Our Place

City Administrator Blaine Oborn, and some of the Lake Geneva alderpersons, believe, or pretend to believe, that the Geneva Inn’s claim to be “on city sewer” means the Geneva Inn has city sewer service and equipment, like all the homes and businesses in Lake Geneva. Based on that claim, “Utah” Oborn apparently assumes the authority to make this recommendation: “since the Geneva Inn already has city sewer, they should be allowed to annex into the city.” But Lake Geneva homes and businesses have large dimensional sewer pipes to collect all their sewage, both solids and liquids, and deliver these directly to the city’s sewer system.

The Geneva Inn, however, does not have this conventional “city sewer” system. What they have is a very rudimentary system that is only indirectly tethered to the city sewer by a 1600-foot-long, two inch (2”) in diameter plastic drain tube. By 1983, the old Shore Club (where the Geneva Inn currently sits) was a restaurant and bar in Linn Township, having serious plumbing and septic problems, so it went to the city for help. The City wouldn’t provide the club with a conventional sanitary sewage system, but it did allow for the installation of a drain for wastewater fluids (into a shallow State Park manhole 1600 feet away) where it would combine with the park’s wastewater going to the city sewer system. This drain was a 2″ flexible plastic tube fed by wastewater pumped from the Shore Club’s septic system. There’s a little pump at the beginning and is the only pump in the system, so it has strong cutters/grinders to make sure no solids can enter the narrow 2″ tube and cause blockage along its twisting, turning 1600-feet (over 5 football fields) course to the State Park. In return for allowing this service, the City had the Shore Club sign an agreement to annex onto Lake Geneva if their property might ever become contiguous to the city.

Geneva Inn “Sewer Connection”

Geneva Inn Sewer connection

In 1989, the Geneva Inn purchased and, without the mandatory Conditional Use Permit or a Public Hearing, demolished the Shore Club property. The only thing the inn kept was the septic/sewer system, including the 2″ drain tube to the park, and the agreement with the city. The Geneva Inn then proceeded to add a 36-room hotel with 36 bathroom sinks, 36 toilets, 36 showers, a large number of oversized whirlpool tubs, numerous male and female use bathrooms for their Conference Meeting rooms, plus 2 kitchens for the restaurant. If annexation is allowed, based on the flimsy excuse of being on city sewer, the Geneva Inn further claims it can add all the additional sewage from a proposed banquet hall and two residences to the system.

Propaganda can be defined as follows “if you make a claim big enough, and repeat it often enough, people will not only believe it, but will swear by it and you will come to believe it yourself.” Obviously, propaganda doesn’t have to be true or even rational, it just has to be consistent, and oft repeated, to become believed. Once believed, unfortunately, propaganda is virtually impossible to expose, especially if it has a grain of truth to it, and is supported by someone with power and prominence-like a city official. Last year the State Park built a $750,000 Shower Building for their overnight campers. The park never considered the cheap, second-rate, 2″ tube and pump system like the Geneva Inn has; instead they did it right and put in a genuine sewer system with regular sized sewer pipes hooked directly to the Lake Geneva city sewer. If corporate greed and exploitation are allowed to take over Lake Geneva, and the annexation and commercial rezoning of residential lakeshore property should pass, the Geneva Inn Corporation will become entitled to a real City Sewer System, with real sewer pipes, and city water, not only for them, but to service the Hummel property. They won’t pay a dime for any of that. You and I will.


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