The City of Lake Geneva begins discussions on the use of the American Rescue Plan Funds and the possible projects that might qualify.
The American Rescue Plan Act allocated funds to local governments to invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. The program was created to help local governments respond to the pandemic and its negative impact on the local economy.
The city has received its first payment of the $424,000, coming in from the federal government. The city needs to start spending the money no later than 2024 and must complete the funded projects by end of 2026. Each department head within the city provided the administrator with a ‘wish list’ for projects that they would like to see done. Some projects could possibly qualify under loss of income but that is definitely a grey area. If the city went with questionable projects, it could possibly have to pay that money back when audited four or five years down the road. After sorting through all the requests, there was one project that fit the exact intentions of the funds, so the Lake View Drive Improvement Project was brought forward to the finance, licensing, and regulation committee.
The intention of the project is to replace the water, sewer and do storm improvements along Lake View Drive where the need is the greatest. There are 1300-1500 linear feet of water main and hydrants needing replacement. This includes lead service lines, sewers, manholes, utility improvements, and some patches of the roadway. The revised mandated removal of lead pipes was effective this year and funding could become available later this year or early next year, but the city feels this area should get done sooner rather than later because the infrastructure is one hundred years old, and the future funding could be used on the other areas since lead pipes can be found all throughout the city. The biggest problem with the old infrastructure is the water flow through the four-inch pipes that need to be brought up to code. This is a big project, and many details need to be worked out. The Finance, Licensing, and Regulation Committee did approve to further investigate, study and research a plan to sort through what needs to be done to help get this project get underway. More details will come at September’s Finance, Licensing, and Regulation committee meeting.
Balloons and Tunes Festival August of 2022.
The Lake Geneva Balloon Company is planning to celebrate its 20th Anniversary in a big way. The plan is to host twenty-plus balloons for a weekend of ballooning and music. Balloon flights would go up on Saturday and Sunday mornings and balloon glows on Friday and Saturday night. The Lake Geneva Balloon Company owners believe the event could draw as many as 15,000 visitors (or more) to the area. This could possibly be considered by the Tourism Commission for a grant, as that amount of people is sure to put heads in beds.
The Lake Geneva Balloon Company is starting the planning early as it is such a large-scale event (balloon launches and recovery take up enormous geographic space). Volunteers, sponsors, planning committees, and commercial and food vendors are needed. This event is in the idea phase and any ideas and input are welcomed. A location is needed for the event, as well as local charities to support and raise money. A kick-off meeting will be scheduled in the next few weeks so if you are interested in helping and becoming a part of the celebration call: 262-206-3975.