Richmond Township Board Meeting May 11, 2011

Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011


MAY 11, 2011


Supervisor Fuerstenau called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


Supervisor Fuerstenau led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Clerk Greenia called the roll.

The following members were present:

Supervisor Gordon Fuerstenau
Clerk Cindi Greenia
Trustee Sharron Jusko (7:32 P.M.)
Trustee Cathy LaFontaine
Treasurer Robert Szalka

Others Present:

Jeff White, Phylis Fuerstenau, Steven Murphy and Jim Murphy


Supervisor Fuerstenau added items to the agenda regarding assessor’s
contract, BS&A software, budget amendment,  and  Omo Road chloride.  No
other changes were made and the agenda stood as amended.


Supervisor Fuerstenau asked if there were any changes or corrections to the
minutes as presented.  None were heard.  The minutes of the Richmond
Township Board Meeting of April 13th, 2011, stood as presented.

Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011



Treasurer Szalka reviewed the monthly treasurer’s balance report dated
5/11/11.  The following were the balances in each account at that time:

General Fund/Fire Fund      $     481,428.53
Tax Account          $       47,403.73
Escrow Account          $         2,115.74
Investment Accounts        $       87,679.97
PDR Account          $         6,252.32

TOTAL FUNDS          $     624,880.29

Treasurer Szalka reviewed the above numbers with the Board.  He indicated
that he had done some reinvesting of our funds at Seaway Bank.

He stated that he needed Board approval to be able to collect the 1%
administrative fee for tax collection as allowed by the law.

Motion by LaFontaine, supported by Greenia to authorize the Treasurer to
collect a 1% administrative fee to be placed on the Summer 2011 Tax bills.

All Ayes        Motion Carried

Treasurer Szalka stated that he and the Deputy Treasurer had decided to
make a new policy regarding the drop box.  They would no longer be accepting
tax bills with payments  in the drop box any later than two (2) weeks prior to
the winter tax bill due date.  This would be to help eliminate problems like the
one that was caused during the collection of Winter 2010 Tax bills.

Finally, Treasurer Szalka stated that they were all settled with the County and
he would soon be transferring the administrative fee to the General Fund.  It
would be about $35,000.00.


Clerk Greenia reviewed the Bills to Be Paid.  She reviewed that the list was
quite lengthy this month.  There were no questions on the bills.

Motion by  Szalka, supported by  Jusko  to approve and pay the bills as

All Ayes        Motion Carried

Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011



Jeff White gave the building report.   He told the Board he would be meeting
with Lyle Winn tomorrow regarding the parking lot.  Tony’s Heating and
Cooling would be working on the Senior Center to set the thermostat like had
been discussed previously in an effort to save money.  Lawn mowing had


Jeff White gave the EMS report.  He reviewed the regular report with the
Board.  They were seeking fill in drivers for the transport system.  They were
currently accepting applications.

They held a CPR class in Memphis and it was very well attended.  They had
done a lot of training in school districts of late.  The EMS had received a very
nice letter from Mt. Clemens Regional Hospital regarding their actions both on
the way and at the hospital during a recent tragic fire.    The response times
were included in the report.


Treasurer Szalka indicated that there had been a Farmland Preservation
meeting on April 25, 2011.  They hired a grant writer – Keith Rengert – he had
volunteered for this position.   The next meeting was scheduled for July 25th,
2011 at Ray Township Hall.


Trustee LaFontaine referred to a memo from Lori Stewart regarding what was
happening currently at Striker’s Entertainment Center with the fence and the
beach volleyball.  She indicated that the owner of Striker’s had come in to the
office after receiving a red tag and obtained an application for a Special Land
Use Permit which would need to go before Planning Commission.

Trustee LaFontaine then stated that she had gone to a meeting on May 6th,
2011 regarding the State of Michigan budget situation.  She had a hand out
for all Board members and would be getting it  to  them later this week.  She
reviewed that each municipal office was expected to get a “DASHBOARD”
program ready to turn into the state which would basically outline the
Township’s financial situation and how we plan to cut costs and become more
efficient in spending taxpayer monies.

Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011



Supervisor Fuerstenau noted that Cathy Wylin’s quarterly report had been put
in everyone’s mailbox.  The Senior Center was doing fine.   Clerk Greenia
added that Cathy Wylin could not be here tonight as she was vacationing.


