Town Meeting Minutes | December 14, 2020

The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Monday, Dec. 14th, 2020 at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana at 6:30 PM. Present was Ken Leners, Chairman, Supervisors, Kory Weiss and Tony Wolff, Maryhelen Drew, Clerk. Present by Zoom was Gladys Roux, Treasurer.

     Ken Leners held a moment of silence for the passing of Jon Sleik.

     The minutes were read from the previous monthly meeting. Kory made the motion to approve the minutes as read. Tony seconded and all approved.

     The Board then discussed the estimate from Triple A Maintenance

 for cleaning of the Town Hall. The Board suggested to go ahead as there were no other bids.

     Kory will need to remind Tyler at the county about checking the status of the dam underwater,

     As there was no public input, Ken read the report from the treasurer. We have $335,315.24 at the end of November. We are paying a total of $115,907 tonight including the check to BFCESD of $102,169.  We will be receiving $26088.62 from the Dept. of Transportation for disaster repair of Park Rd. We have not received the timber sales from the county at this time, but will arrive before the end of the year. The Clerk matches with the treasurer and all bank accounts.

     The next item for discussion is the past month’s road activities. Kory said that not too much has been happening. Kory signed a contract on November 30 with Paul’s Sheet Metal to replace the boilers in the shop for a price of $14,474.00.   Truck #2 is back from being repaired, Truck #3 is now having a few issues. Hopefully the end of issues for now. Ken George finished the mowing last Monday.

     Ken Leners then gave the report on the BFCESD. We had suspended payment of funds until the by-laws had been developed.  That has happened so, we are paying. We will have a copy of the by-laws as soon as it is signed. The attorney in Chippewa Falls said that we are at the mercy of the contract agreement of 2007. It is a bad agreement and needs to be updated. The commission is not ready to do this. There have been two meetings of the BFCESD since our last meeting. The amount of $264,000 for the new building is now obsolete. We will discuss this further at the next meeting. Cost sharing  would be more equitable l if expenses  were based on access points instead of equalized property values. The commission is now discussing purchase of a third vacant lot in Birchwood where Gargulak’s building is sitting. They now own two vacant properties. Ken thinks it should be a contingency  to sell previous property prior to purchasing additional land. Ken then spoke about several items for the Board to think about going forward. At this point, we should not be breaking ground until everything is in place, especially since they are looking at another piece of land. Kory asked if there would be more bids or just one contractor. At this point, only one contractor. There is a building committee which meets once a month. The next BFCESD meeting will be on Jan. 14th.

     Kelly Weiss asked about the fire truck which had been taken from our shop. It has been winterized and put in cold storage in the Town of Birchwood Shop. The majority of the commission decided not to pay the Town of Cedar Lake the 1 year rental as billed. Ken had made a motion to pay, but there was no second, so did not pass. Ken is trying to enforce common sense business expenses.

     Mike Hessling wondered if this would affect the level of service from the BFCESD. Ken Leners does not feel this will impact the service as the Fire Chief, Ken George, indicated that the two other engines would meet the needs of the District.  The question remains as to why the District is retaining a third engine that is non-operational.

     Gladys spoke up to say that she had received a phone call from a concerned citizen stating that they had heard that the Town of Wilson was going to cancel. Ken said that the Town of Edgewater has submitted a letter of resignation from ambulance services effective 9 months from date of letter. They are paying Sawyer County for the same service. Once they have pulled out, our 32% of costs will be much higher.

     Kelly asked if the Board had contacted Bear Lake in regard to fire protection from them. Ken L is wanting to keep our foot in the door for fire services as we have so much invested in the BFCESD. Rice Lake Fire is intimidated by the road network on the east side of Red Cedar Lake and is not interested in providing fire services to that area. There followed much discussion with the cost of 2021 being part of the discussion. Ken said that Mick Givens is now Chairman of the commission with John Depositer, second in line. Rick Oswalt now represents the Town of Birchwood.

     Kory feels that the fire and ambulance should be separate all under the commission. Non-players in each would have no say in the budget.

     Ken then stated that the Board is looking for a person to be the representative for the Town of Cedar Lake BFCESD Commission. A $200 monthly salary has been approved for the 2021 Budget for that person.

     Ken has given thought to the fact it could be unnecessary to build a new building as our shop would be able to house all fire equipment and give the firemen the room they need. The Village could house the ambulance, giving them the room they need.

