Town Meeting Minutes | October 18, 2021
OCTOBER 18, 2021 MONTHLY MEETING
The monthly meeting for the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Monday, October 18,2021 at 6 PM at the Cedar Lake Town Hall at 2696 26 ¾ Ave., Mikana. Present were Ken Leners, Chairman, Tony Wolff and Kory Weiss, Supervisors, Maryhelen Drew, Clerk,Gladys Roux, Treasurer. Also there were 17 persons in the town hall and 45 persons on Zoom.
The minutes were read from the previous monthly meeting. Tony said it was misquoted regarding the ordinance from the Town of Bass Lake. Strike this from the minutes. Kory approved the minutes with this correction. Ken seconded and the motion passed.
Ken then stated that there were three Board members who attended the Wisconsin Towns Association Convention in Wisconsin Dells on Oct. 10,11 & 12. At this meeting, our clerk was recognized for 46 years of service to the Town of Cedar Lake. Fifth highest in the state.
Under public input, Anders Helquist, attorney for the LLBC property owners, asked if Ken had placed the campsite ordinance on the agenda again. Ken said yes, he had added this to the agenda. Mr. Helquist asked where the draft for public review appears. As Ken had talked with the WTA regarding draft items, by law as it is a draft does not have to be published for public input. Mr. Helquist stated it is unfortunate that this is coming back again. Still asks that the town board make it very clear as Ken had stated that he did not like campers. Ken spoke up to say he had not said that he did not like campers.
Next, Lori Masters by zoom asked how many tax dollars had been spent to attempt the ordinance for campsite dwellings. There has been $6000 spent on Delmore to do the campsite count. What cost has it been for legal fees? At this time, no bill has been received. Delmore has completed the research.
Tom Goodwin in the town hall asking what assistance the town board could provide to the county to focus on the issues in the town. There was discussion regarding the situation with septic installation. Not talking about change, just focus on issues.
Kory has some of the same concerns. He would like to look into how to lean on the county to enforce the county zoning.The county stated that they are very overwhelmed in their office and there are only two persons who do the inspections in the whole county. Mr. Gifford has invited the town board to come to a county meeting so the town board could be more involved. Kory would like to find a way that the county and the town are following these issues together.
Ken had contacted Jeff French, Barron County Administrator, regarding the fire number signs. It is not mandatory that each lot have a fire number. Ken then asked how to submit a complaint/ violation to the Zoning office. Maybe someone in IT could develop an on-line application for recording complaints and tracking the fix. It seems that the Sheriff’s Dept. has an on-line tip line for anonymous reporting. Mr. Gifford, Zoning Administrator, will consider this suggestion.
Tom Goodwin stated that when he built his new garage he had to pay the county as well as a building inspector. Wondered how this happened. The State implemented theUniform Dwelling Code which meant that each municipality must have a building inspector. Thereby the double cost.
Jim Ludwig spoke about the LLBC committee who had a last meeting on Sept. 3 and have no further meetings scheduled. At this time, complaints are received by the manager and board members. What had been addressed at the committee meeting is being implemented at this time. Kory sounds like a process is being developed to be put into practice soon.
Michele Weber, on zoom, does not feel LLBC reports to the town board as it is its own entity. At this time, she relinquished the remainder of her time to the LLBC attorney. Ken stated that the LLBC is within the Town’s jurisdiction and that the town board works for the entire township.
Under public input,Linda Zillmer,past elected member of the Village of Birchwood, held several prior positions on the BFCESD committee. She was involved when the committee was formed with the towns. Village burned many dollars trying to form the BFCESD legally. At this point she has given very specific information why the current president should not be the president. She has asked what the BFCESD is going to do with the vacant lot which had been donated for the fire hall. At this point they have signed a contract to put the lot for sale with no Board discussion or approval. She feels strongly that the towns need to get involved and get back on track. She thanked the Board for trying to seek balance. Ken understands the concerns of the BFCESD.
Next is the financial report for the month. Kory wondered if Gladys could just read the totals as Ken would be going over the third quarter status. Ken then covered the status of the budget for the end of third quarter. Then he mentioned that the Budget work meeting would be held on Wed., Oct. 20 at 8 AM in the Town Hall.
Kory then gave the road report for the past month. We have gotten truck 2 back from repair. Not sure of the bill at this time. We will shift funds as needed to pay for this. Kory and Scott discussed a new truck. Other towns are waiting until 2023. Culverts have been replaced on Methil and it will remain gravel until next spring. They did pave over the culvert that had washed out. The county has called and will be starting the blacktop on Methil tomorrow. Like to get a layer on before any rain starts. Will connect with Scott for road closings when needed.
Kory had received a request for a flashing stop sign for Hwy. 48 and V. Ken called the county who submitted the request to the State, who replied that it was not eligible for a flashing stop sign. Scott will order new street signs for reconstruction as needed. The WisLR Road packet has been received. As soon as Scott has updated road repair and maintenance work, we will get Delmore Consulting involved to complete on-line annual reporting requirements .
There is a county highway meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 1:00. Ken and Scott may attend.
As for the report from the BFCESD, Mike Hessling was not present. Linda Zillmer said that there had been a meeting last Thursday, Mike Hessling had attended. The commission was given an update on the new building. They presented a draft contract to the commission. Did a contract with vendors to go further.
The next subject on the agenda is the resolution to create 2 wards in the Town of Cedar Lake. This is due to the increase in population from the recent census which increased the town to 1076. The resolution was read. Ken made the motion to adopt the resolution as read. Roll call vote: Ken,aye: Tony,aye: Kory,aye.
