Town Meeting Minutes June 13, 2022
The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Monday, June 13, 2022 at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana at 6:30 PM. Present was Chairman Ken Leners, Supervisors Kory Weiss and Tony Wolff, Clerk Maryhelen Drew and Treasurer, Gladys Roux. There were
34 attending by zoom and 36 present.
The minutes were read from the previous monthly meeting. Ken made the correction that Barron Co. regulates the whole county for zoning. Tony made the motion to approve the minutes with this correction. Kory seconded the motion. All approved.
Under public input, Gladys would like to recognize and thank Tony for the beautiful new sign at the Joel Wosepka Park in Mikana. Thank you, Tony.
Gladys also referred to the discussion last month whether the proposed ordinance would affect the shared revenues for the town. She had contacted the WTA and received an answer which she read( attached)from attorney Joe Ruth. The Wis DOR addresses this issue under its Property Tax Guide for Manufactured and mobile Home Owners. She asked if we would want to run a referendum for an ordinance that may not even be legal? It is singling out a special group of people which is not fair. If lake owners were asked to pay a fee, would that be fair? All campers are paying right taxes and so are the lake people according to Wis. Statutes. Remember several years ago that Lanny had graded the roads in LLBC three to four times a year. Scott also does this now. Louie used to mow the ditches in LLBC years ago. These are still being mowed as before. Why charge a fee for services which have not changed? Gladys would make the email from the Wis. Town’s Ass. available to everyone. Ken responded that it is not unusual for attorneys to have different opinions, we will work through the process. Ken asked why the lake people comment since what is occurring affects all taxpayers within the township . Gladys pointed out that you would not like to be charged a fee only if you lived on the lake.
Next on the agenda, Gladys gave the financial report for the past month. All figures match the bank as well as the clerk’s reports. Ken mentioned that the Town would be receiving the second half of the American Rescue Plan, about $50,000 next Monday. Ken reminded the clerk that a copy of the approved minutes for May must be forwarded to Dairy State Bank for the BFCESD loan. The Board voted to take out a loan for $472,406.81 with term agreements. As the building progresses, BFCESD will spend down funds already received. Then will draw construction costs as needed from loan proceeds.
Kory spoke about the road activities for the past month. The new “no parking” signs have arrived and will be installed before the July 4th Parade. Also have one for the V landing. He has been contacted regarding damage to driveways and ditches from Mosaic plowing. He has informed everyone that they need to contact Mosaic to fix these issues. He also suggested that he was in the same boat and will probably be fixing his own property.
There was a culvert failure on Ranch Road with the last rain. There was a spot sinking in the middle of the road. The culvert was replaced by Bull Dozing within two days. If we get blacktop patch before the end of season, we will patch. Additional action will happen on another cul de sac by Bull Dozing.
Reminder of the White Goods pickup will be held on June 18, from 10 AM to 2PM at the town shop. This occurs so items won’t be found on the Swamp Rd.
Kory asked Mark Servy if he had any cost estimates for doing Lemler Rd. Mark will get figures together and get them to Kory. Once we have those figures we will decide how much of Lemler Rd., we will do it this year.
Next was opening the bids for the Swamp Rd. A bid was received from Monarch Paving with a certificate of insurance for $84283.09 for 3351 ft @ 21 ft. wide. This price is locked in. The county gave an estimate of $80069.80 being billed for whatever is actually used depending on pricing. The subject was open for discussion. Both places have A+ rating for their work. After some discussion, Kory made the motion to have Monarch Paving complete the Swamp Rd. Tony seconded. It is good to spread the tax dollars. Ken thanked both for appearing and submitting figures for the jobs. Roll call vote: Kory,yes: Tony,yes:Ken, yes. Motion carried.
As Mike Hessling was unavailable,he emailed a report which was read by Ken. There is an auxiliary being created for the dept. The construction agreement with Northwest Builders was signed on May 16 with the groundbreaking held on May 21, 2022. It was a very nice event. The dept. Had a hovercraft donated to them which will be very helpful with emergencies. There are a few updates needed but will be very useful. The Jon Sleik Memorial Golf Tournament will again be held at some point this summer.
