THE WHIRLING HUMMEL DERVISH
Once again, the sound of the well-orchestrated volleys of hushed fire dampen down and the Geneva Inn annexation plot, scheme or plan fades into the layer just between the foreground and the background. There was no bombing of Syria to allow it to slink back behind the stage curtain, because there was no need for such ostentatious diversions. The Geneva Inn has put forth a request to be annexed by the City of Lake Geneva.
There is absolutely no benefit for Lake Geneva in going ahead and giving in to this request. There’s little to lose for the Town of Linn because the Geneva Inn pays such a paltry tax amount back to the town. There’s been plenty of lying about the annexation. Sewer lines were touted to have been laid and used for years. Laid by the City of Lake Geneva, but used by the Geneva Inn. This bogus argument was thrust forward in order to give momentum to the forces behind the annexation.
There is no sewer line, unless a two-inch water pipe can be called such a thing. A two-inch water pipe that drains into the lake! There’s been some legal lies about the continuity and contiguous nature of the property extending from the plot the Geneva Inn’s built upon, and the rest of the property it’s attached to, that would allow it to be added. The weak-kneed and tepid Lake Geneva City Attorney supported that ridiculousness in his vaunted small ball ‘opinion.’ There’s no continuity because the properties are separated by a one-foot corridor that’s not city property. Ergo, once the courts bit into the survey reality, and legal stipulations required by annexation laws, out the deal would go, anyway.
So, what’s driving this annexation that’s consumed so much of the Lake Geneva and Town of Linn governing body’s time, trouble and angst?
Years ago, under the tutelage of Lake Geneva’s crummiest city administrator of all time, who partnered up with its crummiest mayor, the Hummel Corporation purchased the Town of Linn property (775 acres), and then had the property annexed to Lake Geneva. Many people in Lake Geneva were upset with this bold move and formed protest groups that eventually forced the Hummel issue to referendum. The referendum blew the development plans of the Hummel people to shreds. In response they sued. The crummy city administrator and crummy mayor convinced the city insurance company to cough up somewhere between three and four million bucks (in cash) to make Hummel feel better, and add a bit of God knows what for themselves.
Fat, smart and happy, the Hummel beachhead nested warmly on the acres, waiting. The administrator and mayor moved on to their fat, warm and very happy retirements. And now the Hummel property hatches and a giant buzzard has begun to flap its wings. Supposedly the Hummel property is now owned by an attorney in Chicago. Supposedly the property is for sale. Supposedly the new owners no longer have an interest in developing. Supposedly they want seventeen million for the package. But what’s behind this expensive, constant, and now back into the shadows-attempt to annex? A banquet/wedding hall construct to be added to the Geneva Inn? An Inn that’s never made much of anything in the way of big bucks? If it’s allegedly made any money at all. Why is the funny little guy who owns all those WWII ducks trying to find somebody to allow him to run his business on lake frontage? Why would he think he could get the approvals he’d need without the annexation opening the door? The Geneva Shore Report continues to investigate and explore the realities, secrets and clever moves being made in this situation. The survival of the lake everyone knows and loves is at stake.
Whatever goes on, and the GSR isn’t sure it’d be bad or good, is going to be done on top of the table and not down underneath, where so many Lake Geneva deals have been conducted in the past.
Featured Photo: GSR drone shot of the Geneva Inn complex with the Hummel property across the street just behind that row of homes and swooping down behind the now defunct Finch Restaurant. What are they up to because it is too quiet right now. The GSR is prowling around, sniffing this ground, and pawing the soil near the lake…waiting…patiently waiting.