The next topic was discussion of the revised campsite draft ordinance. Ken read this. Tony asked why are we going through this again. Ken said that because what we will see with the revised ordinance is that zoning enforcement by the Town and the requirement for mandatory fire numbers have been removed from the initial draft ordinance. There followed much discussion among the Board members where Ken asked for questions and comments. Tony asked if Ken wanted to pass this resolution? Ken feels that he wants to pass the revision, feels there is a lot of work to do and that it is not related to the pending private party lawsuit with LLBC. Maybe sit with the county to see the problem.Kory asked what two items had been removed from the draft to make it more applicable. Ken said that the fire number sign is not mandatory and sanitation enforcement remains with the County. It was mentioned that it was important to have fire numbers as it would be important to the land owner. Kory spoke about sanitation and who is doing the inspection. So when a complaint is filed with the county how does the town get involved? Ken said a report from the county should be given to the town each month of who is in violation. If there are no financial penalties attached to the violation, no one cares about correcting it and nothing gets done. Kory, as nothing new has come up in the last 5 months, he still sees the same problems as last month’s meeting. Nothing to say that this should be adopted tonight. There are many questions regarding expense, time and enforcement. Ken said that it would not be adopted tonight but would be on the agenda for the November meeting. Growth in property ownership is happening and we need to be prepared for it. There are currently 270 campsites in the township, assuming there will be 300 campsites in FY 2022, revenue generated could be $90,000. The purpose of the fee is to balance revenue among permanent (home) and temporary (campsite) property owners.
This draft will be posted to the website. Tony still does not see how this goes over the rule to table the discussion as nothing has happened in the last month.
Ken heard last month that the main concern from the Supervisors was that we should not take over the county’s business, so by amending the ordinance he feels it should be adopted. He has not heard anything new to make the issue go away. More discussion with Kory asking again what is the exact problem? At this time the county has over 50 complaints regarding zoning or sanitation violations. The zoning allows the person to have the camper on their lot. If people are not following the rules, it falls back to the county to enforce. Kory is not comfortable with a permit and fee from the town. Ken said that the current revenue stream shows significant disparity in taxes. All town services are provided to every property owner and this would give us the ability to lower the levy,as we could get up to $90,000 in fees. Ken states that the pending private party vs. LLBC leaves on/leaves off lawsuit is irrelevant to the need to address sanitary zoning violations and revenue inequity now.
Next item is to set the date for the Budget Hearing. After discussion, a motion was made by Kory to start the budget hearing on Monday, Nov 8, 2021 at 6:00 PM in the town hall. This was seconded by Tony and approved by all.
Next the Board reviewed the BFCESD resolution/ promissory note for 2022. They discussed costs compared to this year and feel that about $3000 increase overall is doable. Ken made the motion to approve the budget resolution from the BFCESD as presented. Kory seconded and all were approved. Ken amended the resolution to add the resolution number of 10-21-02 to the motion. Kory seconded and all approved the motion.
Next is correspondence received during the month. Ken is in receipt of a request from Mike Klutho about a riprap project around an unnamed/unplatted island straight out from Waldo Carlson Park. The Town does not own the island, so Mike Klutho will need to get guidance worked out with the State. Tony said it used to belong to the same family that owned Faust Island. Ken will let Mike K. know.
Kory had no mail. Tony talked about a letter from WEC strongly suggesting that Towns go to .gov for all town email as it is more secure. This would be something to accomplish in the next couple of years. He has contacted the website’s people,Raney Day, to see what this would cost. Maybe we should also check with DCS Netlink. He is also working to consolidate all fees for websites etc into one instead of three. Ken is wondering if they would be able to archive all gmail accounts with this switch. Yes. The Board suggested that Tony continue to check on these avenues. When at the WTA conference, we were told that the State may have a grant for all to upgrade this.
Notice has been given that a Mosaic fiber optic line is active at the town shop. Have S & K and Centurylink been notified? Not yet as wanted to make sure all is up and running. They will be notified as soon as we know it is working properly.
Received notification from the county that there are two lots for tax sale in the town. Anyone interested? No.
Gladys stated that the county is looking for the letters to go into the tax statements as soon as possible.
A motion to pay the bills and adjourn was made by Ken and seconded by Kory. All approved. (8:28 PM)
October 20, 2021 BUDGET WORK MEETING
The Town Board met on Wed., Oct. 20, 2021 at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana at 8 AM to work on the Budget for 2022. All Board members were present, as well as 5 other persons.( This is a first in the history of the clerk) Ken explained that the Board would be working on the budget, discussed levy and loans. Advice has been given by Brock Geyen, CPA from Clifton, Larssn, Allen, that the town should pay down debt. It was determined that the Board would pay $54186 down on the current loan at this time.
Each line of the Budget,actual and proposed, was discussed changing the title of some lines to correspond with current costs, revenues. The was a discussion regarding the cost of the driveway permits and culverts as there are 4 steps to the process. This could be increased. Kory will discuss this with Scott and discuss at the November meeting.
Tom Goodwin asked how the level of development on the east side of the lake has been budgeted going forward for next year.
The Board discussed equipment, purchase, or lease. Maybe this would be something Dale Campbell, Don Johnson Motors, might be able to give the Board some insight. Maybe contract out the snowplowing instead of owning equipment.
Budget is ready for publishing,posting.
The Board adjourned the budget work meeting at 11:28 AM with a motion made by Ken,seconded by Tony and approved by all.