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Board researches feasibility of fire department substation

Geneva, Linn Township
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By Steve Targo

Lake Geneva Regional News

The Geneva Township Board announced Monday it is researching the feasibility of establishing a volunteer fire department substation.

During his Plan Commission report, Board Chairman Joe Kopecky solicited support from township residents interested in becoming volunteer fire and rescue department members.

"At this point, we're considering the realities of a volunteer contingency," Kopecky said. "It makes sense."

Currently, Geneva Township's fire protection and rescue services are provided by fire departments from Lake Geneva, Elkhorn and Williams Bay. Kopecky said Geneva Township owns two trucks currently stored at the Lake Geneva Fire and Rescue Department.

The board is looking into whether it would be able to store one or both of the trucks at a township substation, if one is built, Kopecky said.

No final action was taken Monday. Kopecky said residents interested in becoming volunteers should contact Clerk-Treasurer Debra Kirch at the Geneva Town Hall, N3496 Como Road.

Linn request inspired research

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A request from the Linn Township Board for the placement of a fire department sub-station and a salt shed prompted the decision, Kopecky said.

Linn Board Chairman Dave Bollweg said he is unsure whether the Linn board will continue to pursue the request, Kopecky said. The Linn board considered purchasing land near Anthony's Steak House, Highway 50, as a site for the proposal, Kopecky said.

In February, Bollweg said property owner Jason Eck offered to sell the Linn board a different lot at a lower price after a joint land purchase deal with the Woods School District died. The lot did not suit the construction needs of the proposal, Bollweg said.

The joint purchase deal was for more than 2.4 acres of land at the corner of Highway 50 and Snake Road. The Linn board and the school district in January intended to buy the land for $100,000. School district budget concerns prompted the end of the deal.

Woods School Administrator Craig Cook said April 10 the district continues to work on an easement with Eck in order to correct a problem with arsenic content in the school's water supply.

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Kopecky said the Plan Commission tabled action on the Linn proposal, which has been presented the last three months by representative Sturg Taggart. The commission also tabled action on the proposal in January and February.

The Geneva board was not happy with the site by Anthony's, Kopecky said. The Linn Township Board has not shown the Geneva board why it needs to build a substation in Geneva Township, Kopecky said.

Bollweg said in February the board wants to build a station "smaller than the one we have now" on Hillside Road in its "north shore" region in order to better serve those residents.

Kopecky said there have been many discussions between the Geneva and Linn boards about the request.

The community should receive "at least some benefit" if Linn Township builds a fire station in Geneva Township, Kopecky said.

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Board awaits feedback

The Geneva board is talking to the Delavan Fire and Rescue Department about a potential fire protection agreement. Kopecky said the Delavan department is closer to major Geneva Township locations than the Elkhorn Fire and Rescue Department.

The distance from the Delavan department to the Lake Como subdivision is about 1.5 miles, Kopecky said. The distance from the Delavan department to the entrance of Geneva National is about 3.5 miles, he said.

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