Fire Numbers/House Address
The Town has replaced about 20% of the fire numbers this year and will be doing the same until they have all been replaced. The new signs are two sided and much more effective for the emergency services folks to see. The primary purpose of the fire numbers is to identify your location for the fire department, ambulance service, USPS and others. It is very important that the fire number be visible from the road. Typically they are placed near the driveway just off the shoulder of the road, please do not relocate you fire number without consulting with our Town Patrolman, Lanny Loew.
Road Right of way
Each year there are several questions that arise regarding Town Road right of way. The area 33 feet from the centerline of the road is the right of way. The only things allowed in the right of way are mailboxes and approved signs (fire numbers, street signs, stop signs, etc). Each year we mow the right of ways in the Town to keep them open for plowing snow in the winter and maintaining safe visibility. Trees, bushes, basketball backboards and the like are not legal and do not belong in the right of way.
The proper placement of mailboxes is to have the front edge of the mailbox at the edge of the gravel shoulder furthest from the roadway, if you would like assistance locating your mailbox contact our Town Patrolman. the Town recommends using a swing arm type mail box. The roads are plowed to keep the snow as far off the roadway as possible. To effectively remove the snow, the plow may travel at the posted speeds. Regrettably the force of the snow sometimes knocks down mailboxes. The Town does not accept responsibility for replacing mailboxes but will work with those who have a swing arm type mailbox.
It is illegal and a safety issue to plow snow across a Town, County or State highway.
If you are locating a new driveway you need to contact the Town Patrolman, Lanny Loew, at 715-234-3817 (town shop) and leave a message.
Building permits are required for any new construction contact our UDC inspector, Joe Atwood, at 715-764-2948.
Unless otherwise posted, snowmobiles are allowed on all Town roads and are subject to all posted speed limits, etc.
Unless otherwise posted, ATV's are not allowed on Town roads or right of ways and are prohibited by State law.
Golf carts are not allowed on any Town roads or right of ways.
Storm Debris Disposal
For several days after major storms the Town offers free disposal of branches and small tree parts (no larger than 6 inches in diameter). For disposal dates and times contact Duke Dahl at 715-234-7869.
We celebrated the grand opening for the Town Shop in September 2006 with over 100 residents in attendance. It is state of the art and built to handle the Town’s needs for many years to come. We are working with Barron County to have them keep up to three County trucks in the shop during the winter season. This will allow those plowing to get to their trucks more quickly, get the roads plowed more quickly, and to save fuel.
We have already agreed to rent a space to the County for one truck in the shop for $1,500 for the season. Our timing on financing the shop could not have been better. Brill State Bank gave us the best finance option at $400,000 @ 3.75% for 10 years fixed.
BIRCHWOOD FOUR CORNERS EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT (BFCESD)
January 1, 2008 the Town of Cedar Lake joined with five other Towns (Birchwood, Wilson, Edgewater, Long Lake and Doyle) and the Village of Birchwood to form the BFCESD. The BFCESD provides fire protection for all of the member municipalities, except the northern half of the Town of Birchwood and ambulance service for all but Doyle, Long Lake(July,2012) and one half of Cedar Lake and the Town of Birchwood.
The BFCESD is a newly created government entity whose sole purpose is to provide emergency services for its members. The Birchwood Volunteer Fire Department and Birchwood Ambulance Service both report to the District. Each Town and the Village have a commissioner and the seven commissioners make up the Board for the Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services District.
Previously the six Towns had contracted with the Village of Birchwood for their fire and ambulance service and the Village of Birchwood Board made all decisions regarding fire and ambulance service.
For many years the Village had an advisory group made up of all the contracted Towns who gave opinions on budget and coverage issues, but did not have any authority. The Village Board frequently found itself in a difficult position, elected to serve the Village but voting on emergency services that affected not only the Village but six other Towns. In 2007 the advisory group began having discussions about forming an emergency services district that would be singularly focused on public safety. Art Johnson, a Village Board member, had previously been involved in a fire district and was able to give some helpful insight into the benefits of forming a District. After several months of discussions and help from each of the Towns and the Village incorporation papers were developed and resolutions passed by each of the member entities endorsing the BFCESD.
While services remain the same and the Birchwood Volunteer Fire Department and the Birchwood Ambulance Service have not changed, there are several potential benefits to the formation of the BFCESD. First when decisions need to be made about emergency services they are made at the monthly BFCESD meetings and they are the only thing on the agenda. Each Town and the Village have one vote and the only issues that are dealt with are those of Public Safety as handled by the BFCESD. The next area is the potential to qualify for more grant money as a District that includes six Towns, one Village and includes four different Counties.
In today’s environment, intergovernmental cooperation is encouraged and favored by many of the groups looking at grant requests. In addition our composition may qualify for more types of grants including those that are given for the purchase of land and buildings. Each of the member entities is in the far corner of their respective County and quite a ways from County evacuation shelters. We will be pursuing the building of a new Fire/Ambulance building that would include facilities for an evacuation shelter providing we can get most of the funding for it through grants.
The BFCESD meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:30pm. Starting in January and every other month the meeting is at the Birchwood Village Hall. Beginning in February at the Town of Birchwood, every other month the meeting is held in one of the Towns with April - Cedar Lake, June - Doyle, August - Edgewater, October - Long Lake and December - Wilson.
The mailing address for the BFCESD is:
The commissioners are: