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Council OKs $2.5 million in capital spending



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April 29, 2014 | 03:21 PM
Lake Geneva will borrow about $2.5 million to be spent on capital improvements over the next two years.

The Lake Geneva City Council unanimously approved the spending plan at its regular meeting on Monday.

According to a memo from City Administrator Dennis Jordan, the city staff will now look at three possible means of funding it.

The city will send requests for proposals to bond consultants and will also send RFPs to local banks. The city will also contact the Wisconsin Trust Fund.

Once the proposals are returned to the city, staff will review them and recommend the best proposal to the city council.

The city council discussed the city’s capital improvement needs at two workshops and a committee of the whole meeting.

More than $1 million of the capital projects money will be spent on street resurfacing.

But funds will also be allocated for improvements to the city’s main fire station and safety upgrades, primarily bullet-proof glass, within city hall.

The fund will also pay for a new city hall telephone system. At one of the capital projects workshops, Jordan told the council members that although the current system is functional, the manufacturer no longer provides support. If repairs are needed, the city has to call the person who installed the system — who is now retired.

The police department will get a fingerprint reader and an automated license plate recognition system.

According to the approved capital improvements budget, most of the capital improvements funds, about $2.1 million, will go to the city’s department of public works.

Of that, the lion’s share, $1,185,000, will go to street resurfacing.

Another $45,000 will go to alley rehabilitation, $75,000 to curb and gutter repairs, and $90,000 for crack-filling on city streets.

Grinding down high spots on sidewalks to reduce tripping hazards will take $30,000.

The Lake Geneva main fire station, 730 Marshall St., was built in the 1970s and needs some major renovations.

All told, the fire department will receive about $162,000 in building improvements and equipment.

The city set aside $90,000 for roof replacement and another $10,000 to replace flashing and tuck-pointing at the fire station. Repair to the approach at the back of the apparatus bay will cost about $5,000.

The budget also calls for $30,000 for new turnout gear and fire hoses. Computer upgrades and three new mobile terminals for fire vehicles and fire inspectors will cost about $27,800.

The police department’s capital improvements budget comes to about $97,000.

Among the items in the budget are a fingerprint reader for $23,800, which will give police immediate information on fingerprinted subjects’ criminal histories. Police Chief Michael Rasmussen told council members at a recent workshop that now the police have to mail copies of fingerprints to Madison to get background information on individuals.

The police will also purchase a license plate recognition system for $20,110. The system consists of multiple cameras mounted on a police car that record license plate numbers from parked cars. The system can notify police if a car was stolen or involved in a crime, Rasmussen said.

The police will also spend $6,000 for ballistic glass for the window at the lobby window to the communications center.

At city hall, $68,000 will be set aside for a new telephone system, which would include the fire department, library and public works.

Public windows at building inspection, the front counter and for the city clerk will be replaced with bullet-proof glass and the counters will be reinforced.

New computers with updated Windows software and a new copier, scan and fax machine will cost about $25,500.

All told, the approved capital improvements budget totals $2,498,670. The city will borrow $2,499,000.

In other business, departing city employees and officials were recognized and honored by the city council.

• Fire Inspector Lt. Larry Covi has retired after 25 years of service. He and his wife are moving to Arizona to be with family.

• Deputy Clerk Artis Roenspies is leaving after 16 years of service to the city. Roenspies said she and her husband plan to do some traveling. The deputy clerk position was folded into the city’s new deputy clerk/treasurer position.

• Former City Treasurer Teresa M. Klein was also recognized by the council. She is the last elected city treasurer, and served 2 two-year terms in that office. Klein did not apply for the deputy clerk/treasurer position, but she will still work for the city part time. “I hope I made paying taxes a little less taxing,” Klein told the council.

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