Year in Review Newsletter 2017
This is a Year in Review newsletter intended to reflect the condition of the township and outline plans for future town board actions.
Town Board 2017 objectives
The current town board’s term began following the April 4, 2017 spring election. Three initial objectives were identified: (1) control township spending; (2) improve communication between the town board and constituents; and (3) ensure public safety, road maintenance, and quality of life remain top priorities.
Controlled township spending
The Town of Cedar Lake was in a very poor financial position at the start of this board’s term in office. The reserve fund was depleted and operating funds were insufficient to the point that the board needed to secure a 90-day short-term loan to meet payroll and other expenses until receipt of mid-year tax revenue in late August.
A thorough review of all budget line items was completed in May and spending control measures were implemented to reduce expenses. Employee overtime was suspended in July, and a revised law enforcement contract was initiated in September. We anticipate balancing expenditures with revenue by year end due to the board’s deliberate effort to control spending during the past eight months.
Improved communication between the Town Board
A complete replacement of the Town of Cedar Lake’s web site was initiated in May and published in August. The new interactive website address is www.townofcedarlake.org
This website is a significant improvement and property owners are encouraged to log on often for updated information. Topics such as meeting agendas and minutes, budget documents, voting information, and other relevant information is at your fingertips. The website is exceeding expectations with 105 hits per month and growing.
Ensured public safety, road maintenance, and quality
of life activities remained top priorities
The Town of Cedar Lake’s Emergency Operations Plan was updated in June. This is a detailed 26-page document that defines resources, town board duties and responsibilities, and other essential planning activities.
The Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services District purchased a new Fire Engine in 2017. The Town of Cedar Lake contributed to the purchase of this state-of-the-art engine through a cost-share agreement.
The Four Corners Police Department provided enhanced law enforcement coverage within our township and provided mutual aid support to multiple townships within Barron County. Twenty-eight Birchwood School District students graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in 2017.
Town Shop employees maintained 40 miles of paved and 24 miles of unpaved roads, issued driveway permits, provided daily oversight and control of the Mikana dam, complied with ever expanding WisDOT reporting requirements, and supported other important public works activities. There were multiple springtime storms requiring the removal of 302 downed trees that were blocking roads.
The Mikana Parade Committee hosted the Biggest Little 4th of July Celebration which has become a much anticipated annual event within our township. The committee’s 2017 profits exceeded $7,000 and were donated back to the community.
An ordinance amendment was passed in July opening all roads within the township’s jurisdiction to ATV/UTV travel year round. State Highway 48 and County Road V remain closed to ATV/UTV traffic. A formal request to establish an ATV/UTV crossing site over the Hwy 48 Bridge in Mikana has been submitted to WisDOT.
Our Town Clerk and Treasurer supported constituents on a daily basis covering numerous topics related to 2,950 parcels of land, 1,500 taxpayers, and 850 resident voters. This is in addition to ensuring essential administrative actions were accomplished with surrounding townships, commercial vendors, township employees, elected officials, and county and state government agencies.
Future Town Board Actions
A Town Road Improvement Program (TRIP) application was submitted to the Barron County Highway Department. This document makes our township eligible for matching funds in fiscal year 2019. Preparatory subgrade roadwork is planned for 2018 in anticipation of 2019 pavement improvement projects. Gravel road improvement projects are also planned to take place in 2018.
The board will continue to implement spending control measures throughout 2018 in order to operate within our budget limits and rebuild a cash reserve fund.
We hope that you find this newsletter informative and welcome your comments and suggestions.
– Cedar Lake Town Board-]]>