Town Meeting Minutes | November 18, 2019

November 18, 2019 Budget Hearing

The public hearing for the 2020 Budget for the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Monday, November 18, 2019 at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana at 6:30 PM. Present was Ken Leners, Chairman, Tony Wolff, Supervisor, Maryhelen Drew, Clerk and Gladys Roux, Treasurer. Absent was Kory Weiss, Supervisor. Also present were 24 other persons.(2 persons non- residents) Meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ken explained the budget for 2020 in detail. The Town Levy is going down 1.31%.

June Babineau asked what rate of interest has Dairy State offered the Town for the loan of the new emergency building. Dairy State has offered 3.2% for a 5 year loan, with a 3.45% for a 10 year loan. Louie Okey asked if the $264,000 was the amount requested by the BFCESD? Yes, this is the amount.

Ken then explained the capital improvement plans for the future of the Town. In 2021, we will need to replace the Election equipment.

As there were no further questions, Ken made a motion to adjourn the Budget meeting. This was seconded by Tony and approved by all. (6:55)

Special Town Meeting

Norma Jankowski made the motion to approve the levy of $519,120 for the 2020 Budget for the Town. This was seconded by Louie Okey. Show of hands vote: Yea, 22: nay 0.

June Babineau made the motion to adjourn the special meeting. Kathy Trawin seconded and all approved. (6:58)

Town Board Budget Meeting

Ken made a motion to adopt the levy. Tony seconded and all approved. Tony made a motion to adjourn this meeting. This was seconded by

Ken and all approved.

November 18, 2019 Monthly Meeting

The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake met after the adjournment of all Budget Meetings.

The minutes from the previous monthly meeting were read. Tony made a motion to accept the minutes as read. Ken seconded and all approved.

Under public input, Norma Jankowski is presenting a petition to be signed by all post office box people to sign. She will be sending this off to Senator Ron Johnson and Rep. Romaine Quinn as well as the postmaster in St. Paul. Grace Reisdorf stated that she had a card returned to sender as there was no street address used. Tony made the recommendation that all go thru the mail before leaving the post office to be sure it belongs to that person. Grace asked if anyone knew if we would be able to keep our box numbers going forward? There are not many answers at this time.

Tony will continue to work on this situation.

Kathy Wolff stated that the Christmas get together for the Cedar Lake Ladies will be held on Dec. 11th.

Next item is the financial report given by Gladys Roux, Treasurer. All

bank accounts are balanced as well as with the Clerk’s books. Ken talked about the fact that as a town we are able to have a 10% contingency fund available. He would like Gladys to take $50,000 and put into a separate account at the bank, making this a reserve for the Town.

Scott Walters then gave the road report for the last month. All activities which had been scheduled have been completed. The equipment is all ready for winter. Would like to mow some ditches yet. Scott had thrown some sand with the ice we recently experienced. Ken George is currently completing his CDL so he will be able to plow snow.

Next Ken L. gave the report on the BFCESD for the last month. He is

now the representative for the commission for a few months. Then he will be looking for a volunteer. Calls for the year for the ambulance are at 426 while the fire dept. had 67 for the year.

Ken recommended that the Board wait another month to look at the Budget for the BFCESD for 2020. All three Board members had attended the Commissioners meeting on November 14th.  BFCESD will be going into 2020 with a balance that will likely exceed $450,000. Ken showed the Budget and there followed some discussion. The bylaws are being worked on at this time. At the meeting, Romaine Quinn, Sr. resigned his position on the Board for Town of Birchwood. He then turned around and appointed Jon Sleik to take that position. Then the commission voted Jon in as president. Tony said that Jon has done an amazing job with the new building. We fully support the new building. The concern at this point is annual operating costs. Jon has completed many great things, like getting matching funds for the new building. But the other commissioners need to participate more in the business of operating.

Ken L. had called the WTA concerning Jon not being a resident of the Town of Birchwood, but representing them on the commission. Their answer was that the BFCESD bylaws should state whether a non-resident can serve as a commissione.r Once again, since the BFCESD has no by-laws, the BFCESD board continues to make up rules along the way. The resolution for the 2020 BFCESD annual Budget was tabled for next month and the Town of Cedar Lake will likely withhold annual operating funds until by-laws are created and approved by participating entities

Under old business, Tony had done some research on the Hwy. V & 48 landing issue. At this point there are no funds allocated for this purchase. Tony went back thru the minute books,1956 up to early 1990″s, to see if he could find information regarding this issue. After some discussion of the

results of this research, Tony would like this to be on the agenda so that everyone has input as to the possible purchase of this landing. Mr. Kleven asked if the Board had sought legal advice for this resolution. Tony had spent many hours talking with Irv Evertson regarding this landing.Tony mentioned that it is possible that attorneys may need to get involved. He will check on this.

