Town ‘Special Meeting’ Minutes | September 9,2019

September 9,2019  BFCESD Meeting

     The Town Board met at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana at 6:30 P M for a Special Meeting in regard to the proposal of a new emergency services building and the funding of such building. Present are Ken Leners, Chairman, Tony Wolff and Kory Weiss, Supervisors, Maryhelen Drew, Clerk and Gladys Roux, Treasurer. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. There were 78 other persons in attendance for a total of 83 persons present.

     Ken asked that all cell phones be turned off  and thanked everyone for attending.  He explained that there would be two meetings tonight with the monthly town meeting following the adjournment of this Special Meeting.

     Electors will make motions and second. The voter registration will be checked to be sure that that person is a legal resident of Cedar Lake.

     Ken asked for someone to make a motion as to how votes should be taken. Jon Sleik made the motion to vote by a show of hands . Don Erickson seconded this motion. A majority of hands are in favor of this process.Those against voting by a show of hands, 4 persons.

     Ken explained that there are two objectives to make decisions on at this meeting:1. To determine if the resolution should be passed to authorize the Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake to assist in financing the new building:2. Vote to have the Town Board enter into a promissory note for share of cost.

     It was determined that an amount of time for each person to speak should be established.  Dick Ballou made the motion to limit each speaker to 3 minutes.  Norma Jankowski seconded. Majority vote for three minutes.

Please introduce yourself and state your address at the podium.

     First to speak was Jon Sleik, Cedar Lakes representative for the BFCESD.  He spoke to the fact that this has been a culmination of 11years of work to get to this point. This has been a dream of his for that time. He feels that  the new building is very needed. 

     Next Ken George, Fire Chief for 2 ½ years, spoke about how the vehicles are now stored in the Village of Birchwood Hall which is in need of much work. The Village is not able to afford to remodel this building to supply the needs of the district. The new vehicles in use  at this time are bigger than the older vehicles used in the past, so room is needed. For safety reasons, the building should no longer be used by the District. 

     Next Don”Bumper” Bergstrom, Assistant Fire Chief and Ambulance Director. Currently the district has 30 fire crew members and the ambulance has 6 EMT’s. Don has worked for 7 years for this new building, At this point the district rents office space for the 24/7 EMTs to stay. Currently they are sleeping in this office.  This office costs $400 per month and the fire hall is $20,000 to the Village per year. The Village costs per contract are ony $9,000. The last fire truck cost the district $400,000.

    Ken asked each Board member for their thoughts. Gladys and Maryhelen stated that it will only get more expensive to build as time goes on. Tony had no comment at this time. Kory stated that the cost goes up annually, more each year. Jon S. stated that the State approved plans expire in June of 2020. Then would need to begin all over again.

     Ken spoke about the timeline.

          Sept. 9, 2019 Town of Cedar Lake open meeting

          Sept. 12, 2019 BFCESD Commissioners’ meeting

          Oct. 3, 2019 BFCESD Commissioners’ meeting

          Oct. 21, 2019 Town of Cedar Lake monthly meeting

          Oct. 23, 2019 FY 2020 Town of Cedar Lake budget planning meeting.

          Nov. 11, 2019 Special Meeting of Electors to consider adoption of 2020 budget

          Nov. 14, 2019 BFCESD Commissioners’ meeting

          Dec. 1, 2019 Promissory note due to the BFCESD

          May, 2020 Payment due to BFCESD for building

On July 29, 2019, Ken had talked with Eric Thorsen, Dairy State Bank, in regard to the Town’s share of the building which at that time was proposed to be  $267,277.00. Mr. Thorsen suggested the following: a 5 year note at the interest rate of 3.30% with the payment each year being $58,561.98 or a 10 year note at the rate of 3.45% for payments of $32,056.81 per year.

     Currently the budget and funding request are based on equalized value of each municipality.  Ken had suggested that the funding and budget should be based on the amount of fire number signs in each municipality. Ken went on to explain the differences between ways of charging. At his point, Town of Cedar Lake pays 32% of budget and funding. If we went by fire number signs it would be 29.7%.   This would be 1,202 fire signs.Of the ambulance persons, only 798 call for the ambulance, rest are in Rice Lake area of responsibility.

     Next to speak is Louie Okey, 2982 27th St.,Birchwood. He sees the concern that Long Lake and Cedar Lake are the most expensive. The formula for the emergency services district was established in 2008 and seems to have worked well. He is concerned as to what would happen if Cedar Lake does not go along with this proposal that other entities would not vote. Ken said operating budget and building  should be valued at the same. Concerned if we were to go to the Rice Lake Fire Dept. the cost would change. He feels that we should keep the formula now and go with what the BFCESD recommends.