     Under old business, Mike Clamer from North 40 Surveying is here to discuss the discontinue of alleys in the Village of Mikana. Ken read the resolution as presented. Kory made the motion to approve the resolution as read.  Ken Leners seconded the motion. Tony abstained from voting.

Roll call vote: Kory, Yea: Ken, Yea. Mike then showed the Board the survey map and several items which he had run across during the work.  He said that someone had staked with wooden or iron bolts in 1902. He is not sure if a survey had been done since that time. The division of the alleys will be very helpful for many people. Ken will inform Jerry Frasier that he must install the 4th/South side of his fence no later than May 31, 2021 now that the alley location is known.
     The next discussion was in regard to the Hwy. 48 & V landing. Tony had discussed this issue with an attorney who wrote up a resolution to present tonight. In regard to the letter submitted by Mike Hessling, owner of the Gathering Place Resort. Tony is concerned that at some point a future owner  might decide to limit the landing even though it has been considered a public landing for many years and according to the Wis. Statutes. Tony is curious as to why this portion was not deeded to the town at the time of closing the sale of the Gathering Place. Mike knew when he purchased that the landing was there, but concerned as this parcel is part of the closing which they did to complete the sale. Mike is here to do his part to stay open to the public. Mike is struggling to understand the direction the Board is going to.  Tony stated that if Mike, Red Cedar Lake Assc.,DNR planned any work on that access, they would need to come to the Town for permission. Kory said that it had not become a huge issue until the previous owners had closed off the access.  Mike said that what the previous owners had done was illegal. It was sold to Mike with the clear understanding that it is a ROW.

    There followed much discussion with no decision made. Ken said that the Board was between a rock and a hard place. Tony had discussed this issue with an attorney who wrote up a resolution to present tonight.  The Board has been forced to discuss this situation since the rope went across the landing. Tony then read the letter from the attorney. If the Board and Mike are unable to come to an agreement it could go before a judge who would determine the ending.

     After further discussion, Mike Clamer suggested that Mike Hessling could deed that piece of ground to the Town by quit claim deed with the town giving him an perpetual easement to his property in the deed. After much discussion, Ken made the motion to table this until January. Tony seconded the motion. All approved. Ken suggested that we set up an appointment with the attorney to investigate perpetual easement to the landing.

     Next on the agenda was the discussion of the resolution for the BFCESD for 2021. The Board discussed the resolution and feels it is not relevant to sign at this time. Ken made the motion to not sign the BFCESD resolution for 2021 because it is irrelevant since the 2007 agreement defines payment terms.  Tony seconded and all approved.

     The date for the Caucus for 2021 will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10 AM. Need to notify Ken George and John Brunclik as they will chair this meeting.

     Kelly Weiss mentioned that 2 new lights had been installed along 26 ½ Avenue. There had been 3 requested. Xcel Energy will install the 3rd light in the spring.

     Under correspondence Gladys mentioned that the tax people had made the letter which goes into the taxes into a two sheet rather than a one sheet. Gladys talked with the county, who talked with the tax company and they will incur the cost. Also, Gladys mentioned that the website still had last year’s information on it. It needs to be updated and newsletters posted.

     Ken mentioned that since Chelsea is no longer in charge of our website, things have not been going well. We may need to have a discussion to retain or find a new website manager.

     Gladys mentioned that the Town had received $16,030.00 from the Roads to Recovery for Covid from the State.

     Kory had been contacted by Mosaic Telecom since last month’s meeting. They need to apply for the high-speed internet Federal Grant by December 1st. They need to have a piece of property in Mikana to build a small building. There is some Town property but as we didn’t have a meeting  until after the deadline, a decision could not be made regarding that piece of land. Kory suggested that they contact Maryhelen.

     Received a form to join the Wisconsin Towns Association Advocacy Council for $250 per year. Never have before, so will not join.’

     Ken had shown Paul’s Sheet Metal the heating in the basement in order to obtain a contract proposal. They recommended going with an 80% efficient furnace for $2,925. At this point the Board decided to hold off and check on the cost of heat for the last couple of winters. Kory recommends the Board get other bids.

     Ken mentioned that the County had completed the recycle center in Chetek and will be coming to us next. It will only be open for certain hours and manned by someone from the county. If there are volunteers, maybe it could be open for more hours. The county will cover all related expenses.

     Ken mentioned that his taxes had only gone up $1 for the Town of Cedar Lake, which is slightly lower than last year. Gladys mentioned her taxes were less this year than 2016.

     Ken made the motion to adjourn the meeting. This was seconded by Kory and approved by all. (9:39)

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