Town Meeting Minutes | March 9, 2020

The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Monday, March 9, 2020 at the Cedar lake Town Hall in Mikana at 6:30 PM. Present was Ken Leners, Chairman, Tony Wolff and Kory Weiss, Supervisors and Gladys Roux, Treasurer. Absent was Maryhelen Drew, Clerk. Also present were 26 other persons.
The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Tony read the minutes from the previous monthly meeting. Motion was made by Kory to approve the minutes as read. Ken seconded and all approved.
Ken L. then moved the representative from the Birchwood School District to the next item on the agenda. Don Birdsill,Rick Paul,Jessica Downey Board members, Jess Allen, principal. Giving the discussion is Diane Johnson, Superintendent. Ms. Johnson gave a detailed description of where the funding comes from at this time. Talked about funding from State and Federal as well as the property taxes. Grants are a help as well as the Birchwood Educational Foundation. A survey had been sent out in October with a 28% return rate asking if people would support the referendum. Some of the needs which would be helped with these funds would be building and facility needs as well a school vehicle and curriculum updates. This group has attended 14 different meetings and have 3 left to attend to explain the referendum. Ken thanked all those who participated in helping to make this presentation.
Next under public input, Louie Okey spoke about the referendum for the Birchwood School. He feels that there is a misconception that if Birchwood closed its schools, we would not need to pay school taxes. Wrong. All properties are attached to a school dist. for taxes. Louie had property in the Rice Lake School Dist. and at one point had tried to withdraw his land from that school district to become part of Birchwood School. It was denied by the State. The taxes for the Rice Lake Dist. are much higher. His daughter attended the Birchwood School under open enrollment. Birchwood is a great school. Louie complimented the members from the school on the great work they are doing.
Next, Louie spoke to the $5 fee at the Waldo Carlson Park. That fee is not going away. Vetern’s Park which had previously been discussed is now going to get charged the $5 fee going forward in 2021. Other county parks will be charging the $5 in the future.
Also, Louie assured the Board that the $6,000 check for the maintenance of the dam is in the mail. Kory asked if Louie had spoken with Tyler regarding the upgrades for the dam. Louie feels that Kory and Tyler work well together. Part of the holdup is funding from grants and state and federal funding.
Linda Zillmer spoke to the amount of preparation which the Birchwood School has gone through to be able to make such good presentations to show the need for the referendum. School has worked so hard. She then discussed the crisis in the emergency care at this time. Also, discussed construction of the new fire hall.
The next item is the financial report given by Gladys Roux. Ken will have Maryhelen do her half of the form and then sign when completed. Ken spoke to some of the figures on the report and will present a 1st quarter update during the April board meeting.
Next on the agenda is the report on road work for the month.Kory said that there is not too much going on. The road bans went on last week. Scott has burned the waste pile. Now, we just need to get someone to compact it again before we burn again. Now just waiting for spring. If the Swamp Road breaks up like it has in the past, it will be closed immediately with notice to the Sheriff’s Department and installation of cameras. Discussed contact with Cooper Engineering regarding the permit for sand out of our pit. Will need to be done by fall, so will follow up with them. This needs to be on the April agenda. Brainstorming road work plans for this summer. Discussed striping emergency routes for this summer. Patching asphalt where culverts were installed.Try to keep roadwork on the lightside this year, we could gather more funds for next year for a bigger planned project.
Ken then gave a report for the BFCESD. Discussed some of the issues facing the committee such as bylaws being created, nonresident persons representing towns,payments to the district, and website development. Discussion regarding the lack of a bidding process of the proposed new building.
Under old business, Tony briefed the board on the results of his research into Highway 48 and the V landing public access to Red Cedar lake. The name of this town road is 28th Avenue – CTH V landing.  He related that discussion with the Town Tax assessor revealed that the property that the road is located on has not been taxed at all. His research also determined- it was more likely than not that, although the property the road is on is owned by the Gathering place, the road itself is a town road and that the boat landing at the end of the road should be unrestricted to public use.  At this time the owner of the Gathering place is selling the property with a closing date in May. The board will not pursue any action on this matter until the sale is finalized. Tony provided the board with legal documents from the law office of Coe & Cuskey and statements from those with germane information regarding the history of this town road. He requested that these documents be included in the minute’s book and also filed with the town clerk.  Tony will be sending Dave and Venesa Peterson, (owner of the Gathering place) a copy of these documents for their records.
The lawn mowing bid will be discussed at the April meeting.
After some discussion, it was decided that it would be OK for the Walleyes for Tomorrow to park their equipment outside the shop. Kory made the motion to review this annually. Tony seconded the motion.
Jim Ruel was in attendance to have papers completed for renting the farmland.
Ken said that all bills will be paid by Maryhelen. He & Gladys will sign them on Wed.
Ken made the  motion to adjourn the meeting. Tony seconded it and all approved.

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