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Lake Geneva News

Noodles & Company opening in Lake Geneva

October 20, 2016
Noodles & Company announced that it will open its new Lake Geneva restaurant on Monday, October 24. The restaurant will open at 10:30am and is located at 351 Peller Road.

Early voting and voting by mail catching on

October 20, 2016

More than 100 early ballots have been cast and about 300 requests for mail-in ballots have been processed so far in Lake Geneva, said City Clerk Sabrina Waswo.
Officially, Election Day is Nov. 8. But this year, municipal clerks around the state were allowed to set their own absentee voting dates starting Sept. 15.
Lake Geneva’s absentee and early voting started on Sept. 19, said Waswo.
Early voting here will end at 5 p.m. the Friday before the election, she said. (State law says early voting ends 5 p.m. or the close of business that Friday, whichever is later.)
“I like this better actually,” Waswo said of the expanded time for early voting and absentee ballots. “It gives us more time,” she said. In previous elections, early voting was limited to two weeks before the election.
“To have 200 people come in two weeks before the election is a crunch,” Waswo said.
During the April primaries, the city had 440 absentee and early votes cast, she said.
Those wishing to vote early can come to the city clerk’s office at city hall, 626 Geneva St. and vote in person. A photo ID is required to vote in Wisconsin.
Those voting early or by mail are not allowed to vote on Election Day.
Those voting early and in person vote at city hall, regardless of residency in the city.
As of Friday, 128 Lake Geneva electors voted early in person, Waswo said.
Registered voters may also request an absentee ballot by mail or email.

ID copy needed
Those mailing or emailing an application must provide a clear copy of an acceptable picture ID. If it is a drivers license, it must be within two years of expiration, Waswo said.
As of Friday afternoon, 235 absentee ballots had been mailed out to those who made their requests by mail.
Waswo said another 32 absentee ballots will be delivered to shut-ins at city nursing homes.
Ballot requests may also be emailed. Waswo said those ballot requests require careful tracking by the clerks. Most email requests come from overseas and military voters.
So far, the city clerk’s office has responded to five absentee ballot email requests, said Waswo.
However, absentee ballots are not emailed or received by email. Wisconsin does not accept emailed ballots.
Ballots returned by mail must be in an envelope signed by a witness. The witness’ full address must be on the envelope, Waswo said.
Absentee ballots must be received by the city clerk by closing time on election day, Nov. 8. Polls in Lake Geneva are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Waswo said.

ID requirements
ò A Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license with photo (or without photo if you have a religious exemption).
ò A Wisconsin DOT-issued ID card with photo (or without photo if you have a religious exemption).
ò Military ID card.
ò A US passport.
ò A certificate of naturalization issued on Nov. 8, 2014 or later.
ò An ID card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin.
ò An ID card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days from date issued).
ò Veteran’s ID card issued by the veteran’s health administration or the federal government.
ò A photo ID card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college, or technical college that contains the date the card was issued; the elector’s signature. The elector must also bring a separate document that proves enrollment, such as a tuition fee receipt, enrollment verification letter, or class schedule.
ò A citation or notice of intent to revoke or suspend a Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license that has a date of Sept. 9 or later.
ò Additionally, if you entered the DMV’s ID petition process (IDPP) for a photo ID or have a petition pending for a photo ID, the DMV must issue you a credential valid as a voting ID that you can use to vote instead of a photo ID.
Provisional ballot
If a voter has forgotten his or her picture ID, a provisional ballot may be issued.
In that case, the voter must return before 4 p.m. on Friday with picture ID to validate the provisional ballot and make it count as a ballot, Waswo said. Provisional ballots are time consuming, she said.
Usually, it’s just easier for the voter to go home and get his or her picture ID, Waswo said.
To vote, a person must be registered.
Those who have been a Lake Geneva resident for 10 consecutive days may register to vote.
Except for the Monday before the election, anyone who has been a resident for 10 or more consecutive days may register at any time before election day, or on election day.
A registrant must provide a proof of residence document that includes the registrant’s name and current home address.

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Carroll is firefighter of the month

October 20, 2016

For Pat Carroll, public service runs in the family.
A sister-in-law is a fire marshal in Bradenton, Florida, Carroll said. His late sister was a nurse, and a niece and daughter-in-law are also nurses.
His stepson, Ed Gritzner, is a lieutenant in the Lake Geneva Police Department and his brother-in-law is Fire Chief John Peters.
Carroll has been a firefighter for 37 years, starting in the town of Lyons, but spending his lion’s share of firefighting service time with Lake Geneva.
Carroll was spotlighted by Fire Chief John Peters in his monthly report to the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission on Oct. 6.
Carroll moved to Lake Geneva in 1984, the same year he joined the Lake Geneva department and married his wife, Cathy.
Now he can be found at the Lake Geneva main fire station on Sundays, working as a paid-on-premise firefighter-EMT, where his shift runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If there are no calls, he’s busy maintaining the equipment and doing yard work around the station.
Fire service is Carroll’s part-time gig. Since 1993, he’s worked full-time at the Great Lakes Naval Base, Chicago, where he is an electronics maintenance technician.
But his heart is still in firefighting.
Contacted at the fire station this past Sunday, Carroll said he joined the Lyons Fire Department at a time when it was more than just community service.
“When I started in Lyons, it was sort of a social club,” Carroll said.
The days of the social club fire department are long past, he added. With all the training and time demands now on volunteers, those who join are committed to making firefighting a career.
And that’s a good thing, Carroll said. But there were volunteers who joined the local departments for comraderie and discovered they actually loved firefighting, and got hooked. “And once you’re hooked, you’re hooked,” he said.
In his time with the department, Carroll has earned his EMR Intermediate certificate. He is now a high angle rescue technician and a confined space rescue technician.
In addition to his time on Sundays, Carroll is also on Friday night calls, he said.
While he can gear up and run into burning buildings if he has to, Carroll said his place now is as the engineer, running the rig and keeping an eye on the gauges.