At this time Mr. Murphy was present to speak to the Board regarding a
concern he had about an EMS call for his mother-in-law – Mrs. Miller – and
the amount of time that it took the EMS to get to her last night.  He felt it took
the EMS almost 45 minutes to get to the house after the first call and stated
this was unacceptable.   His mother-in-law had passed away at 91 and he felt
that somehow the EMS’s slow response time had something to do with it.

Mr. White, EMS Director, spoke to this concern.  He had brought with him all
reports from the call.  He explained that the Richmond Lenox EMS has three
(3) ambulances/ and three (3) stations.  The two that happened to be closest
in proximity to Mr. Murphy’s house on Fuerstenau  –  both Station #1 on 32
Mile Road and Station #2 here at School Section  –  were out on other
emergency calls at the time this call came in.  That left Station #3 – on Gratiot
at 27 Mile Road – the only ambulance available to come.  They actually got to
the home 10 minutes after the call came in.  He further explained that 15
minutes was an acceptable time according to the industry standard.  They
were five minutes faster than that.  He was very sorry that  Mr. Murphy’s
mother-in-law had passed away.  However, he did feel that the EMS did their
very best to get to the patient as quickly as they could and they did as good a
job as possible.

In light of this, Mr. Murphy proposed that we have a back-up in place if
possible. Supervisor Fuerstenau and Mr. Murphy discussed this possibility
and why the Township does not have that and the cost that would be incurred
if it did.  Supervisor Fuerstenau said that the Board was all very sorry for his
loss, and hoped that his wife would get better soon as well.  Mr. Murphy then
commented that he felt the Township should have police protection and was
very concerned that they did not.

At this time, Supervisor Fuerstenau read a letter to the Board regarding the
upcoming limestone project for Big Hand Road.  The letter stated that the
Board should consider Cryderman Road instead of Big Hand.

Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011



Supervisor Fuerstenau referred to a letter he had received regarding a
company wanting to purchase the cell tower lease from the Township.  They
offered $112,000.00 at this time.  The Board did not feel that it was worth
selling – they wanted to keep the lease as is.

Motion by Jusko, supported by Greenia to keep our current lease agreement
with SBA on the cell tower here at Township Hall instead of accepting an offer
to purchase in the amount of $112,000.00.

All Ayes          Motion Carried


Supervisor Fuerstenau asked if anyone had comments on the letter Clerk
Greenia had sent to the Macomb County Equalization Department on the
reassessment situation or the letter we had received in return.  It appears from
the letter that the County is not going to complete the reappraisal of the 27
parcels that they went to and were refused entry on.  The  Township would
have to take care of  them.  We would have to have our own Assessor, Cindy
Smith, reappraise these parcels.

Treasurer Szalka then indicated that it appeared as though the County would
be coming out sometime in September or October of 2011 to take care of the
130 parcels that they did not complete yet.

Mr. Watza, State of Michigan Department of Treasury, had sent a letter to the
Township Assessor indicating he would be in on May 18th, 2011 to begin the
14 Point Inspection.

Treasurer Szalka asked for the Board’s feelings on how to deal with the parcels
that denied accessibility  to their homes but did come to the Board of Review
versus those who did not come to the Board of Review.  He felt that the
Township should complete those appraisals now and have the Assessor go out
to perform those assessments.  The parties that did not appear before the
Board of Review or write a letter of appeal and did not allow the County on
their property should not have to be addressed by our Assessor at this time.
The Assessor should make arrangements to get onto these sites to reappraise
as soon as she can. Possibly the values could be changed at the July Board of
Review if our Assessor can get out there prior to that.  The Board agreed with
Treasurer Szalka on how to deal with these parcels.

Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011



Clerk Greenia presented the Board with the following budget amendments:


Board of Review         $      250.00
Professional Services      $   3,000.00
Insurance/ Gen. Liability    $   1,015.00

TOTAL          $   4,265.00


Capital Outlay        $   4,265.00

Motion by Szalka, supported by Jusko to approve FY 2010/2011 Budget
Amendment B as presented by Clerk Greenia.

All Ayes      Motion Carried


Treasurer Szalka commented on a couple of items. He had not included the
BS&A software maintenance agreement in his budget.  The correct number for
his entire department should be $40,679.00.

He also added that he had suggested and Clerk Greenia had agreed that a
total of $30,000.00 should be added to the Capital Outlay fund for the purpose
of the parking lot mill and fill.