The next item on the agenda was the application for a Class “B” beer license which had been submitted previously in April and May for Cedar Lake Market in Mikana. The reason they have applied is because they would like to have gaming machines in the store. The state has a new law which requires the property to hold a Class “B” license in order to have the gambling machines. This would be consumption on the premises. They currently hold a Class “A” Combination which is for consumption away from property. They would also like to serve food. Tony asked why a representative had not appeared at the previous two meetings. One time the representative was sick and the other time was not available. The other store, Northwoods V & M was awarded a license from the Town of Oak Grove for a Class “B” in April, where they also added gaming machines. Ken asked if there would be a designated area for on premises drinking? The people will need to stay within the building. Ken read the reasons which the Board could use by law to deny this license. Tony is not personally in favor of issuing this license as he feels not appropriate for a store. It is right across from another establishment where persons may consume alcoholic beverages on site. He feels this would come under the public health and safety reason.
Kory is interested in the request. He is not opposed to gaming or the addition of food. But does have concerns with the bar across the street. He feels that we can’t show favorites. Ken then read all of the other licenses within the town presently. Much discussion followed with Kathy Trawin bringing up the fact that children often go to the store without parents, will they be by the bar? Ken said that he would never deny a business from improving. Kory said need to look at the proximity of other businesses, Gathering Place, Cedar Lake Grill, Bear Trap Inn, Sportsmans. Tony said this is a store with all ages going in and out still feels that this is a health and safety issue. He has no desire to keep someone from doing business. Ken Osmer sympathizes with businesses trying to make money, he feels that if beer is served at the store it is no longer a store, but a bar. Is there an age to use gaming machines? Yes, 21. The gaming machines would have a separate door. Davinda envisions a designated area with signage with instruction.
Kory then asked about Loch Lomond Beach Club serving beer. Kids come in and out there. Grace Reisdorf wants for the guys at the store to be successful, but not across from her house and especially as there are two licenses in Mikana at this time.
Norma Jankowski is thankful that we have a decent grocery store in town, but feels it should be kept as a store.
Frank Saxinger, owner of Cedar Lake Grill, respects that the store would like to grow. He stated that his industry has been hit hard on all ends the last 3 years. More competition will only make it more difficult. This would be similar to him asking to sell live bait.
Tony asked if they needed licensed operators? Maryhelen said yes they do and they already have licensed operators to sell the Class “A” items. Kelly Weiss asked if there had been an ordinance written some time ago as to what was allowed at establishments. Yes, but not in regard to this situation.
Ken has never and will never make it difficult for a business to succeed. Ken made the motion to approve the Class”B” license for Cedar Lake Market. Kory agrees to grow businesses and get people in the door for existing businesses. Tony’s concern with kids. Give them an opportunity to try this Class”B” license for a year. This is renewed annually. Kory putting aside personal reasons, concern because of the kids also. Kory would like to see what Davinda is proposing: keeping gaming separate from the store and not having people standing around drinking. Kory seconded the motion to approve the license. Tony feels that the Board has valid reasons to deny for public health and safety. Ken asked Angie, from the LLBC if there are restrictions for people drinking at the club. Jim Ludwig said people can only drink within the property which is fenced. Motion has a second. Roll call vote: Ken,yes:Kory, yes: Tony, no. Motion passed.
Next item on the agenda was discussion of wording for the referendum regarding recreational/residential dwellings. Ken asked who had put this on the agenda. Maryhelen thought that he had requested this topic.
The county probably needs 90 days prior to the election, but we do need to find out the timeline for a referendum. Ken’s intent is to talk with the Board first. He has done his research with WTA and Dept. of Revenue and has a draft referendum statement. This is much more difficult than the ATV/UTV resolution. This draft is already on the website. A draft would be finalized with all Board members. It is difficult as we have 2 opinions from attorneys who study town law. Ken does not want to get into 3 hr. meetings all summer.
Tony asked how the Board will agree on the referendum as at this point there are 2 against and 1 for it. Ken said that the electoral process will decide the answer. Ken had brought the subject up right after Tony had tabled the subject for 1 year. Feel this is a way to keep the subject in the forefront. Gladys said that she had been quoting the State Statutes when she spoke about the tax law with reference to villages charging fees.
There are a group of individuals who are more vocal on this subject than others. Looking at input from both sides. Need to find out what electors think.
Kory does not agree with the ordinance as proposed. People may not want the proposed ordinance as presented now, but a compromise of the ordinance before the referendum.
Ken said that the decision would go out with the tax statements in December. Here are the moving parts: referendum, private individuals suing Loch Lomond Beach Club, and Beach Club and County putting in extra effort. It was suggested that maybe put the referendum on the Spring election along with the election of a new board.
