Town Meeting Minutes | October 21st, 2019


     The monthly meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake met at the  Cedar Lake Town Hall on Monday, Oct. 21,2019 at 6:30 PM in Mikana. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Present was Ken Leners, Chairman,Kory Weiss and Tony Wolff, Supervisors, Maryhelen Drew, Clerk and Gladys Roux, Treasurer. There were 25 other persons.

     The minutes were read from the BFCESD Special Meeting as well as the minutes from the last monthly meeting. One correction is that the Budget Work day will be held on Oct. 22, not the 23rd.  A second correction is that Scott is grading the gravel in Cedar Croft, not hauling. With these corrections, Tony made a motion to approve the minutes as read. Ken seconded and all approved.

     Under public input, Bruce Penzkover spoke up to suggest that the Swamp Road is in need of grading again. Kory thanked him,saying it will get done.

     Norma Jankowski spoke up to state that many residents are very unhappy as to the post office at the store in Mikana had been closed so abruptly. She read a statement which she had written which expressed all of the concerns.  Ken said that this topic will be discussed later in the meeting.

     Next was the financial statement from Gladys, Treasurer. All accounts are balanced with the banks and the clerk.  Ken then went onto explain the end of 3rd Qrt. finances.

   Kory then spoke to the road work which has been completed in the last month. The visibility issue with the corn was discussed with the farmer. Although several persons had looked and really didn’t see the problem, before the farmer was able to cut some of the corn, someone ran thru it with a truck. Seems the Board didn’t address the problem soon enough.

    Next is the discussion regarding sand. As we are not able to get sand out of our pit due to not having the correct permits, Kory needs to decide where to get the sand for salt/sand this winter.

    Scott has completed a sign order to update the signage on the road by Tagalong. Regarding street name signs, regulations have changed since we last ordered street signs. So we need to explore options for new signs. Kory is checking current regulations. Because of the additional signs needed we are over the $5000 budgeted for 2019. 

     The culverts on Methil Drive were replaced last Thursday,Oct. 17th, by the county. The culvert on Park Rd. was scheduled for today but has been cancelled due to the rain. Scott is coordinating with the other towns to replace culverts on Minnow Lake Road. The culverts which had been replaced and going to be replaced will not be patched with blacktop until spring,2020.  Scott will grade them before winter.

     The grading on Cedar Croft has also been delayed due to the rain.

     Tony Wolff said that the beaver dam has been pulled on 30th Ave.   Roger Roux just spoke up to say there are many roads over by them which need new gravel and need to be graded. A lot of chuck holes. Scott stated that all gravel roads need grading. Everything is very wet at this time.                                                                                                                       The next discussion is regarding the 2020 Budget for the BFCESD. The board of commissioners have been unable to answer the questions which Ken Leners has been asking in regards to the monies at the end of the year. Violations to the states statues basic accounting have occured. The Town had received a letter from an attorney regarding the payments from the Town of Cedar Lake to the BFCESD, stating that the Town would need to pay those amounts as stated by the budget. On Oct. 4th, Ken had a teleconference with Jon Sleik, Town of Cedar Lake BFCESD Commissioner, and Maryhelen Drew to record the conversation. Jon had gone to the lawyer on his own, not per the commissioners. Ken asked Jon questions which Jon did not answer. Ken terminated Jon for cause from the position of commissioner of the BFCESD as of Oct. 4, 2019. Cash basis of accounting is what is used by most towns in the state and is what the  BFCESD is setup to use. The by-laws are being worked on at this time.

     Ken suggested that the Board sit on the budget resolution for the BFCESD for 2020 a little longer. We make those payments in January and April. We will make the payment in January on time. Kory Weiss asked if the Board had sat down to work on the budget? Tony Wolff said that they just approved the budget for 2020 at the August meeting. It is very confusing. There are equipment replacement  monies budgeted in addition to annual operating costs which contradicts previous BFCESD actions requesting capital improvement funding.   General fund monies within the BFCESD currently exceed $430,000 and are expected to exceed  $450, 000 by the end of fiscal year 2019.

     David Strand asked if the BFCESD is now accepting advice? Ken said that they have been stonewalling for 2 months on the questions he had asked. Ken will now be on the Board with John Depositer,vice-president now chairing the meetings. Kory asked what the town will do in our budget for the BFCESD? We will put their requested amounts in the budget as per the BFCESD resolution.   As the Town Board will not be signing the resolution for the BFCESD budget at this time, he is concerned that we could get into trouble with the BFCESD. Ken does not feel that it will be a problem. Ken stated that the EMT’s and firefighters are doing an outstanding job, but the BFCESD Board of Commissioners needs to establish bylaws without further delay..  Ken made the motion to table the 2020 BFCESD budget resolution at this time. This was seconded by Kory and all approved. This will be discussed at the November Meeting.

     Next is the discussion of the landing at Hwy V and 48. Ken had talked with Dave and Vanessa Peterson regarding that parcel of land. There was much discussion over ownership. The Town does own  a certain amount, plows and takes care of the whole road at this time and has for many years. The Peterson’s have The Gathering Place for sale and would consider selling the portion of the landing which they own. A

 Surveyor should not be needed. If the town were to purchase it, it would be used as before. Realtors have said that Red Cedar Lake frontage  is between $2500 – 3000 per ft. for prime, buildable lots . This is not a prime lot. And there are no comparables. There followed a lengthy discussion regarding parking, liability,adverse possession, what platt maps are showing. This will be discussed at the November meeting again.

     Tony then talked about the grant which the Wisconsin Elections Committee is offering to towns. It is $1,200, which needs to be used to upgrade one computer in the town to state requirements for safety, IT support and training which will be offered in January.  There is a statewide concern over cyber security. Tony feels that we should take advantage of this grant. After some discussion by the Board members, it was decided that we would proceed with applying for this grant.

     The next item for discussion is the closing of the post office in the store in Mikana. It seems that all was well on Monday,Sept. 30, went in on Tuesday, Oct. 1st to get mail and found post office officially closed. 

Ken had asked that the new store owners as well as a representative from the post office be present for this meeting. Neither attended. After much discussion, the available  options include  installing a cluster of mailboxes at some place within town, or continue getting mail from Birchwood ourselves. Unavailable  options are boxes back at the store, or rural delivery. The decision will be made by the postal dept. In St. Paul at some point.

     The next item is to set the date for the Budget Hearing for the electors. This date will be Monday, Nov. 18th at 6:30 PM, flowing into the monthly meeting after adjournment. Tony made a motion to accept this date as presented. Ken seconded and Kory abstained as he will be out of town.

     Under correspondence received, Ken spoke about a meeting at the Barron Co. Hwy. Dept. on Nov. 21. We need to RSVP.  Also received mail from the attorney regarding the Public Nuisance claims which have been filed with Holt/Frazier and Bygd. Marshall Black at Barron Co. Land Services issued a permit to Bill Holt for fencing which showed the fence to be built around the property. This would be in compliance with the county and the town. The fence has been partially built using old steel. Town says needs to be new material. County does not stipulate. As  what is built complies with the county, the Board may be near the end of jurisdiction. If we were to challenge the county over new versus used, we would likely lose in court.

     Mr. Bygd has been sending many texts to Ken asking for an extension. Ken will make a visit to determine recommendation as to further extensions.

     Tony made a motion to adjourn and pay the bills.  Kory seconded and all approved. (9:10)

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