Town Meeting Minutes | August 9, 2021
August 9, 2021 Monthly Meeting
The monthly meeting of the Town Board met at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 at 6:30 PM. Present was Chairman Ken Leners, Supervisors Tony Wolff & Kory Weiss, Clerk Maryhelen Drew,and Treasurer Gladys Roux. Present were 60 people plus the Board at the town hall and 59 on Zoom. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ken explained some administrative notes.
The next subject is the minutes from the previous meeting. As these had been read by the Board on computer, Kory made the motion to approve the minutes as on Docs. Tony seconded and all approved.
Gladys, treasurer, gave the financial report for the last month. A new account at the bank has been opened for the American Recovery Plan Act.
Under public input, Ken made a motion of 2 min. max on each person to speak. Kory seconded the motion. All approved. Kory will watch time. Each person, please raise your hand, identify yourself. Jake Breunig spoke about the condition of the swamp road as he lives on the west end of the road. He appreciates that the town has worked hard to maintain. The washboard effect has been terrible, the gravel is so rough at the end. He is requesting that the town consider blacktopping the road to the east as far as the Brill Sportsman’s Club. There are several neighbors attending who express the same thoughts. Kory mentioned that he had received a couple of requests to pave. Scott & Kory are discussing the cost of this blacktop.
Next Liz Schulte mentioned that there had been a number of signatures turned into the clerk regarding special taxes or fees. The petition was read as the undersigned request that the Town Board refrain from discriminating by imposing any special fees or taxes on the landowners with recreational vehicles(campers)on their land that is zoned by Barron County as Residential/Recreation. Liz wondered if there will be a discussion of this topic after old business. Ken said that all public input would be at this time.
Hugh Harris spoke about the need to improve the Swamp Road. It seems that Independent Sanitation had sent some correspondence relating to the condition of the road. There has been someone who hit a tree. The road itself is used heavily by high schools for pistol/ trap teams.
Scott Tubbs also spoke to the condition of the road. The club has 350 members who come to the club house at various times. The club appreciates the work that the town puts in on maintaining the road.
As this concludes public input, the next discussion is regarding the past month’s and future road activities. Truck #2 is still being diagnosed at the shop. Truck #3 has had the box reinforced so it is back.
Next was the report from Mike Hessling for the Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services Dist. As there had been no meeting since the Board’s last meeting there was not too much to report. The next meeting is Aug 19, 2021. Mike ran through some numbers regarding the new building using current assessed values. The plan may be a lower 10 year loan. This information will be needed for budget time. Gladys asked if there is a current fundraiser to be held? August 29 will have a golf outing at Cheers. There has been a garage sale with some funds raised. They are doing a $50 raffle. As the committee is still putting things together, they are hoping to have a better idea of the cost of the new building by budget time. Ken has recommended that the building plans be reviewed by a private attorney previous to being awarded. Mike will take this under advisement. There is a lot of ability to modify the contract as it is in the early stages.
Under old business, a discussion was held regarding Hwy. 48 & V. The interested parties held a special meeting on August 6th with the Board to discuss ownership of the landing. Ken took minutes. There is a follow up meeting to be held on Friday, August 27 at 1 p.m. All of the information gathered from the DNR, a realtor, needs to be digested to come to a final conclusion. All involved believe that the most important items are safety, function, and environmental stewardship.
Ken discussed the temporary dwelling. He has received some information just about 4 this afternoon and has not had time to review. He has information from WTA as well as another Town who had a similar issue. The Board needs to read through all of these items received. Ken suggested that there may need to be a special meeting with a zoom call with the attorney. Ken asked what the publishing time is for an ordinance. He feels that the Board could make administrative changes to the draft received from the other town, finalize the draft notice. Perhaps this could be passed with a motion at the September meeting. Ken will email to the Board.
Tony feels that the Board is getting a little ahead of itself. He is still confused as to what the actual problem is. . Issues need to be investigated. Going forward, the board needs to consider facts that identify the problem before we can work on a solution.
During the last week Tony has received letters and emails with complaints about zoning requirements for lots in the LLBC that allow campers. He did some research and briefed the board as to his findings. (See attached document for more details.)
Roy Buchner suggested the board should wait until the lawsuit is settled before going forward. Tony does not feel that the pending lawsuit with the LLBC would have an impact on what the town can do. Members of LLBC need to follow rules agreed to when they bought their lot.. If the rules are not liked they should be changed. None of this should encourage harassment , name calling or bullying.
Tony suggested to the Chairman that we are a long way from completing this ordinance. There needs to be more discussion of the pros and cons of whether or not to create an ordinance. .
Kory agrees with Tony. He is curious what the draft of the ordinance is trying to accomplish. He has to tread lightly to keep business separate from this issue. All need to take a logical approach. Kory has more questions. Is the land use permit from the county a one time fee of $50? The permit comes from the county where you need to answer questions such as plans for sanitation for their lot. No one is aware that the county does sanitary inspections.
