Vehicles on Ice. During this winter, two snowmobiles went into Geneva Lake at the loss of a life. Sixteen cars broke through the ice during Lake Geneva’s Winterfest Snow Sculpture Event. These tragic events, like many tragic events, force people to consider what action should be taken to prevent another tragedy.
However, the City of Lake Geneva appears to be unwilling to initiate any actions to prevent a reoccurrence. City leaders would rather hide behind the fact that Geneva Lake is navigable water of the state and all user groups have the right to the water, so there is nothing that they can do, other than try working with the legislation that enables municipalities around the lake to pass and regulate certain lake use issues. It is unfortunate, but in government, safety issues many times fall under a “cemetery legislation” kind of category. This means that a safety issue may be ignored until that issue has caused enough people to be buried in the cemetery, then the government “may” consider taking action on that particular safety issue.
Since, the City of Lake Geneva is not responding to this safety issue and several citizens are not willing to let the safety issue go unresolved, a letter was sent to Ted Peters, Executive Director of the Geneva Lake Environmental Agency (GLEA), Peters responded to the letter (printed in last week’s GSR) and added “Vehicles on Ice” to the meeting’s agenda. The discussion at that meeting included several other safety issues on the lake’s ice, and it was determined that the ice safety issue would be best handled by the Geneva Lake Use Committee (GLUC).
The GLUC is made up of all the governmental jurisdiction surrounding Geneva Lake, including jurisdiction over persons, boats and other objects, in and under the water and ice on Geneva Lake. In the next couple of weeks information regarding the Geneva Lake’s ice history, ice patterns and ice trends is to be assembled for presentation to the GLUC, and distributed to all represented governmental bodies. The total winter safety issue needs to be reviewed. Not just the two aforementioned issues, but other factors that contribute to winter safety issues such as alerting people to natural and artificial water circulation which can create dangerous cracks, weak areas and open water. (Note: The City of Lake Geneva’s lack of concern was evident by the absence of their alderman and by the failure of Mayor Connors to appoint a citizen representative to the GLEA. That position is still vacant).
Traffic Safety. The lake is not the only safety issue in the City of Lake Geneva. There are two hazardous intersections on Edwards Blvd. One is at E. Townline Rd, and the other is at N. Bloomfield Road, crossing the multi-lane Edwards Blvd at either intersection is potentially dangerous. Both are waiting for “cemetery legislation”, but since they have not yet met the minimum fatality requirement, neither the state nor the city will take any actions. These two intersections come up because the estimated 1,000 extra people crossing those intersections to access the proposed Symphony Bay Development will all enter and exit the development via one or both of those intersections. This issue was brought up during the public hearing by a resident who lives in that area, but it was discarded as not a concern.
Hillmoor Study. The idea that some sort of preliminary study should be conducted in order to figure out what might be done with Hillmoor was sent back to the cloak room for cloaking. No fifteen grand for that idea, at least not until the people who are supposed to be hired to do the study can tell the muddled city council of Lake Geneva what the study is likely to conclude. The logic of the move escaped everyone. Nobody complained about two hundred and eighty-five grand for crab trees.
But fifteen grand for a needed study to maybe do something good?