Wednesday, May 13th, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the stay at home order unconstitutional and blocked it, deeming it null and void, and allowing businesses to open at their own discretion.
This left the ball in the court of local county and city governments. Almost immediately, after the announcement, the Milwaukee mayor closed the city, Dane County and Kenosha County followed suit. Locally, around Geneva Lake, everyone is waiting to hear what will happen on the county and city levels. Many bars around the state opened immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision, including bars in the Lake Geneva area. Restaurants and coffee shops were a little leery, not sure if they should open or not on Tuesday morning. Several decided to wait for a local update, and some opened, while others will wait for the original date of May 26th. City and county open activity in and around Lake Geneva grew drastically, as people came out of the woodwork, making Lake Geneva look like it was in the prime of its summer season, even though summer is not yet here. Businesses have been able to draw in a little revenue, but not nearly enough to catch up for the long closing period they endured, however not everyone was happy about the crowds. Many people have chosen to stay at home, avoiding what some have called a petri dish for the virus.
The new parking kiosks are all installed and operating. Installation started a week earlier than planned.
The sixty-three old kiosks were replaced with fifty touch screen kiosks. Seth Elder, the new parking manager, met with the staff to decide where to place the new kiosks, considering the volume of transactions and foot traffic. The new kiosks also have a large solar panel on the top, like the old kiosks, but prettier. They will be placed in areas that are in the sunshine, versus the shade, so they don’t have to be hard-wired to a battery to keep them up and running. This will help with maintenance, and stop what used to be the constant changing of the batteries, which took a lot of time. The parking staff was excited to take out the old kiosks and finally move forward with the new ones. They received training on how the new ones work and the maintenance that comes with them at the end of last week, just before the busy weekend in downtown Lake Geneva. The new kiosks do work a little differently, in that everyone is required to enter a license plate number. This means that the time paid for stays with the car not the parking spot so if you pay, and later move your car and have time left on the meter, you won’t need to pay again until your time has run out. Hopefully, these changes will make parking in Lake Geneva a better experience for the staff and patrons. Also, if you drive to Lake Geneva and don’t want the world to know where and when you were here… Find and park at a free spot.
Place of the Week