Discussion of a possible pay raise for the Assessor was had.  She wrote a letter
to the Supervisor stating that she had done a great job and felt she deserved a

Treasurer Szalka suggested that since her contract will be up in June, possibly
a review could be done with her prior to the final budget approval and a
decision could be made at that time.  He added that she had been with the
Township for about a year and there were other employees who had been with
the Township for some time and had not received a raise in much longer than
one year.  Everything else looked pretty good.

Discussion was had on the wages for the Board at this time.  Clerk Greenia
stated that even though she would really like a raise, she did not feel this was
the correct economic time to take one.  She would not support a raise as she Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011


felt taking one could impact the amount of  revenue sharing we get from the
State in a negative way if the Board gave themselves a raise.  Supervisor
Fuerstenau then indicated that possibly we should look at giving everyone a
raise across the  board  –  office staff and Board members.  Treasurer Szalka
asked Clerk Greenia to bring budget scenarios back with a) only Board getting
2% raise; b) only staff getting 2% raise; and c) both Board and staff getting 2%


Supervisor Fuerstenau reviewed what was currently happening with the group
of  Township and  City officials in our area that were meeting regarding the
possibility of forming a Regional Police Force.   He said that they were talking
about having a study done to see about the feasibility of this and how it would
best work.  The cost to Richmond Township would be about $1,800.00.   Clerk
Greenia and Treasurer Szalka felt this was a good idea – the Township should
take  part in the study if at all possible so they could be involved from the
beginning of this process.  It would be like an investment in the future for the
Township.  Supervisor Fuerstenau did state that possibly the MSU will do the
study for less money.

He had not spoken with the State Police yet about the possibility of them using
our old Township Hall for a small office to do paperwork out of.  He would be
doing that before the next meeting.


Clerk Greenia had approached the Board about the possibility of purchasing a
.Net version of the Tax, Assessing and Building Department Software.  She
had presented them a quote from BS&A and explained that right now the
Township is running on the Pervasive Version of this software. Updates are no
longer available to us.  The County will soon be running on the newer version
and this could make it difficult to transfer reports and other information from
our Township database to the County database.  At some point the current
software would become very obsolete.

Trustee LaFontaine asked about the Payroll program that was included in one
quote as well. Clerk Greenia would really like this module as well, but
understood that right now it was probably not so cost effective to do this.
Trustee LaFontaine then mentioned that we could put this on our wish list!

Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011


Motion by LaFontaine, supported by Szalka  to approve the purchase of the
BS&A .Net version of Tax, Assessing and Building Department software with a
cost not to exceed $10,590.00 to come from the Capital Outlay budget
All Ayes      Motion Carried

Clerk Greenia would get a hold of BS&A to get the purchase moving ahead.


Supervisor Fuerstenau referred to a letter dated 5/9/11 from Road
Maintenance to Armada Township which quoted the costs for an extra
application of chloride on Omo Road between 32 Mile and the Township line.
Armada Township wanted us to split the cost with them for this service.  The
cost to us would be $687.00.

Motion by Szalka, supported by Jusko to approve payment in the amount of
$687.00 to  Road Maintenance Corporation to cover ½ cost of additional
chloride application on Omo Road between 32 Mile Road and the  Township
All Ayes        Motion Carried


Supervisor Fuerstenau briefly reviewed a meeting he attended at the Village of
New Haven regarding a County wide consortium on certain services and other


Discussion was had on the current Police Proposal.  It was noted that possibly
the Township could contract with the City of Richmond for this service.  The
Board asked Supervisor Fuerstenau if  he would try to contact Jon Moore
about this.  The figure of 1.393 mills had been discussed at the Regional Police
meeting as a figure that could possibly garner enough funding for police
protection in the Township.  Supervisor Fuerstenau said he would come back
with a report on where they were going with the study at our next meeting.

The Board Compensation Resolution was brought up.  Treasurer Szalka asked
if these needed to be approved at the next meeting.  Supervisor Fuerstenau
stated he felt we were alright as long as we approved the budget as presented
with the salaries of the Board members included in that budget.

Richmond Township Board Meeting
May 11, 2011


Trustee LaFontaine asked who was going to work on Richmond Townships
Dashboard for the State that was due on October 1, 2011.  Treasurer Szalka
said he would look into it.

Supervisor Fuerstenau reviewed a recent event regarding a party that got a bit
out of hand in Ray Township.


Motion by Szalka, supported by LaFontaine to adjourn the meeting.

All Ayes    Motion Carried

Meeting adjourned at 8:58 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

Cindi Greenia, Clerk
Richmond Township