Town of Richmond
Board of Supervisor’s Meeting September 21, 2023 7:00pm Minutes
Chairman Jeff Karbash called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. Present: Karbash, Supervisors Dave Overbeek, Steven Wade, Tom Kraus. Absent: Supervisor Susan Miller, Treasurer Ann Seaver.
Motion to approve the agenda by Overbeek, second by Wade, passed unanimously. Motion to approve the August Board meeting minutes by Kraus, second by Wade, passed unanimously.
Clerk Hayes reports that we had a BMO Harris CD mature in August, a 3 month CD that earned $2470 in interest in 3 months time (approximately $800/month). Both the principal and the interest earned ($202,470.00) were rolled back into the BMO Harris Money Market account which is earning approximately 5% interest.
Hayes also reported that we transferred the original ARPA funds of $183,539.28 from First Citizens Bank of Whitewater to BMO Harris Bank and purchased a CD at 5.25% interest rate. This CD will mature on May 16, 2024. The Treasurer’s Report shows this amount transferring into the General Checking account at BMO Harris Bank, and then transferring from that account into its own CD account. Previous interest earnings associated with these ARPA funds ($1,240.15) remained in the account at First Citizens Bank of Whitewater.
Hayes reported that during the month of August, we received the second half of the property tax settlement from Walworth County in the amount of $106,879.00 which was deposited into our general checking account at BMO Harris bank. Hayes reported that the deposit was timely as we received the invoice from Scott Construction in the amount of $111,000.00 for road resurfacing of R&W Townline road and R&D Townline road.
We have an ending balance for the Township as of August 31, 2023 of $1,241,031.28
Mr. Mike Bergman asked what penalty there would be for early withdrawal of monies from a
CD, Hayes advised that the penalty is the loss of interest earnings for early withdrawal. Bergman then asked why we would put monies into a CD vs a Money Market account when the interest rates on Money Market accounts are similar to the CD rates, Hayes advised that at the time we were investing the funds, BMO Harris was not offering as high of an interest rate on the Money Market as it was on the CD so our Treasurer opted for the higher interest rate.
Karbash reports that information from the Whitewater Fire Department is that our standby charge for service for 2024 will be approximately $120,000, less than what was originally estimated but a significant increase from the current $52,401 standby charge. Karbash reports that there will be no per call charge with the new agreement.
Karbash also reports that there are surplus chairs available from a local Church if there is a need for more in the Town Hall. Roadman McManaway advises that we have enough.
Overbeek – On Agenda Wade – On Agenda Kraus – On Agenda
McManaway reports that WE Energies is finishing up its gas main replacement on Territorial Road. He has been responding to tree limbs down and brush clean up due to the storms that have passed through.
Operator License Applications
Jill C. Reichel
Evan T. Collignon
Overbeek questioned the reference to River Jack’s which is a bar and restaurant that is outside the Township, and Reichel explains that they should have indicated Badger Bob’s instead.
Motion to approve both operator licenses by Kraus, second by Wade, passed unanimously.
The Board reviewed dates and their calendars and agreed on Saturday October 7th, 2023 with a departure time from the Town Hall at 10:30am.
October Board Meeting Date and Time
Karbash asked the Board to consider an alternate date for the October meeting. Following Board discussion and a review of calendars, It was decided to schedule October’s Board of Supervisor Meeting for Thursday October 19, 2023 at 7:00pm.
– Dave and Paula Patelli
Corner of Holiday Drive and County Highway A.
Overbeek advises the Board that one of his concerns on this driveway approval was its proximity to County A, and also that there was a phone pedestal that would need to be moved/raised
with 8 or 9 feet of fill. The Patellis applied to the County for approval on the driveway permit and obtained it. Overbeek opinioned that he doesn’t have a problem with the approval now that the County has given their approval, but he also believes that phone company approval will be required as well.
Motion by Overbeek to approve the driveway permit conditional upon Walworth County approval and phone company approval for relocation of the phone pedestal, second by Wade, passed unanimously.
Charter Spectrum Fiber Optic Project
– Adam Rashka from Charter Spectrum presents that they applied for a grant from the public service commission to service 2200 homes in Walworth County. They received an award of $3 million dollars from the State of Wisconsin, Walworth County provided a grant of $500,000 and Charter is paying $6 million totaling about a $10 million dollar project. The project is to install fiber optic cable for video and high-speed broadband services. A map of activities was distributed to the Board. Of the 2200 homes to be served, 40% are in Richmond Township. Around the Lakes, and where there are people’s yards, Charter advises they will use directional boring, but where there are fields and fallow areas they would like to plow the cable in. Overbeek explains that the original plan submitted by Charter indicated directional boring as the method of installation. The original plan was to begin near Delaney Road but then the plan changed as has the request to use directional boring.
