Park and Ride in Lake Geneva from the seedy, lowly part of town to the upscale business district and then back.

Item number 10 on the Lake Geneva City Council Agenda on Monday night: Discussion/Recommendation Park ‘n Ride on Edwards Blvd.
City Administrator Utah Blaine Oborn explained, because of highway access, the city may be an optimal place for a full time Park ’n Ride parking operation. Oborn stated that the parking lot could be multi-use for commuters going out of the city, and visitors coming into downtown. Sylvia (parking goddess) Mullally commented it could also be used as a permanent location for the downtown shuttle on event weekends. Utah and the goddess thought that the Edwards Blvd. area, near the Home Depot Parking lot, would be usable as it is city owned, city maintained, and would give access to the lot. Parking Commissioner Ann Esarco felt the Edwards Blvd. area might not be suitable because of speedy traffic, and Lake Geneva’s “I am not running for mayor yet” Mayor Connor concurred. Oborn stated the city could write a letter to WisDOT for their consideration, and they would ultimately do a traffic study and give their recommendations. Commissioners Krause and Fleming motioned to recommend that counsel allow Oborn to write a letter of consideration to WisDOT for a Park ‘n Ride. The motion carried on a 3 to 0 vote.

 Mr. Pollard’s Symphony Bay ad in the Nov. 9th Chicago Tribune:

This ad has everyone wondering what the motivation was for Mr. Pollard running the ad message “resort living with lake access and boat slips,” and why he would run the ad at this time in the city’s approval process for both Symphony Bay and Lake Hillmoor?  It is also interesting that there’s really no bay at Symphony Bay, and no lake at Hillmoor, but there is “phony” in part of the first word, and of course the back part of Hillmoor is moor. The new word “Phonymoor” combines both projects, like inseparable twins only Dr. Ben Carson can save. While smart businesses do scientifically based studies to evaluate a potential market, the less sophisticated will simply run a couple ads to see the response and gauge the market.

Although Mr. Pollard’s been promoting, developing, and building home development projects around the lake for over 20 years, he’s never resorted to using his marina as a sales tactic to include lake access and boat slips in promoting his developments. So is that what he’s evaluating? Or is he revealing to the buying public the true identity of Symphony Bay as an “off the lake resort community” with “on the lake amenities,” and thereby switching from the 55 and older community concept he used as a pretense to get approvals from the planning commission and city council?

  • Might he be suggesting that by offering lake amenities he is actually beginning to get involved in the In/Out Boat Service business at his marina in Buttons Bay?
  • Would this then be similar to the Gage Marine In/Out marina business located on the lake’s north shore in Williams Bay?
  • Or is Mr. Pollard trying to exploit the lake access and boat slip idea as a competitive advantage over the fake lake concept at the proposed Lake Hillmoor Development, as both the Mr. Pollard and the Mr. Ford groups are now vying for the same weekend vacation/second home get-a-way market?

City Council Vote on Hillmoor Fake Lake Development
Regardless, Mr. Pollard obviously sees the proposed fake lake development as real competition, and is playing the one-upmanship game by offering what the fake lake cannot, real lake amenities, on the real Geneva Lake. Undoubtedly he is hoping Mr. Ford will then give up and move on. Maybe the planning commission and city council will understand that both developments cannot be successful, so they then will be forced to better scrutinize the absurdity of a retention pond being called, and used, as a lake. Competition is usually something good and positive, but not in the developments being proposed by Mr. Ford and Mr. Pollard. Of course, if Mr. Pollard were to fail, there wouldn’t be any significant negative consequences for the city. But when Mr. Ford’s fake lake fails, and it will fail either now or sometime in the future because it depends on a constant supply of fresh water from the city well to flush the contaminated storm water into the city sewer system or into the White River, then that failure will have catastrophic consequences for the city. It will ruin the jewel that is Hillmoor by digging a meteor sized crater in the middle of what could be a beautiful park. Homes built around it would very likely sink into the unstable ground, created by digging out the pond over time (after Pollard is long gone).

This is what is being reported as happening to the homes around the man-made lake called Doubletree Estates in Winfield, Indiana that Ford’s engineers have been trying to fix since 1994 (go online for more there). The question isn’t will Lake Hillmoor fail, but, if built, when will it fail? Hopefully, once the map change amendment is defeated (with respect to the Hillmoor project) and dropped by the city council, Mr. Pollard will also see fit to drop his unpublished threat of an In/Out Boat Service business on Geneva Lake.

From North West Indiana Times December 14, 2014 Town Attorney David Austgen said the developers don’t owe the town any money but added, “Some of the subdivision got built with reliance on some of these things happening.” Failure to put in the utilities and the paving means the responsibility for those has fallen back on the town. The town was able to use money from the required performance bond posted by the developers to put the final coat of asphalt on two sections of Doubletree, but roads in the gated section of the development that also need the final coat are the responsibility of the homeowners association. Winfield Clerk-Treasurer Rick Anderson said the town spent $95,093 on the paving last year, and this year spent $56,070 to clean out the catch basins. It still has over $80,000 from the bond that it plans to use in the spring to properly seal the pipes leading to the catch basins to prevent infiltration of sand and dirt.

Interesting article about man-made subdivision lakes in the Milwaukee-Wisconsion Sentinel Journal: June 18, 2007

Our ‘Grandest’ Place of the Week

Board and Brush Lake Geneva

Board and Brush. They drink beer and wine there and then they go to work on art projects together. The people who go into that place do painting, wood burning, and crafts of all sorts. It’s a lot of fun, and the more they drink the better their art gets. Or so they say. Get a hold of them at www.boardandbrush.com/lakegeneva or 262-409-1639.


The Grandest Person in Our Place

Grand Person Martha Nolan

Martha Nolan, formerly dedicated manager of the Sign of the Unicorn on Center
Street in downtown Lake Geneva moves over to Nancy Porter’s terrific antique
shop in Williams bay. Nancy Porter says Martha is “the bomb,” and after meeting
her Nancy Porter, as usual, is spot on.


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