Kory agrees with Tony to table the topic of the ordinance until next summer with the results from November, putting those together with the county results, Beach Club results and outcome of suit with individual.
Ken said that the situation did not pop up overnight so ordinance will not happen overnight.
Ken then brought up the possible need to have a referendum regarding appointing or electing the clerk as Maryhelen will not be running for the clerk position in 2023. So maybe, we need to have a referendum to appoint a clerk or to continue to elect at the caucus in January. Ken asked Tony if he would take the lead on getting information for this. If we don’t lean forward, the worst case would be no candidates. Ken explained that if we stick to elected persons, we are picking from a small pool of persons as the person would need to be a resident of the township. If appointed, that person could be from anywhere and apply for the position. This needs to be placed on the July Agenda. Liz Drew suggested that maybe have a deputy help out for the rest of the term. Maybe put a notice in the paper looking for a deputy. Maybe that person could then be on the ballot in April. Ken thought this was a good idea.
Next on the agenda was to check with Gary Garbe regarding needs for the July 4th parade. He is requesting the following: road closure of the Swamp Rd., Law enforcement, use of park for fireworks, barricades for the bridge,cutting grass for parking, grade the parking lot for trailers and also the swamp road, town hall for a bake sale, payment of the insurance. Scott had mowed the parking area with his personal lawnmower last year. Kory will work with Scott and the committee to accomplish all items. The insurance is paid tonight. Ken made the motion to approve all items requested by the parade committee. Kory seconded and all approved.
Gary Garbe would also like to address the space in the garage as they are running out of space. Maybe the Board could look at items to see if some may be gotten rid of. Ken asked Gary and Tom Nanstad to walk through the garage and make a list of items to go.
The next item was to go over all liquor/beer license applications which had been received in a timely manner. There is one application which was never returned. Stout’s Island paid the license fee of $600 but did not return the completed renewal application. There followed discussion on how to handle this as of right now they would not have a license beginning on midnight of Jun 30, 2022. Kory suggested that a phone call go out to either John Rupp or Tom Dow, owners of the island. Kory has phone numbers. May need to hold a special meeting. Ken made a motion to approve all renewal licenses and appointments of agents for the date of July 1, 2022 thru June 30,2023 that have been submitted. Tony seconded the motion. All approved.
Next was correspondence received thru the month. Gladys got a letter from the Barron Co. Treasurer regarding a new GCS program for taxes. In this new program any funds received would be recorded at the county instantly as well as to her. It is her recommendation to go with this new program as in 2023 it will be mandatory.
Gladys also received a request from attorney Anders Helquist, who represents Liz Schulte and Lori Masters regarding opposition to a proposed land use ordinance, for any emails received or sent from Gladys and any other Board members from October 2021 thru November,2021. She complied with what she had received.
Next, Maryhelen spoke about the Jiffy Biffy at the park. Last year we had asked them to come and clean it once. Maybe we could have a contract for them to come from May thru Sept. 2 times a month. It would be $65 per time. Yes, this is a good idea.
Next, she has a bill for a culvert and driveway permit for Jonathan Small from 6/12/2021. The clerk is to call him and remind him that he needs to pay or the town will pick up the culvert. It is very expensive to have the town pick up as there is a lot of labor involved, so call first.
Tony spoke in regard to an email received from the WTA regarding employee health insurance through them. This might be better for Scott. This will be investigated.
Tony also received the same request from Anders Helquist regarding emails between Board members for the same period of time. It does not violate open meeting law to send information to other board members. If there is a charge against a specific person,it should be stated.
Tony also spoke about upgrades to the website. He asked that Area News be added to it so 20 years from now, someone could see what happened in 2022 going forward.
Ken feels that attorney Anders Helquist is committing harassment towards town board members. Ken may file charges against Mr. Helequist if his harassment continues. Ken is done with him and the Barron Co. DA has stated in a letter that he will not support or pursue Mr. Helquists assumption that information is being withheld. Ken is done dealing with Mr. Helquist.
Kory also received the same request from Anders Helquist. He responded with what little he had. Gladys said that any emails sent were for information only.
Kory didn’t want to duplicate services so asked if Ken was taking care of firework requests. Yes, Ken has done a couple already. Kory will forward the request to Ken.
Kory had received a call from a land owner regarding issues left behind by Mosaic/Push when cable was buried. He told them to contact the companies.
Ken made the motion to adjourn and pay the bills. This was seconded by Tony and all approved. (8:35)