     Mike Paradise, 2480 24th Ave, Rice Lake, wanted to know how much it would cost and for how long. Ken explained that the loan would be for 10 years. Then explained that even though we may not have much of an increase because of this loan, other entities which we have no control over may raise their portion of the taxes. Ken feels that we could absorb the $32,056.81 each year into our budget.

     Jon Sleik spoke about the $500,000 matching grant which is being done by the Clevelands.  There will be another request for donations in the tax statements this winter for more donations. The more donations received will lower cost to municipalities.

     Jean Ballou, 2677 27 5/16 St, Mikana wondered if the modest increase would leave funds for the roadwork? Ken replied that there are multiple strategies to work with for road repair and reconstruction. He does not want to apply a  tax and spend strategy. Jean feels that his should be done at this time not later down the road.

     Kathleen Mintari asked if it will ever change where the Rice Lake Ambulance would be incorporated? Ken pointed out that Birchwood volunteers are very familiar with the area and are able to get around on the east side of the lake. 

     Kory asked if an entity does not participate at this time, but wishes to join after new building, would they pay their part? Don Bergstrom helped with this question by saying that anyone joining late would need to pay their portion of the building. 

     Gene George, 2823 27th St., Birchwood, is it true that money has been set aside for this building? Kory explained that no, a CD had been set aside, but was spent on our portion of the cost of the new fire truck rather than borrow money at that time. 

     Mike Mattmiller said that he didn’t understand why the difference in coverage between fire and ambulance area. All of Cedar Lake is covered by the BFCESD for fire.

     Ken George explained that the RLFD had increased so that was why Cedar Lake turned to the Birchwood Fire Dept. The ambulance is due to timing.

     Norma Jankowski, 2664 26  13/16 St., Mikana, wanted to know if the Town decides to trim or modify will all other 5 entities withdraw? Ken stated that there are other alternatives such as appropriate contributions from participating entities, solicit greater donation amounts, and reduce the scope of work/size of proposed building. Jon said that the BFCESD probably wouldn’t continue as it is today.  

     Al Ewert, 2570 28 1/4 , Birchwood, wondered if there were any funds available from the State and county for this project.

    Jon stated that we are very blessed to have found the Clevelands who are willing to match the donations. The committee has spent much time looking for grant monies.  We were not a winner for grants.  Ken G. stated that there are grants available for vehicles and equipment but not buildings. Ken G. said that the committee had done a great job looking for grants.

     Mary Hele, 2778 28th St, Birchwood, has watched many people putting in a lot of time into this project. She feels that trust needs to be placed in those who have planned this project.

     Ken L. said that the funding request will be decided by the Board. May need to make a compromise.

     John Will, 2600 28 ¼ St, Birchwood asked if the people pass the resolution, it would still need to be voted on by the 3 Board members? Ken has clarified with the Wisconsin Towns Attorney, how to make this decision.  

     John Will made a motion to approve the resolution as it was presented by the Birchwood Four Corners Emergency District.   Ken explained resolution in detail. Louie Okey seconded this.

     Kathy Leners reminded everyone that there are two motions to consider: 1. To support the new building and 2. Authorize the Board to finance the new building. After some clarifications, John Will amended his motion to read determine if electors will pass a resolution to authorize the Town of  Cedar Lake to assist in financing new emergency services facility.  Louie Okey seconded. A count of hands, opposed :1, support : 73 , abstain: 0. Motion passed.

     Sue Sleik made the motion to pass to authorize the Town of Cedar Lake to enter into a promissory note for the Town’s share of the cost of new emergency services building not to exceed $264,047.65. JB Bolles seconded this. Ken L. explained that the funding amount could run anywhere from $1 to $264,000 because this is a “not to exceed” motion, it is not an “amount to equal” motion. Tony said to go with what is proposed with maximum of $264,047.65. Vote taken by a show of hands(each person stood, said number and sat down) in favor: 74, no: 6, abstain: 2, 1 non-resident. Motion carried.

     Sue Sleik made the motion to adjourn this meeting John Will seconded, majority yes. (8:10) Recess of 5 minutes followed.

MONTHLY MEETING September 9, 2019

     The meeting began with the reading of past month’s meeting minutes. Kory made a correction that the culvert on Ranch Rd. would be repaired instead of replaced. Kory then made a motion to approve the  minutes. Tony seconded and all approved. Twenty-five persons plus the Board stayed in attendance.

