GIANT SNOW BOMB DROPPED ON GENEVA LAKE
And that’s not the only thing! The snow came after an earlier preparation layer put down by God, or at least directed by one of His minions. The weather was specially held in suspension, as forty and fifty-degree days and nights came and went in a place (Wisconsin) that almost never sees such warmth at this time of the year. But then the snow bomb was dropped on Sunday night after the temperatures had gotten suitably cold. And Monday morning the freezing rain came into give the foot of fluffy snow a nice crusty texture. Southern Wisconsin, the new home of the not-so-tasty but layered snow cake with a clear pure frosting. South Lake Shore Drive was closed until almost nine a.m., so getting into the City of Lake Geneva proved problematic for those living further south, and having to come to work in the city proper. When everyone finally started pouring into town later in the morning the Lake Geneva Street Department was working like crazy to clear the snow, and ice, and anything else that wasn’t stuck to the asphalt and concrete with epoxy.
They did a fast job of making the town ready for the teeming hordes of visitors, attracted by the wildly successful Ice Castle and the National Ice Sculpting and other celebrations of Winterfest. But the best was yet to come. God above also decided that the temperatures were too moderate, and the mettle of Geneva Lake residents and visitors had not been tested to its maximum capability. So, the temperature began to plummet with the departure of the snow. When the snow eventually began to back off, the mercury dropped. That final drop, due after this Geneva Shore Report issue is already printed, was predicted to move into the territory of forty or more degrees below zero windchills. What the low temperature might actually be will only be revealed after you have read this report.
Wednesday, delivery day, is predicted to be the coldest day, with only slight relief coming in on Thursday. But there is yet to be no relief for the merchants in downtown Lake Geneva: the small merchants, not the big box stores like Walgreens and Wal-Mart. The small businesses that front the main Lake Geneva Streets are tasked with shoveling their own snow, and they only have a few hours to do it or the city will shovel and then charge three or four times the going rate, plus write out tickets and assign fines. The outrage of a city that claims to love its small business community, but then does so many things that hurt the merchants, might be a sign of the times but it does not have to continue in Lake Geneva.
Mayor Tom Hartz is in sympathy with the merchants and that should count for quite a bit. Why should the city take over this responsibility and expense? The city has the personnel and the equipment to do the job (many merchants are older or not there at all within the times specified), and the city has the understanding and training in knowing how to do this properly so that the snow will not be pushed by the street clearing crews onto the edge of the sidewalk, and then further by the merchants who have no place to toss the sidewalk snow except to make that pyramidal pile even larger, and thereby further limit the places merchants from having for customers to park cars and shop.