Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Tharp to assume Roberts judgeship

Resident Peter Tharp stepped forward at the last minute to assume the vacant municipal judgeship in the Village of Roberts.

Board President Willard Moeri confirmed that, having received no candidates in response to the ad posted by the board, he contacted Tharp and asked him if he would be interested in taking on the position for the next year.

“Out of the blue one day, I called up Peter Tharp and I asked him if he’d be interested in taking the position. The next day I got a call, and Pete Close was with Pete Tharp and they were all set to go down to Madison for the schooling. My comment to him at the time was, the village board has not approved this appointment and can’t until our next board meeting in May. At that time, Peter Tharp offered to go to Madison and pay for the schooling himself,” reported Moeri.

Monday night board members voted unanimously to approve Peter Tharp as the new municipal judge for the Village of Roberts.

St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham has agreed to provide a mentor to assist Tharp for the first month of his new term.

By a vote of 4-2, the board approved the purchase of two new vehicles for use by the Public Works Department for a total of $76,811.

According to the village’s 20-year equipment monitoring plan, one of the vehicles, a 2006 Ford F-150 pick up truck was due to be replaced this year, while the other vehicle, a 2005 Ford F-550 was scheduled to be replaced in 2017. The Public Works Committee recommended that the village keep the 2006 pick up as an extra vehicle for use by the department since its resale value was low.

“It’s a little more than we would normally do in a year, but it’s going to save us a substantial amount in the long run,” said Moeri.

“By planning for those purchases we know we’re going to have to replace, it also minimizes our need for borrowing to pay for that equipment,” added board member Katy Kapaun.

“What do they need that many vehicles for? We’re spending $80,000 for basically two pickups. $80,000 is a lot of money. If the Ford F-150 is good enough to keep around why replace it?” asked board member Don Gerhardt.

“Right now we’ve got two trucks. You’ve got three employees who work the same shift every day. There’s a lot of times all three of us are headed in different directions. If one of those trucks breaks down, you’ve only got one truck for three employees. For $2,500, the estimated value of that truck, why not keep it for that,” reasoned Director of Public Works John Bond.

Brock Geyen, managing principal at Clifton Larson Allen, briefly summarized the highlights of his firm’s 2015 audit of the village’s finances.

“We’ve issued an unmodified opinion which means the amounts and disclosures are materially correct. We didn’t find any problems associated with the numbers. That’s a good thing. That’s what you are striving to achieve,” stated Geyen.

“For those of you who have looked at this in the past, you’re going to notice a pretty significant difference. A new reporting standard was added this year. As a participant in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), even though you do not administer that program here, part of that belongs to the village. Here in Wisconsin there is an excess in the pension plan. It’s not really your asset, it’s the retirees’, but that standard requires that you bring that on your books. So you’re going to see a bunch of WRS notations throughout the report this year. That’s all new.”

Geyen cautioned the board to monitor the water and sewer utility funds. If they continue to incur debt, the village will need to look at adjusting rates.

For information regarding the audit contact Village Clerk Megan Dull at 715-749-3126 or by email at vilofrbt@baldwin-telecom.net.

Angi Goodwin of Ayres Associates brought before the board a Fair Housing Ordinance and four additional resolutions all of which were required as part of the village’s application for a Community Development Block Grant. The board approved Ayres preparation and management of the grant application process at their April meeting. Board members approved the new ordinance and all four resolutions.

Advertisement