Inconsistencies in meeting minutes were among items addressed during a Rock-Koshkonong Lake District (RKLD) Board of Commissioners monthly meeting held Thursday (June 13) at the Albion Town Hall.
Some 30 constituents attended the two-and-a-half-hour meeting.
Commissioner Al Sweeney, discussing approval of the board’s April 25 meeting minutes, proposed amending several items, including the March 31 operating checking account balance recorded in the April minutes, which did not match the recorded treasurer’s balance for the same period, as well as the incorrectly recorded maturation date for one of the district’s three CDs.
Commissioner and board secretary Joan Huedepohl apologized for the recording errors.
Sweeney also pointed to information missing from the minutes including the name of a commissioner, Kerry Hull, who seconded a motion to adopt proposed financial practices and rules of procedure policies as submitted by Sweeney. During the April meeting, two versions of a rules of procedure policy were presented, one drafted by Sweeney and another by RKLD attorney Bill O’Connor. Both failed to garner enough support to pass. Further discussion about the policy was tabled until “review at the next board meeting,” the minutes stated. As reported earlier by the Milton Courier, it was the second time the discussion had been tabled.
A discussion about the proposed policy did not appear on the June 13 agenda.
Sweeney said amended and approved meeting minutes from October were still not posted on the RKLD website.
Approval of the March meeting minutes was pending commissioners noted. RKLD Chairman Steve Proud said the approval of those minutes had been postponed, awaiting Sweeney’s amendments. Sweeney said he did not bring his amendments because approval of the March minutes had not been included on the June agenda.
Huedepohl said the item could be placed on the next meeting’s agenda.
During the treasurer’s report, Commissioner and treasurer Ray Lunder read several expenditures, totaling $15,573, he said, which were paid in April using the district’s operations checking account. A summary sheet shared with the Milton Courier did not include itemized charges, and those read during the meeting did not total to the aforementioned amount.
In a follow-up interview, Lunder said he did not read all the expenditures during the meeting. A second spreadsheet with itemized expenditures would total to the amount on the summary sheet, he said.
Responding to the Milton Courier’s request, both Lunder and Proud emailed on June 17 an itemized spreadsheet, showing a full list of expenditures for April, May and “proposed invoices” that were approved for payment at the June 13 meeting.
According to Sweeney, speaking during a follow-up interview, the full treasurer’s report was not shared with board members.
“That’s part of the whole problem that I hope we get straightened out in the future,” Sweeney said.
He drafted his proposed rules of procedure to address those issues, he said, adding: “It’s a good way to bring daylight to the operations of any board.
“If there is no policy or procedure, then it’s a hodge-podge of actions and inactions,” he added.
In a follow-up interview, Lunder said discrepancies sometime emerge between the treasurer’s report and the meeting minutes because he is not always able to share information with Huedepohl in advance of the meeting. Both have jobs and are volunteer board members, he said. Without shared records, Huedepohl relies on information from voice recordings or other sources.
Plans were being made to fix that problem by including the treasurer’s report in the board’s meeting packet, Lunder said.
In a follow-up interview, Proud, too, addressed the issue, saying in past meetings, the board had discussed creating an electronic version of the treasurer’s report that could be incorporated into the meeting minutes. He hoped to have that process in place sometime after the upcoming annual meeting, he said. The annual meeting has tentatively been set for July 27.
An RKLD meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 22, at 9 a.m., at Tallgrass Restoration, 3139 County Road N. Items on that agenda include: an action related to “2019 RKLD Annual Meeting,” and an action for “approval of invoices.” Public comments are also included.
There will be no other meetings scheduled before the annual meeting, Proud said.
Sweeney said he did not know when his policy draft might see further board discussion, noting that he “might have to reintroduce it at a future date.”
Itemized deposit and expenditure sheets for April and May showed the following:
• April: deposit: $173.25; expenditures: Bliss Communications, $24.50; Alliant Energy (two charges), $18.96 and $45.11; Frontier Communication, $60.92; Centurylink Communications, $62.38; Todd Westby, $550; Montgomery Associates, $495; Wheeler Van Sickle, $13,166.80, CET Company (dam work), $1,150, leaving a total cash output of $15,400.42.
• May: deposit: $45.60; expenditures: Bliss Communications, $24.50; Alliant Energy (two charges), $19.57 and $43.74; Frontier Communication, $61.01; Centurylink Communications, $62.28; Todd Westby, $550; Kelbe Brothers, $1,049.73; Baer Insurance, $474; GMS Excavators, Inc., $675.20, leaving a total cash output of $2,914.43.
• Invoices approved for payment in June: Baer Insurance (general liability), $3,023; Badgerland Disposal, $557.40; Edgerton Reporter (12 months), $48; Philip Monk (snow plowing), $400; Wheeler Van Sickle, $4,941.75 and Carbonite (file backup), $71.99, for a total of $9,042.14.
The board also approved an expenditure of $100 to purchase lunch, perhaps pizza, for I-90 Enterprises employees. The company has helped with the storage and installation of floating trash booms.
Also shared at the June meeting were monies received to date by the district from townships with residents living within the lake district.
RKLD revenues are generated through a special charge collected by the towns and paid by lake district residents, Lunder said.
In 2018, the district had 4,309 properties with each owner paying a special fee of $40 for the year, producing revenues for the district of $172,360.
A breakdown of parcels by town, monies collected and those still owed by towns are as follows: Fulton, 1,486 parcels, total owed: $59,440, amount still owed: $3,520; Milton, 860 parcels, total owed: $34,400, amount still owned: $2,440; Koshkonong, 765 parcels, total owed: $30,600, amount still owed: $30,600; Sumner, 553 parcels, total owed: $22,120, amount still owed: 0; Jefferson, 185 parcels, total owed: $7,400, amount still owed: 0, and Albion, 460 parcels, total owed: $18,400, amount still owed: $80.
Lunder noted that no payments had yet been received from Koshkonong.
According to Town of Koshkonong Chairman Bill Burlingame, who was in the audience, a check from the town had been mailed the day before the meeting.