Town Meeting Minutes March 12, 2018

MONTHLY MEETING MARCH 12, 2018     The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Monday, March, 12, 2018 at 6:30 PM at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana.  Present was Ken Leners,Chairman, Kory Weiss, Tony Wolff, Supervisors, Maryhelen Drew, Clerk and Gladys Roux, Treasurer and Mike Gallo, road patrolman. Also, present were 35 other persons. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.     The minutes were read from the previous monthly meeting.  These were approved by Kory and seconded by Tony, all approved.     Under public input, Gary & Sharon Trainor appeared to explain a new construction for a lot next to 2541 27 ¼ -27 ¾ St. As they are unable to attend the April meeting, they wanted to notify the Board that all the information would be at that meeting for the Board to act on it. As this is not on the agenda the Board will need to act on this in April.     Also, under public input, Melanie Gallo, wife of Mike wanted to let everyone know that the actions of the Town Chairman are illegal as far as the fair labor standards and the new policies created as of Jan. 1,2018.  Ken stated that he is following the laws, doing his job as Chairman.     Ron Richlick and Del Scmidt are in charge of the police fund which was collected thru donation to care for Storm.  Ron was wondering what would be done with the remaining funds now that Storm has moved. There followed a discussion recognizing that the Town just hold the fund for Storm just as we hold the fire dept. and buckthorn for those entities.  A decision will be made at a later date.     Don Brunclik spoke up to say that he is in charge of the fire trailer.  All the funds for that were donated as well. Don feels that the time has come to  donate the trailer to the fire dept. Need to check the title to see whose name is on it. There followed a discussion.  This will be on the April agenda.     Gladys gave the final figures on the financial report for the month.  Next month, Ken will give report on 1st Qrt. finances.     Ken said that the documents had been signed with Dairy State Bank to make the equipment payments in two payments per year.       Mike then gave the road report of the past month’s road activities.  Of course, snow, more snow and more snow. Mike went on to explain that there is mis-information regarding some of the item included in the policy which the Board implemented on Jan. 1, 2018.  He had done some checking into sick days and overtime payments with other towns and the county. He discussed paychecks being inaccurate since Jan. 1st, discussed the new timesheet. He would like the Board to address these issues. Ken stated that we could do it here at an open meeting.  There are items which the Board has discovered with documentation in place. A lot of research has been completed. Policies were made to comply with safety as well as financial reasons. Mike talked about the contract with the previous employee. He does state that he has nothing in writing for his job.  He feels that he has been forced to retain an attorney to discuss these issues. Ken stated that the Board has done all research on policy with the assistance of attorneys and will continue to do so. Mike has worked a straight 191/2 hours which is cause for safety. Mike Gianoli spoke up to suggest that if the board is exposing the  Town to legal action, that’s a problem. Ken then read information from the attorney and asured those in the audience that the board was following the law.     Kory recommended that discussion should happen regarding pay, comp time, time sheets, sick days should all be discussed.  He stated that the Board does have the right to hold closed meetings in regard to these items with personel. He is recommending that Mike bring all his information, meet with the Board in a closed meeting to try to come to a compromise.    Kelly Weiss feels that the situation has already gone beyond the point of compromise and should be turned over to the attorneys at this time. There are grievance policies in place.  An employee can not be allowed to do whatever he wants. It is unsafe to put in unreasonable hours.     Sue Sleik suggested that the closed meeting laws be checked.  Ken said he will seek verification as the intent is to do all legally.     Kory has been trying to control overtime spending so has taken a lot of crap regarding the xmas decorations still being out.  Mike and Scott have been busy with the regular time to keep ahead of the snow and maintenance of the equipment. The Board had made the decision not to have OT.     Ken and Kory will discuss timesheets and correct before giving new one to Mike and Scott.   Ken asked why there is so much repair of equipment as we have such new equipment?  We still have an old truck and backhoe which we are using. As well as the new truck is going thru a 1 ½ gal. of antifreeze every 2 days.  We do need to figure how to stay on top of everything with 40 hrs per week. This is something that will be covered in the meeting.     The next item for discussion is results from the March 1, meeting at the county which was attended by Louie Okey.  This would be in regard to the bridge crossing in Mikana on Hwy. 48 for ATV/UTV’s. Discussion was had to shorten the route.  The DOT is pushing the county to make this decision. The Hwy. Committee has agreed to amend the ordinance and the property committee has approved the crossing.  This will go before the County Board on March 19, for their approval. Signage will need to be appropriated if this should pass so it would be legal.     Ken spoke in regard to the timeline which had occurred with the Police Dept.  On Feb. 8th, RJ gave notice that he would be leaving, effective Feb. 16th. On Feb. 20th the referendum was  held with the results of 143, do not retain and 169 to retain police coverage. On March 7, at meeting was held where it was decided to repeal ordinance/ resolution which established the Four Corners Police Dept.  There are several other alternative to pursue. Some of those would be:

  1. Contract with Barron County Sheriff’s Dept. for extra fee
  2. Contract with independent contractor
  3. Coverage with adjacent law enforcement agency
  4. Establish  a town constable position.
Ken would like to bring the proposals to the May monthly meeting for discussion. Kory said that would be good if all the information is ready by that time.       In Tony’s opinion, the Four Corners Police Dept. has been rectified.    Whatever we do going forward should have public input. We need to be concerned with the costs. There followed much discussion.     Mike Gianoli asked if other towns within the county contracted and paid a fee to the Sheriff’s dept. For this service?  No other towns do this option. Kory explained the options and cost offered by the county.     Shirley Hokanson asked if we are in limbo with the county sheriff’s dept?  No, Ken answered, we have 24/7 coverage from the Barron County Sheriff’s Dept. Discussion followed concerning response times, being better because of technology.  Del Schmidt spoke up to say that the responses time was the reason we went with 4Corners. Public safety is a job of the Town Board. Board also needs to consider spending in a responsible manner.     Robin Carlson said that every call goes thru 911 with the closest officer responding.  RJ may not have been able to respond. Sheriff’s Dept. took 75% of the calls and the responds time is a matter of record.       We also need to look at the bigger picture in the future of the cost of a new fire hall.  The BFCESD will have a presentation ready for all municipalities. Ours will be on April 21st at the Annual Meeting.  As it sits now, Town of Cedar Lake will be responsible for 32% of the loan for this fire hall.     Sue Sleik asked if the auditor ever mentioned we were in financial straits?  Not to the best of my knowledge, Maryhelen replied.     The item was the resolution, 2018-3 which was read to repeal the Four Corners Police Dept.,12/2010.  This was approved by Ken and Tony, with kory abstaining and not signing.     The BFCESD report was given by Ken. He said that there were 10 ambulance calls in the month of Feb. There was 1 fire standby in Meteor Town, 1 fire in Village on Feb. 13th, 1 in Birchwood Town.  Ken had a powerpoint to show the floor plan for the new fire hall. Now that is approved, Northwest Builders will do the cost which could come in at 1.5 or 2 mil. which should include everything.     Tony asked how many entities have committed to this project?  At this time there are no formal commitments as everyone is waiting for costs.  There are some who have said they would not be participating. If there are any questions, Ken George is the  Fire Chief and would be happy to answer any questions. There are also grants which need to be applied for as well as donations accepted to help with the cost.     The next item on the agenda is the discussion of sick days for employees.  RJ had asked about pay out of his sick days in his letter of resignation. The Board went into closed session to discuss this.  Board made a decision based on the available information at the time. Board did more research following the meeting. Ken asked the WTA attorney and they stated that if it is not in writing in the contract, the Board does not have to pay.    Ken asked if Dale Campbell had any information regarding sick time for RJ.  As Dale had no info, Dave Dhein answered that the Town Board had made an agreement with RJ.  Dave only managed RJ, th commission did not write the contract.     Kory said that a position description was given to Mike prior to Jan. 1 for him to read.  Sick days were not defined in that at that time either. Cathy Hatfield asked if Lanny was under contract?  Yes, Lanny had a contract and was paid ½ of unused sick days at the time he left.     Mike said that he had filled Lanny’s position under the assumption of Lanny’s contract.  There was no new contract. Tony asked why mike did not ask for a contract at the time of his hiring? He was told he would work at the same contract.  In regard to sick days for Mike, this will need to be discussed.     After some discussion, Kory made the motion to pay RJ ½ of sick days.  As there was no second to this motion, it died.     Next item is the correspondence received during the month.  A notice from the Uniform Dwelling regarding Accessory Building Ordinance was received. Need to make sure Scott Schieflebein receives this.       Thursday, April 12th is the Annual meeting for the Town Boards at the Barron Co. Hwy. Dept.    Need to verify BOR dates for Randy Prochnow.  The Board of Review will be held on May 3rd, 2018 from 3 – 5 with the Open Book on April 13,2018, 12 – 2.     Also receive notification for inspection of the boilers in the town shop.  Mike will take care of this.     Shirley Hokanson asked why there were so many workers on election day.  It was explained that each has a specific duty. They are paid $8.50 per hour. There followed a discussion.     Tony made the motion to adjourn.  Kory seconded and all approved. (8:35 PM)]]>

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