September 6


September 6, 2022

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met with the following present:  Chairman, John Ruder, and Members, Greg Balthazor and Tim Berland. Laura Montgomery, County Clerk, was present to write the minutes.  Virgie Laska was present to write a report for Stockton Sentinel. Ruder called the meeting to order and asked all to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The agenda was accepted as presented

Gary Knight, Sheriff, was in to visit with the commissioners about vehicle lease agreements. The County Treasurer will set up separate bank account to make payments to leasing company. Funds will be transfer out of Sheriff Equipment Reserve into the account as payments need to be made.  Looking at vehicles that will have value at the end of the lease term. Knight will order 6 vehicles and hopes to be able to get two. He is looking at 2-year lease agreements for the vehicles. He is hoping to accept delivery in April or May. Knight is having issues with getting sheriff equipment that he has already ordered as things are on back order for months.

Butch asked about getting a new vehicle and leasing it along with the vehicles that the sheriff is ordering. The commissioners think he should wait as his vehicle only has about 51,000. He will no longer be president of KEMA as his year of service is completed.

The Commissioners discussed Heather Poore’s advertising and what she is offering for pay.

Ruder made a motion to approve the August 30th minutes with corrections.  Berland second the motion and Balthazor agreed.

Berland weekly report: Celebration at Damar was well attended and a success. His area of the county has been getting little showers that is keeping the dust on the roads down.

Balthazor weekly report: Received a complaint about a junk yard north of Highway 24 on the road going north out of Woodston City. This is a new area that has been come a dump over the last year. He drove the country roads and the rain has helped where they have put down sand.

Ruder said KDHE is the led agency for dumping in the county and they should be the ones to be responsible for make sure the area north of Woodston is cleaned up if it someone new who is letting the trash build up in his yard. Or if it is a new dump then KDHE will be responsible for making sure it meets state regulations.

The commissioners discussed the yellow water truck. Does the county want to spend money and fix it or get rid of it. Balthazor thinks it won’t take much to get the truck up and running. They think it just needs a pump and little bit of plumbing. The commissioners will discuss with Bouchey.

Bouchey weekly report: Penco is going to be here for the bridge inspection update this afternoon and he has GPS training this week. The crews have started rocking at blacktop and will be moving south.

Bouchey has been working on getting the transmission on the frontend loader repaired. Nobody wants to work on it because its so old. They think it’s not cost effective to repair. It could easily cost $50,000 for a 1993 machine.  Bouchey is looking at purchasing a new frontend loader. Bouchey and the commissioners discussed equipment and repairs. 

Ruder asked if the grader guys are working on grading the roads. Bouchey said most of them are busy mowing the ditches.

Bouchey has one more payment on the dump trucks and will start looking for a new frontend loader. Ruder has heard complaints on CAT service. Bouchey said it’s because parts are so far back order. Concordia has a used loader with 1500 hours on the lot but they want too much money for it. Bouchey would need to made adjustments before he could use it. The old loader has more of a bucket on the front to grab trees and debris.

Berland said the road out by Dryden’s area needs some work as the road has holes in it.

Balthazor asked about the yellow water truck. Bouchey said the bolts that holds the brackets to the frame are bent. The commissioners wanted to know what it would take to fix it. Bouchey said to take it apart and replace the bolts. They discussed using a buoy pump instead of a vacuum pump. Bouchey wants a vacuum pump because of when they take water out of the creek it won’t pick up sand. The difference between the two pumps is $8000 but Bouchey feels the extra cost is worth the money. The red water truck is ready to be used.

Bouchey had another employee quit. He is down four employees but has been able to get by with Rudman pushing sand. They discuss roads. Bouchey clarified that the bridge out by Woodston is a historical bridge, about 100 years old. It is currently being used but when the new bridge is completed it will be taken out of service. When it is taken out of service the county will get $50,000 that can be applied towards the bridge project. If the county is selected, the State will pay 80 percent of the cost of the new bridge.

Landfill closure cost is done every five years by Penco and this is the year. Sadie has sent out letters to charge customers about the rate increase.

Ruder will be unable to attend the meeting on September 14th, not the 22nd as Bouchey thought last week. Balthazor also will not be able to make it. Bouchey will pick up Berland so they can go together. 

Bouchey purchased a new Steele weed eater with an adaptor so the road crew can trim.

John Grover from Grover Land Services was in to talk to the commissioners about doing severed mineral research for the county. This is at the request of the county clerk. He has been doing title work for fifteen years. Started out with Fred Hambright then with Ritchie out of Wichita. Mr. Grover presented the commissioners his resume. After discuss as to what the county is looking for, it was approved for Mr. Grover to do the research for the county. His rate is $300 per day plus travel and lodging expense. The work will be done as needed and as his time allows. 

Heather Poore, Appraiser, was concerned about the commissioners cutting the salaries on her budget. She said they didn’t allow for longevity for two of her girls.  Berland thought there was mistakes made in the salaries as the increase was eight percent and not the four percent as allowed for cost of living. Ruder told her they are not increasing her budget for 2023 but any funds she had left in her budget for 2022 could be transferred into her equipment fund and then she could use it to help with her budget next year. She complained about the cost of GIS mapping and she is paying for all of it out of her budget and she hadn’t allowed for any extra.  Ruder said they would work it out. The GSI fund paid for the extra.

Ruder made a motion to appoint Gloria Peterson and Vicki Novotny as witnesses to the November 3, 2020 ballots being destroyed. Berland second the motion and Balthazor agreed.

The commissioners discussed mineral interest being added to the tax roll and why Rooks County taxes the non-producing interest.

Jim Cantor had left a message; Balthazor will return his call.

Balthazor made a motion to sign August 30th minutes. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.

The commissioners open and reviewed their mail.

Discussed was insurance for the county. Gary Knight is asking for the commissioners to look at the insurance K-Camp is offering. The commissioners would like to stay local to help the local businesses. Ruder said many years ago the county tried to bid out the insurance but no one else was interested. He told Berland and Balthazor to look at K-Camp and what they are offering for next week’s meeting.

With no further business to conduct, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Balthazor second the motion and Berland agreed.

Adopted this 13th day of September, 2022



John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                               


Greg Balthazor, Member


Tim Berland, Member



Laura Montgomery, Certified County Clerk