Town Meeting Minutes | January 10, 2022

The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake met at the Cedar Lake Town Hall at 2696 26 ¾ Ave, Mikana, Wi. Present were Ken Leners,Chairman, Supervisors, Tony Wolff and Kory Weiss, Clerk Maryhelen Drew, Treasurer, Gladys Roux. Present are 6 plus 8 persons by Zoom.

The minutes from the previous meeting were read. One change is the date for action from the county on Hwy. V regarding UTV/ ATV route. It was put in as 2023 should be 2022. With this correction, Ken approved the minutes, Kory seconded. All approved.

Under public input, Doug Fischer suggested that a way the Town could increase its revenue would be to charge taxes to those persons who have tourist rooming houses, VRBO and other ways people rent their homes. This could be a charge of 8 – 10 % to those homeowners. Ken mentioned that the Board may be  interested in this. Ken asked Gladys to look into the information about this. Maybe check with the WTA on other municipalities. Ken will check with the county to see how many are registered with them. Mike Hessling stated that they so ABNB with registration at the county level. Mike suggested that the Board check with major areas we compete with such as the Hayward area.

Next on the agenda the treasurer, Gladys, gave the financial report for the past month. Ken mentioned that the majority of the funds at the end of December are tax dollars collected for school districts and the county. Those payments are being paid tonight. Ken went onto highlighting the big picture items in the budget for 2021. There is currently a good inventory of culverts which were paid for in 2021.

Kory then discussed the road issues for the past month. It seems there have been mechanical issues with 2 trucks. One was fixed with an electrical failure and the other has  the steering sector gone. Eric’s Repair will repair in our shop when the part arrives. So, the last plowing was done with the grader. Scott has great judgment as to handling the snow as it arrives.

Kory has ordered a new sign which is ready for pickup for the gravel pit. It has directions on what to leave or not at the gravel pit. Tony asked if we would be burning the current pile this winter? It is a larger pile due to all the summer storms. Yes, sometime this winter.

Ken met with Mark Servi, Barron County Highway Commissioner,  and 4 other chairmen and looked at the Local Road Improvement Plan (LRIP) discretionary and supplemental funds available from the State. These funds are in addition to designated LRIP funds of which the Town of Cedar Lake has already been granted.  The Board discussed the application process and felt that our Town would not benefit from applying due to restrictive criteria.

They also discussed the opening of Hwy. V from Hwy. 48 to Ranch Rd as a designated ATV route. It seems highly probable that the county will approve it. It will be discussed at the County meeting in April. Discussion to purchase and post signs will happen after the April meeting.

Mike Hessling then gave the report for the BFCESD for the last month. The meeting was held on Dec. 16th. Presentation of all reports and approving the bookkeeper reports. The building fundraising continues to lag behind if the groundbreaking is to happen on May 15th. The ambulance will need to have a complete engine overhaul. The next meeting will be held on Jan. 13th.

It is noted that LeRoy Sandridge, BFCESD Commissioner from Long Lake passed away on Jan. 2

All minutes for the BFCESD are posted on their website if anyone wants further information.

Tony asked what impression Mike has of the building going forward? As Mike is looking at the fundraising not going well, maybe the commission needs to re-scope the plans for the building. At this point, it seems that the Town of Cedar Lake holds the higher percentage of the cost of the building. Feel that with LeRoy gone, there could be more problems going forward. This should be a major discussion for the Annual Meeting in April. At this point, the commission barely meets a quorum with Rick Oswalt, Town of Birchwood, attending by phone. The idea of potential grants was again brought up for discussion. There followed more discussion with several ideas being presented. At this point, the maintenance cost of the building each month has not even been mentioned. Mike feels that there is a valid concern and maybe should go for a referendum. Kory wondered if consideration had been given to just building a fire hall and using the existing area for an ambulance? Linda Zillmer mentioned that the original building was to house the fire hall, ambulance and a storm shelter for the area. The ambulance needs space as the people stay in the hall when on call, especially when the staff is from out of town.

Ken will be meeting with the Marshfield Clinic 2 weeks from today to discuss the possibility of an ambulance station in our township.

The discussion regarding signs for the parade agenda will be on next month’s agenda.

The next discussion is regarding damage reimbursement to mailboxes by snow plowing. Ken mentioned that the Town of Clover pays $60 for the post and $40 for the box if it is reported to the Board within 30 days. Scott said that on the Barron County website, it states they are not responsible for mailboxes damaged by county equipment, winter or summer. The answer from previous Boards has been that the Town is not responsible for damaged mailboxes. It is on the Town website. There was discussion with no motion taken at this time.

Next is correspondence received during the month. Gladys of course has received lots of mail. Not necessary to share with the Board as it is tax money. The clerk had a letter from Mosaic which needed to be completed by the chairman.  Also, received a letter from Prochnow Assessing the following dates for the Open Book and Board of Review as Monday, April 4th for Open Book, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM and Monday, April 25th, for BOR ,1:30PM – 3:30 PM. Ken made a motion to approve these dates. Kory seconded and all were approved.  We will need to check on certification for the BOR. Kory and Tony had taken the training virtual last year, so maybe the Board will be OK. The clerk will check with the State. Next was the question of attending the WTA Dist. Meeting this year. At this time the Chairman  will attend the Feb. 25th meeting in Cumberland. Others will let the clerk know.

Tony had no correspondence. Kory has been trying to get ahold of Republic in regard to the contract for garbage hauling. After sitting on hold for a period of time, the man who answered said he did not work with Town contracts. He would contact the person who will call. No responses at this time. Kory has received a copy of an email sent by a member of the LLBC to Barron Co. Zoning of violations within the LLBC. He feels that it is good that there is communication between the county and private citizens. Ken will be meeting with the county prior to the March town board meeting . It is great that several persons have taken the time to survey and alert the county.

Kory wondered if all the tourist Rooming House and VRBO would be listed at the county level.

Ken said that he will be absent during the February town board meeting.  He has recent correspondence from Anders Helquist, attorney for Lori Masters and Elizabeth Schulte . Helquist insinuates  that Ken is possibly in violation of open meetings law that is assumed to be related to an October 19th email response from Ken to a constituent.  Helquist refuses to clarify which, if any, alleged email exists.  Attorney TJ Proue, representing the Town of Cedar Lake, advises that no further action is needed. Helquist’s actions appear to be frivolous and a waste of taxpayer dollars in legal fees. Ken stated that Masters and Schulte are responsible for Helquist’s actions, and any questions related to this topic should be referred to them.

Tony made the motion to adjourn the meeting and pay the bills. Kory seconded and all were approved. (8:01)


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