Monthly Meeting Minutes I December 11, 2023


The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake met at the Cedar Lake Town Hall on Monday, December 11, 2023 at 6:30 PM. Present was Chairman, Ken Leners, Supervisors, Kory Weiss and Mary Hele, Clerk, Maryhelen Drew, Treasurer, Gladys Roux. Also 26 other people.

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. The minutes from the previous monthly meeting were read. Mary stated that she had not talked with Steve Freeze, only his aid at this time.  Ken also questioned the date of one of the meetings. The date was correct. Ken made the motion to approve the minutes as read with this correction. Mary seconded this motion. Roll call vote: Ken, yea: Kory, abstain: Mary, yes.

As there was no public input, Gladys, treasurer, gave the financial report for the month.  All balances with the bank and the clerk.

Kory then spoke about the road work for the past month. Not much happening, dealing with road conditions as they appear. He is communicating with Scott and Ken G, regarding each storm as it comes along.

The power washer has now quit entirely. Kory has let them borrow his to see if it would do the job the town needs in the shop. Kory asked how much involvement the other board members have in getting a new pressure washer? Kory will check the laws for dollar amounts of purchase. The item could cost between $3000 to $9000. Kory will get bids and email the results to all.  At this time both trucks are running. The yellow truck will be going in to have new strobe lights installed.

Ken mentioned that the road certification was due to the State by Dec. 15th. Ken received a letter from Delmore Construction in the last hour. They need to have the road work completed over the last two years. Scott will send the needed information.

Mary said that there was no report on the Special Fund Committee except she will continue to try to speak with Steve Freeze.

Mike Hessling then gave the report for the Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services Dist.  Beyond regular business, the EMS billing is a challenge which they are working to improve as it will increase the revenues. The Board had met with the Village in regard to the billing of the water and now understand much better the billings.

Also, a few members of the committee met with the Town of Cedar Lake EMS committee regarding modifying coverage to cover all of Cedar Lake. In doing so, recognized that the map for Cedar Lake was not correct for the area now covered. This will need to be researched. There followed much discussion.

Under old business, Mary gave a report of the Beautification Committee.  She continues to try to contact and discuss with Jerry Frazier the issue with his property in Mikana. At the last time she called, his phone was no longer taking messages. Ken said that the attorney, Jon Cuskey, who had assisted with the alley abandonments, should be contacted to discuss this situation. Mary said that she has an appointment with Jon on January 2, 2024, to discuss the issue and begin legal proceedings in accordance with the township’s public nuisance ordinance.

Mary then gave the report on the EMS committee meeting which they had with the BFCESD. The committee created a recommendation that there be no substantive or contractual changes at this time. Especially since there were boundary considerations. The committee is Mary Hele, Lois Gabriel, Mary Sirek, Janet Kohel, Kathy Leners, Barb Loring.

Next on the agenda was the discussion regarding more streetlights on  27 ¼ -27 ¾ St. This would include the backside of the marina as well as the bridge on Hwy. 48 on the south side. There is a lot of foot traffic causing concern for safety and security in those areas. After a discussion, Ken made the motion contingent on the cost presented to the Board that we proceed with the installation of lights in the vicinity of the south side of the bridge on Hwy. 48 until fire number 2763. Mary seconded this motion. Roll call vote: Ken, yes: Kory, abstain: Mary, yes.  Kory has a point of contact with Xcel Energy, so he will contact them. Also, he will talk with them regarding the streetlight by the town hall.

Next was the discussion about the town joining the Town’s Advocacy Council. After a discussion, Ken made the motion that the Town of Cedar Lake join the Town’s Advocacy Council immediately. Mary second and all approved.

The discussion to abandon Eden Meadows Dr. in the Gateshead Platt in sect. 9 was next. As there is only one landowner on both sides of the road, the Board does not feel that a survey is needed. The clerk was asked to reach out to Attorney Jon Cuskey to start the process.

Mary made the motion to retain the$31290.28 which has been refunded to the town from the BFCESD for the purchase of new equipment.  Ken made the motion to second. Roll call vote: Ken, yes: Kory, yes: Mary, yes. It was suggested that a special account to earmark this money as equipment funds. It may be possible a CD or MM, as they are paying more interest at this time.

Next Kory spoke about ordering the chassis for a new truck for the town. Even if that is ordered at this time, we are not tied to it as there are many towns waiting for trucks. We would not have to pay any money down on the order. Discussion of purchasing a new truck chassis will be on the January agenda. Kory will check more closely on the cost.

The next item on the agenda is the list of poll workers for the period of 2024 and 2025. There are 15 names on the list. Ken wants to add 3 more people. The clerk did not think adding the names provided by Ken would meet state guidelines that required names be received by the clerk by November 30, 2023.  Ken made a motion to accept the 18 names listed as presented. Kory seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Ken, yes: Kory, yes: Mary, yes.

The next item on the agenda was the appointment and swear-in of a new deputy clerk. Maryhelen briefed the Board on the status of the Deputy Clerk position.  She related that the previous deputy clerk had resigned and that she would appoint Tony Wolff to replace him.  She further related that she wanted to swear him in at an open meeting. Ken expressed his reluctance to allow the swearing-in of Wolff because he was unsure if the proper procedure was followed in Wolff’s appointment. Mary asked why Wolff’s appointment wasn’t revealed until now. Kory related that the clerk had the authority to appoint who she wanted without it being on the agenda. No action was taken.

Next, under correspondence, Ken spoke about an email he had received from Mike Klutho regarding the issue on the Hwy. 48 & V landing. John Rupp has moved part of the construction which had been put in place. Ken asked Kory if Scott had the equipment which could be used to remove the remainder of the wall. Mr. Rupp has 30 days until Dec. 27th to clear this out. Mike Klutho said that he contradicts the opinion of T.J. Proue, town attorney who had worked on this project. After some discussion, the board feels that the three attorneys, T.J. Proue, Mike Klutho & John Rupp, need to get together and work all this out. Also, the Board feels that the Town has spent enough on this issue. There is no reason the board needs to take any action prior to the next board meeting. The town owns 49.5 ft. of the ROW. The board is not concerned with the brush on the north, only concerned with what is happening on the south side of the landing.

Mary is in receipt of a letter from Will Bowe regarding the annual Buckthorn update. She requested that either he or Brady Wolff attend to explain what happened in 2023. This will be on the January agenda.

The clerk had received a letter from Romaine Quinn who asked that it be read to the Board regarding the legislation which had  been passed to help send more state aid to towns, cities, villages and counties. In 2024, the shared revenues will increase 20%.  In 2023, the town received $10697 and will receive $59094 in 2024. Thank you, Senator Quinn.

Gladys said that the taxes had not been mailed yet but will be shortly.

Anyone can pay their taxes on the town website.

Ken made the motion to pay the bills and adjourn the meeting. Kory seconded and all were in favor. (8:11)

This meeting was noticed at the following places: Red Cedar Grill, Red Cedar Country Store, Town Hall, Bear Trap, LLBC, website. These were posted on December 8, 2023.

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