Also, while doing this research he ran across information about where the canoe which some of us remember hung in the town hall. In 1982, Orval Halverson, Chairman at that time had asked museums if they would want the canoe. As the museums in Barron Co. had all they wanted, it was given to the Rusk County Historical Museum.

As Louie Okey was preparing to leave, there were some questions for him. Discussion of the $5 fee at the Waldo Carlson Park was discussed. It would be good if people would come to the Barron Co. Property Committee to voice all concerns, as Louie does not have the answers. There are 10 meetings per year. The second Monday of the month. Ken L. had one complaint which maybe Louie could address. He recommends that the county not take both docks out at the park on Oct. 1. There are people still using the dock. Maybe leave until Nov. 1st and could be pulled out by others. Louie will take this to Jeff French.

The next topic of conversation are the public nuisance issues. Ken Osmer has been on the committee with Ken L. to go inspect the properties to see about improvements. If a fine were to be imposed on Mr. Bygs on Nov. 1, he would owe $6,000 by the end of the year. The recommendation at this time is to give him a one time extension until June 30th, 2020. At that time the fine would begin. Maybe people could volunteer to help at some point. Kathleen Mintar asked if granting an extension would be setting a precedent for further problems. The Board feels that each case will be treated according to the problem.

Approximately two years ago Mr. Frazier had been scheduled to appear

in court for encroachment issues that violated Barron County’s land use ordinance.. A settlement was reached the day before court. The current issue concerns a fence that has been constructed with old materials. The county gives land use permit holders 12 months to complete a project when they issue a permit. Deb Skar asked where the fines would go if they are collected. At this time, it is more important that this gets fixed. Ken L. made a motion to grant the violators a one-time extension until June 30, 2020.

Tony seconded and all approved.

Jeff and Penny Iverson appeared to get approval for a tourist rooming house at 2851 28 ¼ Ave, Birchwood. This property is right next to their home, so will be watched. The house is just being built but should be ready Dec/Jan for rental. Ken made a motion to approve the request for this tourist rooming house. Tony seconded and all approved. As they have not gone to the county yet, the form for the county will be signed in the future.


The next item was the presentation of the Election Day Emergency Response Plan. A condition of the grant from the Elections Commission is that every municipality have this plan. This plan is presented to the Board at this time. The election workers and those who are involved with elections will have availability to this plan. Ken L. made a motion to adopt the Election Emergency Response Plan. Tony seconded and all approved.

The next item is to approve the usage of $1,023 left over from the previous levy limit. Ken made a motion that these funds will be used in the budget for 2020. Tony seconded and all approved.

Under correspondence, Tony has been talking with the Postmaster of the Birchwood post office, Cora. He has called the supervisor in St. Paul several times with no response. Letters have been written to Senator Ron Johnson, Rep. Romaine Quinn. At this point there is no response from St. Paul for the Board to vote on regarding a request to place mailbox clusters on town property. Tony Wolff has told Cora that approval to place mailbox clusters on town property will not be voted on until a contract with detailed scope of work is presented to the board. The questions from the majority of the people is why are we being denied rural delivery. Someone needs to explain this. Cora will pass all comments on to her Supervisor, in St. Paul. If a proposal is received by the Board, a special meeting will be held to address the proposal. There followed much discussion. Tony recommend that everyone keep the pressure on the Senator’s staff, also to use the press if available. The question was asked if the new owner of the store would consider putting the boxes on the outside of the store. Everyone thanked Tony for all his research on this issue and his contact with the senator.

It is noted that the contract for computer security will be from KerberRose with a 2 yr. contract, being paid tonight. This security is the recommendation of the WEC. This is also part of the grant from them.

The clerk was asked to send a 2nd notice to the county for $6,000 for 2019 Mikana Dam maintenance.

Tony made a motion to pay the bills and adjourn the meeting. (8:31)

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