     Under public input, Tom Nanstad spoke to a sight problem on 26 ½ Ave, West Lakeshore Dr. on the curve due to corn being planted in the right of way. He almost had two accidents as the line of sight was blocked for oncoming traffic. The problem was discussed and will be taken care of first by notifying the farmer.

     John Bolles asked if the Town had ever considered having hazard waste disposal for solvents, paints, etc. Not at this time. The county does have a site south of Almena. Tony has information on the website. There is a small fee. Joe Klinglehoets mentioned that the county has one day a year for drop off which is announced on the radio.

     Next item on the agenda is the financial report from Gladys, Treasurer. All bank accounts balance with our accounts.

     Kory then went on to discuss the past month’s roadwork. In the past we had been working on finding some help for Scott. The Board has hired Ken George to help out with some things as well as those which need two people. Scott has been hauling gravel to the roads in Cedar Croft Platt. Kory has been working on getting bids for sand to be mixed with salt for winter. The County is not able to come to our pit as it is not approved by the DNR. This cost will incur this year on the budget. Several options to chose. One would be to purchase from Glacier at the proposed cost of $22,950 for 4,500 yds of sand screened at our pit. We could get sand from Todd’s Redimix, either pickup or be delivered. The 4,500 yds would be enough for 2 years for all three townships. Joe K. suggested that we could get sand from the county and they would mix it with the salt.A discussion followed. Ken motioned to delegate to Kory to make the decision regarding the sand. Tony seconded and all approved. Kory will compare proposal from Glacier and the county and make a decision.  If we mix the salt\sand, it takes two days and three men and the equipment. Kory will notify the Board of decision reached.

     Scott said that the two culverts on Methil have been located and the county will complete yet this fall.

     As Bull Dozin did such a good job on Red Cedar Rd, they would be good to consider for future road work.

     Tony said he had conversations with Ron Schwab and Lloyd Mjlnek regarding a culvert on Minnow Lake Rd. It will be fixed this fall.

     Tony had talked with Denny Hennekens in regard to the weeds around the park. It is necessary to be certified to spray weeds. There is not a need to address this year, but need to determine what to do going forward. It was suggested that maybe Steve Devine would have some input regarding certification. Try to have an idea by budget time. Discussed certifying Scott, no equipment. Need to put notice in paper in Feb. 2020 for lawn mowing bids to be opened in March 2020.

     Ken G. spoke for the BFCESD saying that there has been a few runs this month, but mostly getting ready for all entities separate meetings regarding the new building. The BFCESD meeting will be held on Thursday evening at 6;30.

     Ken then gave an update on the Public Nuisance Ordinance as he visited with the attorney on Aug. 27th.  He read the letter from the attorney. This is in regard to property owned by Terry Bygd in Loch Lomond and Jerry Frazier & Bill Holt, Jr. in Mikana. Question was asked about Frazier’s home property. It is another item , gathering more info. It is on the radar.

Attorney asked for additional info such as a copy of the signed ordinance, confirmation of posting, copy of minutes from date ordinance was adopted and minutes from discussion of problems.

     The attorney told Ken that someone needed to inspect the properties and give a report back to the Board. Ken has inspected the properties and reported the findings to the Board.

     Ken then read both letters which had been drafted by the attorney which will be delivered to Bygd, Holt, & Frazier. This complies with Sect. 11 , para. D of ordinance.

     A motion was made for a memorandum to be sent to the clerk to issue and serve through the attorney, a letter to Mr. Terry Bygd. Motion was seconded by Tony. Roll call vote: Tony, Aye: Kory, Aye: Ken:Aye. 

     A motion was made for a memorandum to be sent to the clerk to issue and serve , through the attorney, a letter each to Mr. William Holt, Jr. and Mr. Jerry Frazier. This was seconded by Kory. Roll call vote: Tony,Aye:Kory, Aye: Ken,Aye.

     A motion was made by Ken to direct the clerk to accept cease and desist order as prepared by the Attorney for Frazier and Holt . Kory seconded. Roll call vote: Tony, Aye:Kory,Aye: Ken,Aye.

     A motion was made by Ken to direct the clerk to accept cease and desist ordered as prepared by the Attorney for Bygd. This was seconded by Kory. Roll call vote: Tony, Aye: Kory, Aye: Ken, Aye.

     Doug Fischer thanked the Board for all their work on these problem sites.

