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The snows of another Wisconsin winter are coming. Currently, there’s a ‘snow drought,’ they are saying. Normally, Lake Geneva gets ten inches of snow in the month of December, but here it is with one-third of the month gone, and there’s been no snow at all. In Wisconsin, however, that full ten inches could easily fall on one day or night. The challenge is going to be removing it, and then getting rid of it.

Tom Earle, the head of the street department is ‘the man’ when it comes to snow removal. So far, he’s remained adamant that there is not sufficient equipment or personnel to remove snow from the downtown business sidewalks, in spite of his recent purchase (for fifty grand) of a machine that is specifically designed to remove snow from sidewalks. The city administrator, when pressed at a recent Business Improvement District meeting, actually went the other way and said the machine, that he at first didn’t know about, was meant to be used on the streets. Maybe there’s some sort of retraining program for city administrators when it comes to knowing just how many and what kind of machines are being purchased by the city for fifty-grand or more, and what is being done with them. Since there appears to be the equipment, then what about the personnel? What about the personnel dedicated in prior years to shoveling out the streets of private communities, like the Manor? The Manor’s streets have been plowed by the city, at city expense, while the community has remained private, with streets privately owned by an association. The Manor beach is closed to everyone except property owners and guests. How about opening the beach and making the streets Lake Geneva streets? The board of that association will probably seek cardiac care when they read this suggestion. Private clubs do not have any liking, in general, for the public at large.

The Town of Linn has the same problem with its snow removal force. The Country Club Estates get plowed out by Town of Linn snowplows. The town denied that when confronted last year until a photo of one of the trucks plowing the streets out was presented. The comment from the then city clerk was: “oh dear.” However, nothing was done to either investigate the allegation or to do anything else about it. It is presumed the Country Club Estates will be plowed out again this year. These wealthy communities and individuals who get their property plowed for free…well, it’s not for free. The rest of the community is paying for that. And how about having these new-fangled computer-controlled trucks program their hydraulics so that when a plow passes a driveway, a private citizen’s driveway, the plow turns straight ahead instead of remaining at a forty-five-degree angle? This would mercifully save so much labor, angst, and anger which usually results when homeowners come out to find a two- or a three-foot triangular pile of ice and snow blocking their driveways.

The idea of not giving away city services to private communities might also be extended to leaf and large trash pickup. There is a myriad assortment of ways to make more revenue for the cash-strapped city of Lake Geneva, outside of borrowing against an unknown future. Making people pay for what they get is a good start. The Grand Geneva can join Lake Geneva or take that name off of its address. Just another example of creative and justifiable thinking put into the economic return. It has long been the position of the staff of the Geneva Shore Report that those places that use the name Lake Geneva should pay for the privilege, as it raises the retail value of the property they hold.


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