Town Meeting Minutes | December 9th, 2019

The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake met at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana on Monday, Dec. 9th, 2019 at 6:30 PM. Present was Chairman, Ken Leners, Tony Wolff and Kory Weiss, Supervisors, Maryhelen Drew, Clerk and Gladys Roux,Treasurer. Also 7 other people attended. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

     The minutes from the previous meeting were read with the following corrections: KerberRose is supplying the computer security for Wisconsin Elections Commission. Tony also stated that he has had no contact with a postal supervisor, only spoke with Cora in Birchwood. Ken made the clarification that a separate savings account needs to be set up for a reserve fund of $50,000. With these corrections, Ken made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Tony seconded.

     Under public input, Cathy Hatfield spoke about the petition which people have signed regarding the postal service for our area. Of the 80 box holders, she has been able to get 56 signatures. The majority of these people would like rural delivery. Ken stated that this information needs to go to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s staffers as additional information for the Congressional Inquiry. Also, we need to ask what USPS policy exists which says we may not have rural delivery and, if not, what is the resolution. The conversation will continue.

     Kathy Wolff mentioned that the Cedar Lake Ladies will be getting together at the Grill on Wed., Dec. 11. Cathy Hatfield has invited all to come visit the School House Antiques prior to dinner.

     Ken received a letter from Dick Ballou discussing the success of the Buckthorn Project this year. He spoke of the many projects which had been completed.  He mentioned that he and his wife have now moved to Rice Lake. He plans on continuing to coordinate the project until someone is found. Dick has spoken to a person who is interested in becoming certified to organize the project.

     Ken and Kory are discussing whether to stage money with the county highway dept. for road projects in 2020. Must first make sure that all invoices from this past summer’s road projects have been paid. This will be decided before the end of the year as the invoices are verified.

     Kory spoke about past month’s road activities.  Mostly dealing with snow and ice as well as some equipment issues which Scott fixed. The biggest issue is the people pushing snow across town roads.  This is against the law. It is the worst it has ever been. It was not noted in the tax letter this year but is on the website. Sheriff Fitzgerald had a document which instructed people not to plow across the roads. This could be something which could be delivered to those doing the plowing across the roads.  Kory will check with the Sheriff’s office.

     Kory had been contacted by Synergy who would like to give the town a bid for the bulk oil and fuel which the town purchases. Currently we are getting the fuel from Agcon, Jeff Rettenmund, and the bulk oil is John Deere. It was decided at the time of the purchase of the new equipment, the town would use John Deere due to warranties. It was decided that we could take a look at bids for these products. 

     Ken stated that there is no report from the BFCESD at this time as there has not been a meeting since our last meeting. He did say that there had been a meeting to begin work on the by-laws.  Mick Givens, Chairman, Town of Long Lake, chaired this meeting. The next meeting will be in Jan. 2020. Ken had recommended that the commissioner be a resident in which he represents. Pertaining to the 2020 Budget, half is due from us to them by the end of Jan. 2020. Our next meeting is Jan. 6th, where a decision could be made regarding this payment. The commission had a balance of $594,000 at the end of last month. It was determined that no Town of Cedar Lake BFCESD annual operating funds will be distributed  until by-laws are completed.  It appears that not all municipalities have signed the resolution for the new building. Pete Baribeau told Ken that the Town of Edgewater has not signed.  Tony asked if the by-laws are anticipated to be ready in January? No, not the January meeting. Kory wondered if the Town would be OK not spending the monies as budgeted.There followed a discussion with no motion to sign the resolution tonight.

     Under old business, the discussion related to the post office was next. Tony has talked with the Postmaster, Cora at Birchwood P.O., who related that as several people had emailed Senator Ron Johnson, the process had gotten slower, causing more problems.  No one representing the US Post Office above the Birchwood P.O. has contacted Tony or returned his calls. Ken commented that getting the Senator involved did not make the problem worse. Ken referred to the Senator’s website where if they are not able to help in a situation they would let us know. The problem is that someone in the postal dept. has lied to the Senator’s staffers in saying that there had been a resolution. There has been no resolution. staffers need to be made aware of this along with the question what policy states that we could not have rural delivery and when will there be a resolution.  Tony will be contacting Senator Johnson’s office to inform them of the lack of support.

     Next topic Tony discussed the Hwy. 48 and V landing. His research has determined that although the road from 48 to the high water mark of Red Cedar lake is privately owned, the Town has a right of way use of this road to include public access to the water via the boat landing.  It appears that Wisconsin statutes state that if the Town has maintained the road for at least 10 years, the Town would acquire the right of way use of the road. If this were the case then the property owner could not charge a fee or restrict use of the boat landing because the maintenance of this road is paid for by the taxpayer.   After much discussion, it was determined that Tony would contact an attorney to decide on a next step.  Ken will contact the Petersens and keep them appraised as to the information.

     Ken mentioned that a letter needs to be written to the county as the charges at Waldo Carlson created part of the reason for Petersons to close off the landing due to parking and amount of boats being launched. This letter could inquire as to the capital project in the future for the park. The county stated that’s the reason for the fee. Jeff Kruger asked if the residents of our town could get free landing access at Waldo Carlson Park. This had been mentioned to Louie Okey, Barron County Supervisor, but no response other than we should attend the Property Committee meetings.

     As there was no discussion regarding the Public Nuisance issues, the next topic is the approval of election workers for the period of 2020 through 2021. The list of 12 names was submitted to the Board. No lists have been received from the Republicans or Democrats. So, we are able to appoint those interested. There will be training for these poll workers the first week in January. Ken made a motion to approve the list of poll workers as presented. Kory seconded and all approved.

     Next, Kelly Weiss needed to discuss streetlights. There is a need for streetlights on West Lakeshore Dr. The streetlights which are now in Mikana, are charged to 80 people along the route and  placed onto the tax bills. Kelly wondered why they were being charged. Kelly asked if we charged the people where Scott did ditch mowing. No. We all benefit from the streetlights. He has ordered streetlights from Xcel Energy, which he said he would pay for 6 months, as he feels there is a need. The Board understood Kelly’s analogy. Ken said that this all made sense and should be on the agenda for the January meeting.

     Jeff Kruger told the Board that he had a small issue at his house which Ken George and the fire dept. helped with. They had a thermal heat imaging tool which spotted the fire source and where able to contain what could have been a bad fire. Jeff is very thankful for the fire dept.  

     Tony has been monitoring the electric bill, which has been quite a bit less than a year ago. It seems that the heaters in the bathrooms were causing the high bills. So, leaving doors open and heat on in the town hall on a certain temperature works well.

     Ken made a motion to adjourn and pay the bills. Tony seconded and all approved. (8:28) Tony will be absent in January.

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