For the Thursday Public Works Committee Meeting , 6/11/15, the City sent in their “Heavy Hitters,” Mayor Connors, City Attorney Draper and City Apologist Chris Schultz, to rein in the committee from considering the idea of abandoning South Lakeshore Drive along Big Foot Beach State Park as one of their options of what to do about this particular stretch of road. At the May meeting of PWC (Oublic Works Committee), Dan Winkler decided to stir things up by reporting that the State owns all the land that the road sits on, thereby raising the issue of ownership and responsibility for that section of South Lakeshore Drive. The 5 Aldermen at the meeting took the bait and concluded that since the City didn’t own the land, it therefore probably had no legal responsibility for the road so they thought it could be abandoned and left to the State to repair and maintain.

Those Doddering clever devils.
During the Public Comments section of the meeting a copy of the 2002 jurisdictional agreement (#119 signed by then Mayor Charles Rude for the City of Lake Geneva and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation) was presented to the council, that clearly established the city’s jurisdiction and obligation to care for, improve and maintain South Lakeshore Drive along BigFoot Beach State Park, in clouding all appurtenances.

It was explained appurtenances to be the attachments, elements or structures belonging to the road, such as the road apron and road bank. They were also directed to the fact that the State awarded the City  $780,000 to accomplish future maintenance a repair.

Winkler finally had to agree that the City had more than just easement rights to the road, but claimed the State unfairly forced jurisdiction onto the City and that the $780,000 was spent to resurface the road back in 2003. Of course this is completely ridiculous, but no one on the Committee seemed to notice or question Winkler on the absurdity of his claim. The money was spent, but not on South Lakeshore Drive.

No longer able to relinquish responsibility for the road and its appurtenances, Alderman Howell asked if the City had future plans for a reroute of the road, but both Connors and Draper said there would be no reroute by the City and that the Committee should plan to do the road bank repairs “the right way”– completely and professionally right up to what is being called ” the beach” which is the 700′ section starting at the end of the lagoon to the end of the park. Dan Winkler claims the State and DNR could still do the reroute, but we all know it was never the intention of the DNR to pay for the reroute, but instead the DNR was counting on Winkler to get the City to pay for the road with TIF Funds.

The estimated cost for the rip-rap repair is approximately $150,000 with nothing in the city budget to cover the expense. A public hearing and City Council approval will be required, as will DNR permits.

The beach itself was not discussed nor were repairs needed to that section of road running above the beach. Obviously, the City will not accept the beach area as an appurtenance to the road, but, nevertheless, some attention will be necessary to the road itself.

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