Living Here

What difference does a single word make?
Sometimes it’s more important than all the words that preceded it. When an alderman votes “yes” or “no” on an issue, that word has trumped all the other words that he or she may have said, implied or discussed on the issue. In a similar manner, approving the estimated spending of five million dollars on The Riviera hinges on a single word that describes the purpose for which the Riviera costs will be incurred. That single word will be “repair”, “renovation” or “repurposing”, because that word will describe the reason for which the five-million-dollar expense will occur, and that word may determine whether or not an approved referendum will be required to actually proceed with the project.

If the word is “repair” or “renovation,” and that and only that is what is done, then an approved referendum is not needed. But if the word is “Repurposing” then it should be required; however, knowing how the city functions, the city attorney may (once again) skirt the rules of ordinance origination and application.

Normally, a repurposing ordinance would require an approved referendum for a multimillion-dollar expenditure by separating the repair costs from the repurposing costs and keeping the city’s portion of the “repurposing” cost below the required referendum threshold by either supplementing the “repurposing” with private donations as needed. Those bidding the job will understand the issue and low estimate of the “Repurposing” items, and a high estimate of the Repair issues to offset the low estimates. Of course, any donations made would be directly or indirectly returned to the donators through reduced rental fees. Honestly, this is how the city sometimes functions, too bad the city doesn’t seem to be able to do things openly and truthfully.


Lately, it seems the east and northeast sides of Lake Geneva are under constant construction.
Two of the most visible changes are the Starbuck’s and AT&T stores that went up last fall. And now another building is going up right next to them. Aspen Dental, Game Stop, and the newly confirmed Mod Pizza will be inhabiting the new build. This building is going up quickly and the first unit, Aspen Dental, will be assuming occupancy in August, so the interior customizing can begin. Game Stop will be moving into the middle unit shortly after. MOD Pizza will be the last to take occupancy, not surprising since they only recently confirmed that they were coming to Lake Geneva.

Yes, we know, Lake Geneva already has a lot of pizza places, and many are really good. MOD claims to be different, though. The GSR reporters asked the manager of the construction job for both of these builds if another building was expected and they were told no. Walmart still owns the adjacent parking lot but agreed to share the parking slots with any new businesses. That seems very generous of Walmart! It’s likely that some sort of unknown monetary compensation is involved. Just down the street, there is another multi-unit commercial building going up, and the Tristen Crist Magic Show will be moving in from its current downtown location as soon as it is complete. Across the street from the building a Ross Dress for Less, along with a Five Below, is trying to get approval to open up stores. A Hampton Inn is coming to Lake Geneva in the near future on the north side of Edwards Boulevard, and then there is the Mobil Station that will include a convenience store, car wash, and a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Along with all the new builds and businesses coming in, Lake Geneva can anticipate many more people and a lot more traffic. The intersection where Hwy. 50 and Edwards Boulevard cross each other is already congested, and hard to maneuver with vehicles entering and exiting the many parking lots clustered together. The congestion on that side of town is also going to affect HWY 50 through Main Street, as well as Edwards Boulevard. What will this do to the relaxing feel of the great little Geneva Lake community that draws so many here?

How is all of this going preserve the uniqueness of Lake Geneva?

Cartoon of the Week

Cartoon Terry O'Neill Lake Geneva

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