Town Meeting Minutes | November 8, 2021
November 8, 2021
The Public Hearing for the 2022 Budget for the Town of Cedar Lake was held on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 6 PM at the Cedar Lake Town Hall at 2696 26 ¾ Ave., Mikana. Present were Ken Leners, Chairman, Supervisors Tony Wolff and Kory Weiss, Clerk, Maryhelen Drew and Treasurer, Gladys Roux. Also present were 33 persons in the town hall and 62 persons in Zoom.
The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Ken then explained the procedure of the budget with three different meetings to accomplish an approved budget. The first step is the public hearing where residents have the opportunity to ask questions and offer suggestions to the budget.
The budget was explained, revenues and expenses. Ken also explained the five year plan for capital improvements.
As there was no further discussion, a motion to adjourn was made by Kory, seconded by Tony and all approved. (6:15)
SPECIAL TOWN MEETING (6:16)
The special meeting for the electors of the Town of Cedar Lake is meeting for the purpose of the electors to adopt a resolution to approve the 2021 tax levy, payable in 2022, to support the budget as presented. Ken asked how people would like to vote, by show of hands or secret ballot. Doug Fischer made the motion to vote by show of hands. Kathy Wolff seconded. Seventeen people (in town hall) voted by show of hands.
Mary Hele made a motion to limit discussion per person for 2 min. Mike Hessling seconded. Twenty-four voted on the 2 min. Discussion.
Doug Fischer made a motion to adopt the budget for 2022 as proposed. Kathy Wolff seconded. Mike Hessling asked if the budget includes payment of the loan for the new BFCESD building. Ken said that this budget does not include the funds for the BFCESD building. Kory explained that the Board would not be able to approve that expenditure until a special meeting has been held with the electors. April will probably be used for that time frame. Carol Addington asked how the plans are coming for the new building. This will be discussed in the monthly meeting.
Mary Hele wanted to know where funds from violations of the ordinance would appear on the budget. The income from these would show under income/violations.
The vote to pass the budget as presented was voted yes by 24 persons.
Mike Olson on zoom asked about the ordinance voted on? The item is on the monthly agenda and will be addressed at that time.
Several persons were having difficulty on zoom as several mics were on, thus making it difficult to understand the meeting.
As there was no opposition to the motion to pass the budget, it was passed as presented.
Tony made the motion to adjourn the special meeting to adopt the budget. Brett Heinlein seconded the motion and 24 approved. (6:28)
SPECIAL TOWN BOARD MEETING
The meeting of the town board was held at 6:30 for the purpose of the Board to approve the levy to support the 2022 budget.
Ken made the motion to approve the levy to support the 2022 Budget as presented. Kory seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Ken, yes: Kory, yes: Tony, yes.
Kory made a motion to adjourn the meeting. This was seconded by Ken and approved by all. (6:32)
MONTHLY MEETING NOVEMBER 8, 2021
The monthly meeting of the Town Board began at 6:33 PM. The minutes were read from the previous meeting. Two corrections were made, leaves on/leaves off and the attorney’s name is Anders Helquist. Kory also corrected that the word no was missed in the discussion of violations about the proposed ordinance. Ken made the motion to approve the minutes with these corrections. This was seconded by Kory and approved by all.
Under public input, Ken thanked all Veterans for serving as it is Veterans Day two days from now. Tony asked that new public input should be given, not repeat old business.
Anders Helquist, attorney for individuals, landowners
(not LLBC). He wondered how the ordinance was again on the agenda after it had been tabled. He had sent a letter to the Board that AM outlining procedural issues.(See attached) Also, he stated that he would like to have all emails related to the proposed Recreational Residential Dwellings Ordinance which the Board has sent to each other since the meeting on Oct. 19th.
Ken asked who Mr. Helquist is actually represented by name. Several persons in the audience raised their hands indicating that they are some of those being represented by Mr. Helquist. Mr. Helquist questioned the posting of the ordinance. Ken stated that he had talked with two attorneys who said that it does not have to be posted until it is passed. Then it must be three times.
Ken stated that no county ordinances would be changed. Mr. Helquist stated that if passed it would be an unlawful permit fee. He feels that this is a last-ditch effort by Helquist to stall.
Mike Olson again spoke up from zoom to ask two questions in regard to the ordinance discussed. He would like to know if he was to store his camper on his lot, would he need to pay the $300 permit fee? Second question is if his brother comes and camps for the weekend, would he have to pay the same $300 fee?
