Town Meeting Minutes May 9, 2022
The meeting for the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Monday, May 9, 2022 at 6:30 PM at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana. Present were Ken Leners, Chairman, Supervisors Tony Wolff, and Kory Weise, Clerk Maryhelen Drew, Treasurer, Gladys Roux. In the audience, 25 persons were present, and 34 persons by Zoom were present.
The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. The minutes from the previous meeting were read with corrections. Mike Hessling stated the correct date for the groundbreaking is May 21, 2022. Kory said that he talked with Monarch Paving only about Swamp Rd. There was a discussion of the ordinance to include, not up to the Board to select what type of recreation is good or bad. With this correction, Kory made the motion to second the minutes from April. All approved.
Ken asked for public input next. Mr. Kramer asked what is considered public input. It would be whatever you would like to mention. Mr. Kramer is on the agenda later in the meeting.
Next Gladys Roux gave the financial report for the past month.
Kory spoke about past month’s road activities. He has no new numbers from the County or Monarch regarding blacktopping. It has been pretty quiet, except for trees down due to the winds. The Swamp Rd. will be discussed next month.
Mike Hessling then gave the report for the Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services Dist. The opportunity to write grants is being expanded. Cindy Fairchild and Ken George are working with Mandy Gordon with the grants to apply for needs versus wants for the new building.
Ken then spoke about the promissory note for the Town in the amount of $472,406.81, which is Cedar Lake’s share of the new building. It had been discussed at the annual meeting and just needed to change the dates to today’s date. This has been done. Ken made the motion to approve the promissory note for the Town. This was seconded by Kory. Roll call vote:Ken,yes: Kory,yes: Tony, yes. Ken will be working with Dairy State Bank for this loan.
Ken then made the motion to approve the resolution(2022-5-1) to assist in financing a new Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services District Facility for equipment and storage. The date has been changed to today’s date as well. Kory seconded this motion. Roll call vote: Ken, yes: Kory, yes: Tony, yes.
Ken asked if there was a backup date in case of inclement weather. Not yet.
Next on the agenda is the application for a Class”B” license for the Cedar Lake Market. Again there is no representative. Tony said that this should be tabled until the Board is approached again. The burden is on them to appear. Kathleen Mintari asked if there was a limit on how many times it would be tabled. Not really any time frame as to the number of times to come before the Board.
The next discussion was led by Tony in regard to tabling the ordinance regarding recreational/residential dwelling in the Town of Cedar Lake. He has compiled a summary relating to all issues which have been discussed over the time this has been on the agenda. His summary will be attached to these minutes when they are approved. He would like this subject to be tabled for at least a year to give LLBC time to implement and monitor their policy changes which have been part of the complaint brought to the Board. Tony made the motion to table any discussion regarding recreational/residential dwellings in the Town of Cedar Lake for at least a year. This was seconded by Kory. Therefollowed by more discussion. A roll call vote was taken: Tony, Yes: Kory, yes: Ken, No. Motion passed.
Next Ken made the motion to place the ordinance regarding recreational/residential dwelling on referendum at the November election. Kory feels that most of the people who would be affected by this would be non-voters, so would give twisted numbers. Kory seconded the motion made by Ken,so that it can be discussed further. More discussion followed. Tony said that the referendum would be non-binding and would come back to the Board to make the final decision, whether the referendum is voted for or against. Tony would consider the input. However, the result of the referendum would not sway his opposition to this proposed ordinance. People who elected the board expect the board to make decisions. At this point, of our three board members, two are against this ordinance. All board members are getting input from voters, for and against. Tony said, “The Board does not challenge any person on the lake who wants to make extra money by renting their homes. Why would this same board then be against a property owner that wants to save some money by purchasing a more economical lot and utilizing that property in the way they can afford?”
Supervisor Wolff stated that the Woods Property Owners Association (WPOA), a group organized by a membership of the LLBC is fighting with the LLBC which has nothing to do with the Town. If people are so against the Board decisions,others could run for those positions.
Kelly Weiss asked, did we not have a referendum for the ATV/UTV trails in town? Yes. It is a good idea to let the people decide. Discussion followed. Ken said that if the LLBC and the county do outstanding work between now and November, we will have additional information to make an informed decision. We would also have information from the referendum.
Kory said it is very important how the referendum is worded so it doesn’t twist the results.It needs to be very clear to understand what it is asking for from the people. Make it very simple to get clear results.
Tony said that when it comes to the referendum, he is not against using it as a tool to assess how problems in the town come before the board and how it is perceived by the electorate. However, he will vote against any referendum asking that the board put property rights in jeopardy for some property owners over others simply based on complaints by an unrecognized, unregistered group of property owners in the LLBC. There is a principal here that Tony will continue to stand for.
