Annual Meeting Minutes I April 23rd, 2023


     The Annual Meeting for the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 10 AM. Present was Ken Leners, Chairman, Supervisors Tony Wolff and Kory Weiss, Clerk, Maryhelen Drew and Treasurer, Gladys Roux. There were 60 persons present and 20 on Zoom.

     The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Next, Ken discussed the voting procedure, by show of hands or paper ballots and should there be a time limit on persons talking. Mike Hessling made the motion that the meeting vote by show of hands and allow 3 minutes per person to talk.  Louie Okey seconded this and motion passed with 35(majority). Ken went on to explain that the electors of the town have certain powers. Those who can vote

must be 18 yrs. of age, a resident of town, not required to own property. A non-resident will not be allowed to vote.

     The next item is the minutes read from the Annual Meeting from 2021. J.B. Bolles made a motion to accept the minutes as read. Amy Okey seconded the motion. Majority voted all in favor, no opposition.

     Ken turned the meeting over to Brock Geyen, CPA from Clifton,Larson, Allen to go over the financial report for the town for 2021. The audit went very well and records were in good order. There have been new standards for auditing in 2021 in how the results are reported. The  Town of Cedar Lake has an unmodified opinion which is the highest opinion received,Brock went over the report with no questions or comments at the end of his summary.

     Under public input, JB Bolles, as a retired CPA, complimented the Town Board,the opinion from the account is the best that could be received.

      At this time, Mike Hessling, who is the Town of Cedar Lake’s Commissioner to the Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services District (BFCESD), and the current BFCESD president, presented information related to the BFCESD and the proposed emergency services building.  The district was created in 2007 with all volunteer fire and ambulance members. Also, present were 4 other members. There have been many people involved in the new building project since it began. The private funding goals have been met at $1 million which represents 40% of the new building. Six of the seven entities have all had their annual meetings and have the resolution and the promissory notes completed.

     Ken then read the resolution for the new building. The Estimated cost of the building is about $2.528 million. It is best if there is a 10% contingency fund. If this is not used, it will be returned to the entities according to the percentage of the shares. The Town of Cedar Lake is scheduled for 31.5% of that new building at a cost of $472,406.81. There will be ongoing fund raising by continued sale of the personalized bricks as well as a Jon Sleik Golf Tournament. Louie Okey made a motion to adopt the resolution for the new building as read. This was seconded by Don Brunclik. John Brunclik asked if the Board would commit before May 1st or do they need to amend the dates of the resolution? Ken said that the vote today is only an advisory vote. The Board will make the final vote during  the monthly meeting, May 9, 2022. Dale Campbell asked where the location of the building will be. He had heard about several lots. Mike Hessling said that 3 lots had been purchased in the village of Birchwood across from the fish welcome sign. It has a good vantage point to pull out onto Hwy. 48. Mike went on to explain that the lot which had been donated was not able to be used for this purpose as it is in a watershed area,no access to water and sewer from the Village. Mike said they were able to sell that lot after a discussion with the person who donated the land and put the funds from the sale into the building fund.

     The contract with Northwest Builders is for construction services only which will go through the competitive bidding process. There will be multiple bidders. They will go with the best bid, not necessarily the least expensive. The BFCESD will carry the risk. That is why it is so important to have the contingency fund.

     Mike Capra asked if there were site plans & drawings available. Mike Hessling said pre-construction plans would be made available. As to the starting time, it depends on the weather. Would like to have it enclosed and weathertight by winter. The groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 21st, 2022 at 1:30 PM.

     Ken has been talking with Dairy State Bank in regards to the loan for the Town for the new building, if a resolution  passes during the May 9, 2022 town board meeting. The following interest rates are good through June 21,2022: a five year note for $470,000 would be at 2.07% with an annual payment of $99,917.12: a ten year note for the same amount would be at 2.30% with an annual payment of $53,148.12. There followed some discussion with the question being asked if this would affect the homeowners fire insurance rating? At this time we think that this will not affect the current ratings. At this time, there is $27,000 per year being paid for rent so will expect the annual operating costs  to go down. This building has been planned to provide a life-cycle of  50 years plus to protect these communities for a long time.

     John Brunclik, a volunteer for 17 years, feels that this new building may be a benefit to be able to get more volunteers as now there are no overnight rooms for on-call persons to stay. Now there are basically 3 members who live close to be able to respond to calls. He feels that he is willing to pay his share of taxes to support this new building. Should help to upgrade response time. EMT’s have been helping other districts as well. Rice Lake ambulance services can’t keep up with their commitments.Mutual aid has been provided by the BFCESD 28 times while we have asked 2 times for mutual aid. Mike said that it might be easier to get new volunteers and retain them.

     Pudge Kohel, whose son is very involved with the Rice Lake Fire Dept. asked if there will be full time fireman after the new building is built, have you thought about expenses over and above the building. He pointed out that the volunteers do have a life outside of the fire/ambulance commitment. Do we have enough people to man the building? Also, is there an exit strategy for communities who may want to leave the district.

    Mike tried to answer the questions in the order he asked, by saying that is one reason for a capital fund. In the future, an auxiliary may be formed to maintain the building and land around it to make sure it is maintained. There is a paragraph in the BFCESD bylaws which explains the procedure for exit from the district.

     Ken George mentioned at this time there are 24 firefighters in the fire dept. and always looking for new people to join. New building or not, we still provide fire service to municipalities.

     The cost share for the Town of Cedar Lake would be $472,406.81.  Total construction costs will be met with 60% coming from the seven participating municipalities and 40% from private funds.

     Tony Wolff is very pleased with how far this project has come since last year. Thanks to Mike Hessling, Ken Leners, Ken George. If not for these guys , we would not be where we are today.

     Louie is amending the motion to adopt the resolution for the new building with the corrected dates. Vote taken 35 with Board yea and no opposition. Motion passed.

     Mike said that the dates would be changed on the promissory note as well.  Ken read the promissory note. Mary Hele made the motion to adopt the promissory note with change of dates for May 9,2022. JB Bolles seconded this motion. Vote taken, 35 yea, no opposed.

     Next is the update on the ordinance governing recreational residential dwellings. Ken read a summary update stating that the next step will be at the monthly meeting on May 9, 2022

     The date was set for Annual Meeting 2023 with a motion by 

 Louie Okey for Saturday, April 22,2023 at 10 AM at the Town Hall. Gladys seconded. Vote taken, 30 in favor, no opposition.

     After some discussion it was decided that the White Goods collection will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2022 from 10 AM to 2 PM. This will be held at the Cedar Lake Town Shop.

     Tony wanted to let everyone know that he appreciates all who showed up for this meeting. Thank you.

     Maryhelen Drew announced that she would not be running for the position of town clerk in 2023. JB Bolles asked about appointing an individual rather than electing. Some information should be gathered if a clerk should be appointed or elected. Anyone interested may contact her to discuss the position. Ken said a person may be appointed a deputy clerk to work with her until caucasus in January, 2023.

     Mike Hessling made the motion to adjourn the meeting. This was seconded by Karen Scott and approved by all. (11:30)

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