     As of Nov. 1st, we will be looking to see if things are happening. If not, the fine of $100 per day will begin. Now, the Town has the legal leverage which has been needed to influence compliance.

     The Board has received a complaint from a former employee who was terminated for cause on April 11,2018. He had obtained an attorney. A

 report has been sent to the State of Wis. Workforce Development. He is asking for $62,787.00 for unpaid work hours among other things. Ken has sent documents, such as time sheets, pay stubs, as well as a two page letter in reply to the state. This should give the State a bigger picture of why the employee was terminated. It could take as long as 6 mons. To complete this investigation. Kory asked if our attorney has been involved at this point. Ken has told the attorney who said to give the State all that they want at this time. This has been a big lesson learned by the Board that previous board members were negligent in failing to issue employee handbooks, policy letters, and employment contracts.  The current board has rectified the situation.

     Under new business, application for a Class “A” license has been received from Red Cedar Country Store,Michael J. Gibbs.   He is in the process of purchasing the Mikana General Store from Geri Lauerman.  Geri has submitted a formal letter stating that she will surrender her license as of the day of closing, which has not been determined as of yet. After looking at all the paperwork, Tony made a motion to approve the application to be effective on the day of closing. Ken seconded and all approved. A refund will be issued to Geri accordingly.

     Next on the agenda is to set the October date as several Board members will be attending the WisconsinTowns Association Conference . It was recommended that the monthly meeting be held on Oct. 21st with Budget work day being Oct. 22 from 9 AM until completed.  Ken made a motion to change the Oct. 14th regular meeting to Oct. 21st with the Budget work meeting on Oct. 22 at 9 AM in the town hall. Kory seconded and all approved.

     Gladys next discussed the sending of tax receipts when taxes have been paid. It seems most ask the property owner to send a self-

addressed stamped envelope if they would like a receipt. If not done, it would save on postage as well as envelopes. After some discussion, the Board agreed to not send out receipts when taxes are received. This will be in the treasurer’s letter at tax time.

     Kory had done research on propane costs, coming up with Northwoods at $1.19, Synergy at $1.11 and Ferral at $1.20. As Synergy was the lowest, he signed the contract and sent a check with it.

      Scott Tubbs appeared on behalf of the Brill Sportsman’s Club to request storage of a 6 x8 trailer. They are receiving  a battery powered wheel chair to be checked out by persons who are in need of a wheelchair. This will be stored in the trailer until someone needs it. They will check it out and in as needed. After a little discussion, Ken made a motion to allow the Brill Sportsman’s Club store this trailer in Town Shop. Kory seconded and all approved. Building access  will be worked out for them.

     Next on the agenda is to consider the decisions made by the Special meeting regarding the new emergency services building. Kory made the motion to assist in the financing of a new emergency facilities. Tony seconded. There followed some discussion. Roll call vote: Tony,Aye:Kory,Aye: Ken, Aye.

     Next motion was made by Kory to enter into a promissory note for the Town’s share of the cost of a new emergency services facility not to exceed $264,047.65. This was seconded by Tony. Roll call vote: Tony, Aye:Kory, Aye: Ken, Nay. Ken would have agreed if the amount was $20,000 less. Majority rules, motion carries. 

    Tony suggested that it  would be reasonable to look at future budgets to equalize the amount of operating costs.

     Next item is to look at the current resolution present by the BFCESD for the Budget for 2020. Ken suggested to look closer at the operating costs.  A discussion followed  regarding past years of operating cost. There seems to be a balance at the end of 2017 of $419,000 and 2018 of $433,766. Why is the BFCESD Board of Commissioners maintaining such a high dollar amount in reserve?   Ken did receive a response from the BFCESD with a Fund Balance Policy, which barely explains these funds. Ken will be attending meeting on Thursday. It is noted that BFCESD must develop  By-laws for that organization.

     Ken made a motion to postpone signing of a  resolution for the 2020 Budget for BFCESD until next month to give the BFCESD Commissioners an opportunity to justify their funding request. Tony seconded and all approved.

     Next on the agenda is a request for a variance/setback from roadway to build an unattached garage.  When he first approached the Board it was a request regarding an attached garage. Upon getting the bids for this project, it was determined to be too costly. It would give the property two roofs, as the existing little shed will be removed. The Board signed the approval for the county.

     Under correspondence, a phone call  from Kevin Brown regarding replacement of a culvert by his property. After some discussion, it was determined that more research would be completed before a decision is made.  We may be able to fix this ourselves.

     Tony made a motion to pay the bills and adjourn the meeting.  Kory seconded and all approved. (10:07)

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