Sally Griffith is looking at this situation from a different angle. She has looked at Wi. Homeowners Alliance, where she found that in 2017, all 267 campers to that point were grandfathered in for fees and charges. This also protects homeowner and landowner rights against excessive fees. A homeowner could be charged a fee but only for one year. Until legal interpretation is made regarding the wording, the Board is not able to vote on the referendum. Ken said that our attorney is telling him just the opposite of what she is saying. No one is voting on the referendum now, there is time to do the verbage before November.
Liz Drew said that it needs to be shown that this issue is on the other side of the lake. Property on the west side is zoned differently, where the east side is zoned recreational/residential.The referendum would need to be worded properly to reflect that. Barron County regulates the whole township.
Tony had questions as to why there would be a proposed referendum on this ordinance. Ken made a motion to place this referendum on the November ballot, verbage to be determined. Kory seconded the motion for discussion.
Sherry Stumpf, 2873 30th, a recent camper resident. She wants to make sure that the Board is not being used by the people to solve a situation. Why would you allow a group of people to ask the Board to solve the issue?
Tony feels exactly this same way. There is a group of people in the LLBC who want to change what is going on at the LLBC. The people should be attending county meetings. It is not our job, or responsibility. That is why he is not in favor of the referendum.
Roll call taken: Ken, yes: Tony,No: Kory, yes. Motion passed.
Kelly Weiss asked if the Town had abolished the Constable position. Yes, this happened many years ago. Would we need a constable to enforce it if this comes back to the town? Ken responded by saying that the town had no constable to enforce the Public Nuisance Ordinance. A committee of three had been formed to compile and make recommendations to the Board. This was enforced by 2 volunteers and Ken.
Tony then spoke about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) which has funds available for roads. He had spoken with Delmore Construction in regard to applying for these funds. The feeling is that money will not be available to towns our size. It would involve hiring an engineer to establish the project and write the grant. Our roads would not meet the Federal specifications. Ken said a lot of these funds will be used for bicycle paths, historical, and transportation alternative programs. Kory suggested that as things are still evolving with the BIL, it would be wise to keep up with the program.
Next was the discussion of the new contract for the assessor as his contract was over at the end of the Board of Review. Randy Prochnow has offered two contracts to the Board. One would be a 3 year contract or a 5 year contract. He suggested that the Town will need to do a re-evaluation in 2024. Ken said that Randy has many years of historical knowledge of our town. After discussion, Tony made the motion to accept the 5 year contract. Kory seconded. Roll call vote: Ken, yes: Tony, Yes: Kory, yes.
Mr. Mike Kramer appeared on behalf of the Cedar Lake Cemetery Association. A little history is that the cemetery was created in 1886. At that time, Doyle and Cedar Lake were one township. In 1906, Cedar Lake was created. Mike said that they have a limited budget and are in need of some assistance. He was wondering if the Town would be able to assist with taking a hump out of the driveway and adding about 2 loads of gravel. The Board does not feel that this should be a problem. Scott & Kory will take a look at the situation and see what could be done. It might be good to involve the Town of Doyle as well. Mike had talked with Kurt Scribner who was not very responsive. There are still lots available in the cemetery.
Under correspondence, we received an update to Community Insurance regarding Cyber Security. Gladys spoke of funds received during the month. Received notice of WTA Dist. meeting to be held on Monday, May 23 in Sioux Creek.
Tony has contacted the Barron Co. Recycling in regard to having the recycle center manned. The hours are posted. They are working on plastic slats to be added to the fencing.
As Tony has been watching the bills, he is wondering if the Town has received a bill from the attorney for his work on the ordinance to discuss. Ken said that at this time there is no bill.
Kory wanted to know if the Board thought it was a good use of the taxpayers’ tax dollars for the recycle center. When Tony talked with the county, he found out that many times the recycling had to be thrown out as there was too much garbage that contaminated the product. So, having someone man the centers helps control the garbage. Otherwise the recycle program was losing the effort of recycling.
Ken spoke about a letter received April 26, from Attorney Anders Helquist requesting emails with other board members and/or constituents from November 8, 2021 to present on camper-related issues. Ken stated that he has sent those to him. The board also received a letter from the Barron Co. District Attorney who stated that he had received a letter from Mr. Helquist who feels that it was a failure on Ken’s part to supply the requested emails. The DA’s office denied Mr. Helquists request to assist in the procurement of public records. Ken stated that Mr. Helquist is submitting frivolous requests and that if he assumes there are additional records, he should provide proof. It appears that Mr. Helquist is simply creating billable hours.. Mr. Helquist also asked for legal counsel receipts received by the Town. Mr. TJ Prou, attorney who has assisted the Town in other matters, has been available for consultation, but the Town hasn’t been billed.. Ken will provide the additional records, beyond the initial records that have already been sent, to Mr. Helquist by Thursday, May 12th.
Tony asked if Ken was holding something back? Ken said no, any information he has is public record. Ken had sent the records to Mr. Helquist the first time on Nov. 22, 2021. For some reason Mr. Helquist feels there is something he is not getting.
Tony made the motion to pay the bills and adjourn the meeting. Kory seconded and all approved. (8:20)