Ken did not know the answer to those questions and referred him to contact the County Zoning Office.
Ken did read the proposed ordinance. This would need to be adopted before further discussion.
Mike Olson also asked what the last analysis of cost was. This will be covered later in the meeting.
Also, from Zoom, Lori & Brian Masters raised their hands virtually, , but no response when given the floor.
Sharon Ivers then spoke(in the town hall) stating that they have owned their property since 1981 and have a deep commitment to the environment of the area. She feels that the LLBC does not have authority over the county or any town ordinances. All are equal, all should pay their fair share, and need to prioritize quality of service. She urges the Town Board to be proactive for safety and the environment for all residents.
Next Gladys, treasurer, gave the financial report for the past month. All accounts are balanced with the bank and the clerk.
Kory spoke about the past month’s road projects. The paving is complete for this year. The center line is striped, but no white line as there is a shortage of white paint at this time. Try to get this done next year. The truck has been returned with an approximate cost for repair of $5100. Otherwise, all is quiet, getting ready for winter.
Mike Hessling then gave the report for the Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services Dist. The land which had been donated to the town for the new building has been sold with an accepted offer of $25000. The shed on the property on Euclid has now been listed for sale. The annual lease for SuiteB for $620 per month has been renewed. The groundbreaking for the new building has been scheduled for May 15, 2022, hoping to be completed by the end of 2022. This would all be contingent upon raising the funds. They are at 46% at this time. He feels that there needs to be more visibility for fundraising.
Sharon Ivers asked if the new building would be eligible for any community block grants. Mike said that as they are not a taxing entity, it was not thought to be something they could do. There followed a discussion regarding funds.
Kelly Weiss asked if there was still a fire truck in storage. They think that the truck has been sold.
Tony asked what would be done with the funds from the sale of the property. Is it eligible to go into the new building fund? Tony stated that the land had been a donation to the Town of Cedar Lake for the new building several years ago. Maybe the person who donated it should be included in the decision about where to use the funds.
Kory mentioned that he wondered if the Board had the authority to sell the lot as it seems it was basically done behind closed doors. Mike said that it was discussed at a Board meeting where LeRoy Sandridge pushed for the sale of that land. The final approval was submitted by email.
Kory asked if anyone has talked with a grant writer to see if they are eligible to apply. If BFCESD does not have the authority to apply for grants, maybe each municipality would be eligible for application. Mike will discuss this with the Commission.
Kory asked if Northwest Builders had any interest in bidding for the new building. They have currently been hired to create new bids to be sent out to contractors. Ninety-three percent of the bids will be bid out. Ken suggested the BFCESD should obtain a legal opinion regarding compliance with procurement law. Mike will share the information he has at this time from an attorney. Ken spoke to the fact that Mike spends a lot of time working with the BFCESD.
Linda Zillmer(zoom) stated that for clarification, she was not questioning the Commission’s authority, but the discussion regarding the sale of the property. She went on to say that the main issue the BFCESD was not able to get grants because of no bylaws. Now that the BFCESD has bylaws, they may be eligible for USDA Rural Development grants.
Ken had a conversation with Marshfield Clinic regarding ambulance service in our town. Covid stopped these conversations, but has started that conversation again in the past 30 days. An informal proposal potentially an ambulance building in our town manned 24/7 with EMT’s. Response times would be quicker at no cost to the town. Will be meeting again in December.
Under old business, Ken said a vote would be taken at this meeting for a Recreational Residential Dwelling ordinance. This has been discussed for the last five months. Two items have been removed from the ordinance. One is in regard to septic systems and the other are fire number signs. There followed a discussion of violations. Ken had requested a list from the county regarding the violations from the Town of Cedar Lake. Has not arrived yet. The driveway permits stayed on as presented.
Ken made a motion to pass the ordinance as presented. Discussion followed with Kory stating that he was in full support of following the rules. He is also concerned about the environment. When he had talked with the county there were 50 violations at that time, none with sanitation. Discussed again the increased expenses, and the state regulating the tax structure of the state for all property owners. At this time,Kory can not second the motion to pass the ordinance. Kory would like to sit down with the county and also with the LLBC and have open conversations to work through all issues. The motion to pass the ordinance failed due to lack of a second motion.
The next item was correspondence received throughout the month. Tony spoke about working with Hostgator in regard to the website. Discussed attending a town appreciation meeting at the County Highway Dept. Ken and Scott will attend.
Ken made the motion to pay the bills and adjourn the meeting. This was seconded by Kory and approved by all. (7:56)