Letters to the Editor 

 

This also sent to The Geneva Shore Report

 

Executive Director Ted Peters Feb. 15, 2016 Geneva Lakes Environmental Agency P.O. Box 914 Williams Bay, WI 53191 Phone: 262-245-4532

Executive Director Mr. Ted Peters, Fortunately no one was injured when the 15 cars parked on Geneva Lake broke through the ice and sank into Lake; however, the fact that no one was injured does not diminish the concern for the safety issue regarding parking cars on the lake. In trying to prevent a reoccurrence of a similar event in the future, while at the same time not restricting or limiting access of the navigable water of the Geneva Lake to any user or group, limits the available options for proposing an ordinance that could accomplish both issues.

The root cause of incident was the cascading of three issues:

  1. The City of Lake Geneva’s “International Snow Sculpture event” which attracts a large crowd
  2. Visitors using the lake as a parking lot to attend the event.
  3. Visitors unfamiliar with the issues involved with parking vehicles on lake ice.

An Ordinance could be written that would require that when a road vehicle is on the lake the vehicle’s owner or a driver of that road vehicle must also be on the lake. Furthermore, the ordinance could state that any road vehicle left on the lake when neither the owner nor a driver of that vehicle is on the lake, then that vehicle will be considered abandoned and subject to a fine or being impounded. An ordinance written as above would not interfere with any winter activity on the lake, but it would prohibit the type of action that created the problem and it would give the city some authority to take action if needed. I believe merely posting the sign as a warning would probably stop the unwanted parking by people not actually using the lake. Since an ordinance effecting the lake may require all the communities around the lake to pass the same ordinance, I am asking that this issue be put on a meeting agenda so that it can be discussed and obtain input from the committee members who represent other communities around the lake. Submitted:  Terry O’Neill, former alderperson and homeowner in Lake Geneva.

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