement for Rooks County pertaining to the FFE 2021 payment. Rooks County will receive a deposit in the amount of $60,750.88 in approximately 1-2 weeks.
KDOT offers a cost/share program that Bouchey is hoping to get help from for the Zurich blacktop. He will be getting letters of support from Rooks County’s representatives.
The Commissioners discussed the meeting they had attended in Grainfield – the NW Kansas Highway Officials meeting.
Bouchey reported all equipment is in-county. Two motor graders are in the shop, and the department is still fighting the mowers.
Laura Montgomery, Deputy County Clerk, gave a presentation for an updated wage and salary policy. Present to support Montgomery, were Kim Northup, Rooks County Treasurer; April Brown, Register of Deeds; Ronda Morgan and Heather Poore, with the Appraiser’s Office. Montgomery has been working with the elected officials to make the draft. Everything has been approved by the County Attorney. Discussions were held about the longevity scale, paid time off, and other issues that may need to be added to the work policy. The Commissioners will look through the policy and information presented and discuss this at a later time.
Ruder made a motion to review, sign and approve the weekly vouchers as follows. Balthazor seconded the motion.
September 21, 2021
County General 76271-76293 $9,346.42
Sheriff Equipment Reserve 76294 $1,697.75
Health Department 76295-76307 $4,876.40
Rooks County Golf Course 76308-76309 $656.17
Sales Tax 210911 $264,725.00
GRAND TOTAL $281,301.74
With no further business to transact, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Balthazor seconded the motion.
Adopted this 28th day of September, 2021
ROOKS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
John Ruder, Chairman
Greg Balthazor, Member
Tim Berland, Member
Ruthmary Muir, Rooks County Clerk