Doug Fischer, 2658 28 ⅛ St, spoke to being on the LLBC Board for 6.5 years . When the policy was changed to allow the campers to stay on the lots he resigned from the Board. He has gone through many issues with many people since that time. Barron Co. does not have the people to be able to enforce all policies. He stated that the executive meeting had been changed without notice. He tried his best to enforce LLBC existing covenanents and restrictions.
Kory asked if the County does inspection? Everyone should be subject to annual inspections. It’s possible the box is checked and there is no follow up. Next the camper goes to the LLBC for a permit. If they have a permit from the county , LLBC also issues one from them, annually. Again without inspection. Kory feels we are still in the info gathering stage. Could the LLBC change this policy? Shawn replied that they could but have been told not to touch the policy until the lawsuit is settled. Kory wondered if these policiy changes would resolve the issues?
Kory is curious about the ordinance which Ken is proposing. He is not against open dialog but realizes there are multiple issues to address. Zoning is not the Town’s problem. Kory then said he plans to talk to Randy Prochnow, the town’s assessor, about whether or not the Town would be up for a re-assessment soon. So, he can ask Randy how he would assess the lots.
Tony said that the tax assessor does wild lots, then lots set up for campers. Each lot is not equal. When properties change hands the assessed value could change depending on the sale prices of lots.
Ken would allow discussion from the floor. Daren by Zoom discussed the tax proposal across the camper lots or across all of the town. Next question, would temporary dwelling permits with LLBC be given the need for various permits? Ken answers that this tax proposal would be over the entire town. The purchasers are aware of what is needed at LLBC as they are given a welcome package from either the realtor or LLBC.
Mr. Goodwin asked if the title company gives a copy of the covenants and restrictions. LLBC does not know if they are given this at that time.
Ken stated that Kory and Tony could disagree, but the draft needs to be read. Ken doesn’t see the need for petty issues happening at this time. The attorney told Ken “to watch out for hostile takeover” if the Board waits for it to resolve itself. Need to look at both sides. The proposed ordinance has a lot of info.
Ken proposed to have Delmore Consulting do the campsite inventory, as they are already doing road evaluations. Ken made a motion to have Delmore do a survey not to exceed $10,000 for campsite inventory. Kory seconded. Discussion followed with kory saying he would like to know the scope of the work before agreeing to the $10,000. Also, concerned about Delmore going onto people’s property to assess what’s on the lot. Tony questions the fund expenditure. How accurate would it be and how would this help with the ordinance? He feels there are a lot of different areas to spend the money.
Ken remodified the motion to say an amount not to exceed $6000. More discussion. Would like to see a contract prior to signing with Delmore. Ken revised the motion to have Delmore do a campsite inventory not to exceed $6,000 contingent upon a written proposal. Kory seconded. Ken,Aye: Kory,Aye: Tony,No.
Ryan by Zoom spoke about comments regarding temporary dwellings. Conversations as to not any hostile takeovers. Want to enjoy a lot and time in Birchwood.
Liz Schulte said that she has sent a list of Wis. Stat. which should be shared tonight. Ken has reviewed them and is having the attorney check on them.
Liz Drew asked if the culvert check would show all homes & setup campers on their lots? Would this have to do with the whole town with campers. Ken said no, as permanent dwellings are already assessed. Kory said after reading the Wis. Stat. with permanent dwelling on property are not subject to the same rules as campers.
Next on the agenda was an application for a Class “A” combination Licenses for Rice Lake Store, LLC,who have purchased Red Cedar Country Store located at 2671 27th Ave, Mikana. The business will be named Cedar Lake Market,with Davinda Singh, Agent. The motion to approve this incense was made by Ken and seconded by Kory. All approved.
Under correspondence, notice has been given that the county will be doing redistricting per the census. If our town’s population has gone over 1,000 we may need to create wards.
Kory spoke about the pre buy for the propane for winter 21-22. He will do the checking. The Board approved payment of the pre -buy fuel.
Tony suggested that we add the Swamp Road to the agenda for Sept. Kory will bring numbers to the regular meeting and for the budget.
A request was made regarding fire signs for Freiss’s range. The Town would order the signs and posts, but do not install on private property, at their cost.
Gladys has received the cost of mailing the tax bills this Dec. from the company, Master Touch. First there is a $50 fee from last year we missed and the current cost would be $250. They are offering to mail our tax bills along to the same person who has property in another jurisdiction, which would lower the cost. After discussion, the Board voted to go with Master Touch alone. Board approved the $250.
Kory made the motion to pay the bills and adjourn the meeting. Ken seconded the motion and all approved. (8:45)