November 14, 2022 I Monthly Board Meeting

The Town Board met at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana, 2696 26- 26 ¾ Ave., on Monday, November 14, 2022 at the Cedar Lake Town Hall at 6:00 PM for the purpose of notice of 2023 budget.
Present was Ken Leners, Chairman, Supervisor Tony Wolff, Clerk Maryhelen Drew, Treasurer Gladys Roux. Absent was Supervisor Kory Weiss. Twenty other persons were in attendance. The Pledge of Allegiance began the meeting.
After the close of the budget meetings, the monthly board meeting began at 7:00 with the reading of the past month’s minutes. Ken approved the minutes as read. Tony seconded and all approved.
  • Under public input, Rod & Vicki Reipl appeared to express that they feel that the Town Board had dropped the ball in regard to the notice of a special meeting held on Aug. 22. The only persons attending this meeting, beside the board, had been Mike & Deanna Hessling. The notice did not specify what was being proposed by the Gathering Place near their home. Mr. Reipl claimed that no one told him about the August 22nd special meeting, or the November 14th Barron County Board of Adjustment meeting. Chairman Ken Leners reminded all present that there is no state law requiring a Town to contact adjacent property owners directly and that it is an interested property owner’s responsibility to seek information related to Town activities. Chairman Leners reminded persons present that, by law, agendas are posted at three public locations and on the Town’s website Supervisor Tony Wolff reminded Mr. Reipl that meeting minutes provide detailed information and are posted on the Town’s website . Rod Reipl feels that the Board is in violation of the open meeting law because the subject of the August 22nd special meeting was not explained.
  • Today, November 14th, there was a public hearing at the Barron Co. Board of Adjustment. There were 17 people present at this meeting as well as 18 letters against the proposed Gathering Place development. The DNR is neutral at this time pending more information. Ken had attended the meeting and was the only person who spoke in support of the proposal during public input .
  • The neighbors who own property within 300 ft. of this proposed property development did, by law, receive notification from the Barron County Board of Adjustment regarding the November 14th hearing. The property owners, or their representatives, of the 13 parcels beyond the 300 foot distance that opposed the development did not, by law, receive notification from Barron County. Ken stated that the notice which had been posted did contain the description that it was to approve a special exception and rezone the acreage.
  • As tempers were getting out of hand, Ken mentioned that the County would be doing an onsite inspection of the property on Thursday, November 17th and that on Monday, November 28th, the board of adjustment would reconvene to vote on the Hesslings’ request. Mr. Loring wanted to know if there would be a formal response to Mr. Hessling’s aggressive comments that everyone just endured. There followed a discussion, this behavior is not acceptable. Ken has reprimanded people several times for such behavior. However, since Mr. Hessling departed the meeting on his own, there was no need to direct him to depart.
  • Next on the agenda is the financial report from Gladys, treasurer. The clerk’s books all agree with Gladys. Ken then discussed the budget management for the remainder of 2022.
  • Ken mentioned that the caucus would be held in January with all board positions being up for election.
  • As the town board is authorized to make holiday bonuses for the road personnel and the commissioner, Ken, Kory and Tony will discuss this for figures of these bonuses’.
  • Scott spoke about road work in the past month. The Ranch Road culvert replacement area has been patched. The shouldering on Lemler has not been completed yet. Scott did not put down any salt/sand for this recent snow. There has been no update on the striping of Methill and Lemler.
  • The BFCESD report mostly revolves around the progress on the new building. This is monitored daily and posted on the website for all to watch. Ken will talk with the bank regarding the payment for Dec. 15th.
  • As there was no old business, Dick Ballou was present to give an updated report on the Buckthorn project and introduce Will Bowe from Cameron who is taking over responsibility of the project. He has been involved since its inception 15 years ago. At this point, the project has served over 300 landowners with buckthorn on their property. This is the only committee project of its kind in the State. There has been a satellite shop established at the Cameron High School. Dick still feels that a person from our Town should still work as Director with the project even though Will is very established to take over this project. Ken will put this info into the letter going into the December tax statements.
  • Next is the discussion of hiring a deputy clerk. The description has been written and will be placed on the website as well as the Chronotype. The Board may need to have a meeting at some point to discuss this position. There followed a discussion regarding salaries of other Boards around the county. As this was determined by the 2023 Budget which was just approved with changes for the new members in April, 2023 no further changes can be made.
  • Under correspondence, Ken mentioned that there is a survey online from WTA which should be answered. The clerk is working on this.
  • Ken spoke about receiving a notice of claim from Elizabeth Young. This is claim number two regarding ending the comments sections on the Town’s website. On Oct. 21st,a discussion was held with the attorney who was appointed by the Town’s insurance co. There are 120 days in which to respond to these claims by the town or Ken. Speaking on behalf of Ken Leners, a person identified individually on the claims, he wouldn’t want to be in the claimants’ shoes . The Town’s attorney will touch base with Maryhelen & Ken when more information is needed.
  • Tony spoke about the well for the town hall. It was tested at one time finding bacteria in it. So, it has not been used for drinking for many years. He will test again tomorrow and then shock the well.
  • The Town received information on joining the Town Advocacy Council. It would cost $0.25 per person of population. The Board decided not to join at this time.
  • Gladys let the Board know that all applications for insurance are completed and she is ready for tax season. She also mentioned that the Barron Co. Treasurer, Yvonne Ritchie, is retiring at the end of the year. Samatha Sommerfeld has been appointed to complete her term of office. It appears no one from the office had applied for the position.
  • Tony made the motion to approve the bills as submitted and adjourn the meeting. Ken seconded and all approved. (8:22)
Posted in