Karbash explains that having another company offer fiber optic connection within the Town offers our residents competition, Overbeek agrees. The Board expresses concerns about Charter Spectrum’s plans changing from the original permit request. Because of the change in cable installation plan, Overbeek suggests that more bond may be required. Charter Project Manager opinions that a surety bond would be available but no more cash bond would be available. Overbeek advises that surety bonds are inadequate as they leave the Town attempting to recover funds from an insurance company without any guarantee that such funds would be collected.
Supervisor Wade inquires if Charter is performing work for other nearby Towns that the Board may go and review and Charter advises they are working in Whitewater Township on Highway 89.
Mark Luberda introduces himself as the County Administrator. He explains the County’s support for this project and offers the Board to contact him for assistance if the property restoration and the installation work is sub-standard. He also expresses a desire to know if Charter Spectrum is not responsive to the Town’s concerns. Karbash suggests that the Board would like to see a more detailed map and plan that specifies where directional boring will be used, and where plow method would be used. Charter Spectrum agrees to prepare such information for the
Board and a comparison of schedules results in a meeting being scheduled on Saturday, October 7th, 2023 at 9:30am at the Town of Richmond Hall.
Equipment and Maintenance Committee
Overbeek explains that the City of Delavan is purchasing a new wood chipper and will be selling their used one. The Delavan unit is a larger machine than ours, is newer and has a third less hours than the Town of Richmond’s machine. This is a machine that sees a lot of usage here in the Township and Overbeek urges we consider investing in this when the opportunity arises. Karbash asks if we did purchase an upgrade, would we sell our current machine, McManaway advises yes and opinions the Town’s current machine may be worth between $5,000 and $10,000. No further action was taken on this matter as it was introduced by Overbeek as information only at this time.
Deputy Treasurer Transition
Karbash announces that Deputy Treasurer Betsy Sheets has submitted a letter of resignation. He reads the letter which advises she is resigning for personal reasons. Karbash explains he spoke with legal counsel on this matter. Counsel has advised that we can’t have a Treasurer, or a Clerk be compensated for performing a different position’s duties. However, Clerk Hayes has expressed that he will assume additional duties assisting Treasurer Seaver with Tax collections, computer entry of Tax collections into the County Transcendent computer system, etc. and does not expect additional compensation for this. Hayes has expressed an interest in learning the duties of the Treasurer role and would be interested in running for Treasurer at the end of his Clerk term in April 2025. Karbash suggests that Hayes consider looking for a Deputy Clerk so that when this transition occurs, there is a trained person ready to assume the Clerk role.
Mike Bergman asks why the Treasurer does not attend the Town Board meetings. Karbash explains that her mobility is restricted as she is currently using a wheel chair. Bergman points out that Treasurer Seaver attends the County Board of Adjustment regularly and in addition, several Town residents have had their tax payments mishandled causing frustration. Bergman asks why the Board does not pursue termination of Seaver’s status as an elected official due to these things. Karbash explains that he was notified by the County Treasurer of some errors made, however no money was lost or misplaced and the errors were corrected. He further explains that the Board has consulted with counsel on this and has determined that there is a very good chance that action would result in an expensive legal battle that would not be the best use of Township funds. Treasurer Seaver has advised she does not intend to run again for the Treasurer role.
Former Clerk Ceas adds that when she was Clerk, the basis for these errors was the County’s new Transcendent Tax collection computer system that Treasurer Seaver struggled with. Everything else that has to do with the Town’s money, Treasurer Seaver is very capable of doing. Ceas further explains that the Board of Adjustment Treasurer Seaver attends occurs during the day. The place that Seaver is staying now closes the door at 8:00pm which causes a conflict with the Town Board meetings.
Karbash suggests to Clerk Hayes we place an advertisement for a Deputy Clerk, and suggests the person be a Town resident. Former Clerk Ceas encourages that the Deputy Clerk be from the Township.
Motion by Overbeek to advertise for a Deputy Clerk, second by Kraus, passed unanimously.
Former Clerk Ceas reminds the Board that Clerk Hayes does not need Board approval to appoint a Deputy Clerk, however, if the Board wants to compensate the Deputy Clerk, this will require Board approval. Ceas asks Clerk Hayes if he is looking for a Deputy Clerk, and Hayes replies not at this time. Ceas suggests therefore, this be tabled until a later time.
Payment of Bills
Motion by Wade to pay the bills, second by Overbeek, passed unanimously.
Motion to adjourn by Overbeek, second by Wade, passed unanimously. Respectfully Submitted
Clerk, Town of Richmond