Town of Richmond
Board of Supervisor’s Meeting
December 19, 2023 7:00pm
Chairman Karbash called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. Present: Jeff Karbash, Supervisors Dave Overbeek, Steven Wade, Tom Kraus. Absent: Susan Miller, Treasurer Ann Seaver.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Motion to approve the agenda by Overbeek, seconded by Kraus, approved unanimously.
Motion to approve November 21, 2023 minutes by Kraus, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.
Motion to approve December 4, 2023 minutes by Kraus, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.
Motion to approve December 6, 2023 minutes by Overbeek, second by Wade, approved unanimously.
Karbash advises Treasurer couldn’t attend due to being under quarantine.
Town resident Wayne Redenius questions why the October 2023 ending balance does not correspond with the November beginning balance.
Karbash asks to show Mr. Redenius on the report where a CD was transferred/ combined with another account but the CD was not taken off of the report.
Clerk Hayes offers to get Treasurer Seaver on the phone but Mr. Redenius declines.
Resident Donna Stanton asks where Treasurer Seaver is keeping her records in view that she is staying in an assisted living facility and in her room where people come and go. Clerk Hayes reminds all that as a Municipality, all of the Town’s records are open to the public.
Resident Mike Bergman asks if the Treasurer has the Town check book, or bank account records. Karbash advises that the Town Clerk performs the accounts payable function, not the Treasurer. The Treasurer receives the bank account records and currently, Clerk Hayes does not have access to all of those records, only the checking account.
There being no more questions, motion by Overbeek to approve the Treasurer’s report, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.
Application for Variance – Melissa Brewer, N6983 Oakwood Road, Whitewater
– Seeking a variance to the County setback requirements for a proposed garage due to the property’s holding tank location. County setback requires 25 feet from the roadway, the brewers are proposing 8 feet setback. County setback requirements on the side yard property line are 15 feet, the Brewers are proposing 5 feet.
Melissa Brewer appears in person and explained that there are unique property limitations to the property prompting the request;
- This is a corner lot with a very steep grade
- The location of the house and the underground holding tank preclude any other location for the garage to be erected
- Currently, autos are parked where the garage is proposed
- Adhering to the County setback provisions would render any garage too narrow to park a vehicle in.
Karbash asks if there is anyone in attendance who wishes to speak for or against the proposed variance. No response from Town residents.
Karbash sought opinion from Roadman McManaway and while the garage would be closer to the lot line, the neighbor has no objections to the proposal, and there would be no safety risks that are evident.
Motion by Overbeek to approve due to neighbors support for the proposal, in addition Overbeek is familiar with the unique steep grade of this lot and the existing driveway is not changing, in fact the proposed garage would compliment the existing driveway, second by Kraus, approved unanimously.
Whitewater Fire & Emergency Services Contract
The board reviews the contract proposal and following a review, motion by Overbeek to approve the contract, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously and signed by Chairman Karbash with Clerk Hayes attesting to the approval and signing.
Election Inspector Approval
Chairman Karbash reads a resolution to appoint election inspectors appointed by both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Motion to approve the resolution by Overbeek, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.
Building Inspector Resignation
Karbash explains that a letter of resignation was received from our Building Inspector due to the inability to find additional help. The letter advises the Town that Municipal Zoning and Inspection Services will transition out of these services over the next few months. Karbash says we need to check with our insurance company to identify what is needed in a transition of this nature.
Fire & EMS Study
The County Administrator has requested the Town of Richmond’s support in engaging an outside agency to assist with a Fire & EMS study for Walworth County. Karbash attended one of these meetings in the past and felt like nothing would come of this because of the participants being too close to the issue.
Town resident Paul Yakowenko tells the Board that this has been tried before and nothing came of it. He observed that no Fire Chief wanted to give up command of their service district so the movement was not successful.
Karbash says he would be for a County wide district study but only if no Fire Chiefs are involved on the committee.
Karbash advises that we should be for a study only if the people involved in the study are not from our County. In addition, we support satellite stations throughout the County but again, with no one from existing departments participating in the design and setup of the structure.
Motion by Overbeek to draft a letter of response to the County Administrator advising of our position, seconded by Kraus, approved unanimously.
Town Resident suggestion for a Financial Audit
Karbash explains that one of our residents has suggested a Financial Audit of the Town finances, in addition to the year end Financial Accounting report we obtain from an accountant.
Karbash asks Clerk Hayes if he has done research on this and Clerk Hayes reports that he contacted three surrounding municipalities to find out what the additional cost would be and has also contacted our accountant regarding this proposal. His findings were as follows;
The Town of Walworth is required to perform an audit because their Clerk and Treasurer are the same person and there is no separation of duties. Their cost $6,500.
The Town of Whitewater is also required to perform an audit as their Clerk and Treasurer are the same person. Their cost $6,500.
The Village of Darien is required to perform an audit as their Clerk and Treasurer are the same person. Their cost $24,000.
The Town of Richmond’s accountant advises he would charge an additional $6,500 for an audit and he opinions that we would not receive any additional financial information than what we receive today.
Town resident Kelly Brockwell reports that she worked in the banking industry and is familiar with the audit process. She says her experience is that an audit is an opinion by the auditor and really nothing more than the financial accounting we currently get.
Following discussions and concerns expressed by Town residents, Overbeek makes a motion to schedule an audit of the Town’s financial records by an independent accountant, seconded by Kraus, approved unanimously.
Overbeek reports that the Town resident who reported to the Board that she had received a Fire & Rescue invoice but the Fire Dept. never showed up, he checked into this and they did in fact arrive at her home and because they were in plains clothes, she evidently didn’t know they were first responders.
Karbash advises that we have a special town meeting on December 26, 2023 and we need to approve a tax levy. The current proposal is to increase the levy by 14.4%. Karbash emphasizes this is not a 14.4% increase in property taxes but an increase in the levy. The impact to a property tax bill would be approximately $15.99 per $100,000 if assessed value of the property.
Payment of Bills
Motion to pay the bills by Kraus, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.
Motion to adjourn by Overbeek, seconded by Kraus, approved unanimously.
Clerk, Town of Richmond