The bright flower.
The one bright spot within the utility commission, is Alderman Cindy Flower.
Ms. Flower seems to have a full understanding of the steps that need to be taken to transform the debacle the commission has become. She pushed to get a multi-year picture of the costs and extent of the repairs that are needed, so a multi-year organized plan can be set up, so the surprise and shock of the city’s sewer and water damaged infrastructure that is being experiencing today could be avoided in the future. To its credit, the rest of the utility commission followed her lead. In the joint utility and council meeting, Alderman Chris Gelting expressed the informed public’s frustration with the utility commission’s inaction in still not having a budget at this late date, and skirting its budget responsibility by dumping it on the as yet unknown new utility director. “Bright” Flower and “Ray of Sunshine” Gelting are the lonely figures of hope in today’s Lake Geneva. Mayor “Straight Arrow” Alan Kupsik isn’t too shabby either.
The bad water blues.
Water towers cannot simply be shut down in order to perform necessary repairs. The Host Drive Water Tower supplies water to about 75% of the city, so pressurized water pumps will be needed to pump water while the tower is being repaired. In the case of a major power outage the Host Drive Water Tower’s millions of gallons of water will not be available, so to maintain pressure during a possible power outage during the months the towers are shut down, additional backup generators will be required. Also, getting all the cell phone companies to remove their antennas while the water tower is repaired, will be problematic, although it might be an opportunity to eliminate any antenna’s not currently in use (all of them!). The delay of the tower repair due to the antennas could be analogous to the road-widening delay on Highway 50 due to cable and power lines company foot dragging. The city of Lake Geneva has little power, and limited influence, over when utility providers will accomplish their portions of any necessary work.
Water Tower Blues
Major power outage.
Last Saturday the town of Linn experienced a seven-hour power outage from four p.m. until just before midnight. What happened? Different causes have been offered. Alliant Energy said it was due to the wind (the wind was high that night) felling a tree near BigFoot Beach and landing on wires, but two different technicians in the field indicated it was due to a bad relay installed at the new power exchange going in near Linn Road and South Lake Shore Drive. According to one technician, the power flows toward Lake Geneva, not away from it, in the case of all the people who went without power on into the night.
That power outage, incidentally, was the longest in ten years for that area, which is a back-handed compliment to Alliant Energy. If you own a generator it is unlikely you’ve powered it up since you’ve acquired it. Check your gasoline supply. Gas is only good for about five years without Stabil being added to it. Then it’s good for about ten years. Many people who have generators either forget, or don’t know, that gasoline rapidly begins to lose its ability to spark or ignite. A manual start generator can weary the strongest of arms and backs relatively quickly. Pay attention to your generator, and continue to hope that you never have to power it up.