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Recognizing firefighters' service, duty

October 20, 2016

Ed Zwiebel, your awards are awaiting you.
Zweibel, chief engineer with the Lake Geneva Fire Department, was in line for EMT of the year and for recognition of 40 years of service during the fire department’s awards ceremony on Oct. 13.
Where’s Ed, Fire Chief John Peters asked.
“He’s at a wedding in Georgia,” came a reply.
“That’s no excuse,” said another in the audience, as if it really wasn’t.
However, everyone else on the awards ceremony agenda did show up.
This was the first year for a special fire department awards ceremony. In the past, the department handed out its awards in February during the department’s Valentine’s Day dinner for firefighters, their wives, sweethearts and families.
Assistant Fire Chief Pat Heindl said the department decided it would be appropriate to break off the awards presentations and make it a separate ceremony held during Fire Prevention Week.
At the top of the awards, Rhonda Baumann, who has been on the department only since 2014, was named Firefighter of the Year.
According to notes from Capt. Mark Moller-Gunderson, Baumann is a firefighter and EMT. She had a 90 percent call attendance rate. She is also a member of a number of department committees, including the membership committee.
The membership committee has been key in attracting new members during a difficult time finding volunteers. The department has seen 25 new applicants since the beginning of the year, the department reported.
Peters called Baumann the embodiment of a model firefighter. “We believe her to be a strong candidate to consider for Firefighter of the Year award,” he said.
In awarding Zwiebel the EMT of the year, it was noted that he was one of the first licensed EMT Intermediates in the state. However, 2016 will be his last year as an EMT. Zwiebel decided not to renew his license for 2017, Peters said.
Called upon time and time again to go above and beyond normal assignments, Zwiebel always came through, the chief said.
Others to be recognized were:
ò Deputy Chief Dan Derrick for 45 years of service.
ò Peters for 25 years of service.
ò Firefighter Mike Herwald and Moller-Gunderson for 20 years.
ò Firefighter Derek McKaig for 15 years.
ò Firefighters Tyler Terhark and Jason Fischer for 10 years.
ò Firefighters Kevin Tietz and Randy Haase for five years of service.
Firefighter Alex Pernice was sworn in as the department’s newest member.

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Third graders learn basics of agriscience at Badger

October 20, 2016

Tilapia is a white meat fish most people meet on a bun.
But at Badger High School, the fish, fins, gills and all, are a part of the school’s aquaculture program.
Jakob Moon, a junior, was using a ceramic model to show the inner workings of tilapia to third-grade students from Central-Denison last week Friday.
Meanwhile, a rather chubby and docile tilapia lazed in a rather small aquarium, apparently either bemused or totally disinterested on what was going on the thin air beyond his fish bowl.
The students seemed as mesmerized by the fish as the fish seemed totally clueless.
Tilapia are the fish of choice for Badger’s aquaculture program, said Moon.
And, said Moon, the tilapia on display was the Badger aquaculture mascot. He was polling the students for a name.
So far, he said, it appeared it would be either Dory or Nemo. But one class voted on Patrick.
Aquaculture was one of six agriscience stations that third graders from elementary schools around the Badger High School district visited, learning a little more about the basics and business of farming.
The program is called Agriscience Day. Badger has been having annual Agriscience Days for the past 12 years or so, said Larry Plapp, Badger ag teacher.
“It’s a spinoff of an FFA program called Food for America,” he said.

‘Crash course’
All of the students get “a little crash course” in the various parts of agriscience, Plapp said.
This year, about 200 students from Central-Denison, Star Center, Woods, Traver and Randall elementary schools were expected to experience Agriscience Day.

Six stations were set up for the youngsters to experience: Aquaculture, soil science, greenhouse and hydroponics, commodities, food science and the animal tent.
Badger’s FFA students conduct or help with each of the six stations, Plapp said.
As docile and awe-inspiring that Dory, or Nemo, or Patrick was at aquaculture, the other stations included little incentives to hold the attention of the youngsters as they were introduced to each topic.
For example, in soil science, Jennifer Kry’s third graders created soil layers in sundae cups using pudding, Oreos, M&Ms, sprinkles and gummy worms. Olivia Fischer, a junior, also did a short dance for them that demonstrated the various underground layers.
And that included explaining that the Oreos in the cups are bedrock, the M&Ms are subsoil, pudding is topsoil and the sprinkles are gravel. The gummy worms are, well, worms.
So what do you do with a soil cup topped with pudding? Give some third graders spoons and they’ll show you.
The food science station focused on the humble taco, or in this case, a nacho dressed up as a taco with some ground beef, cheese, sour cream and salsa. But where did all this tasty stuff come from?
The students at the food science station, PawHser Shoe, Seneca Peterson, Yoshi Gasper, Zoe Bird, and sisters Taylor and Kayleigh Kannenberg, knew. Especially the cheese. Because Wisconsin is the nation’s number one producer of cheese.
Many of the Badger FFA students who were teaching the agriscience sections on Agriscience Day remembered their own experiences during Agriscience Day when they were third graders.

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Commission OKs tattoo ordinance change in Lake Geneva

October 20, 2016
At last, the Lake Geneva Plan Commission came up with a recommendation for allowing cosmetic tattooing in the city without map and zoning changes. On Monday, the plan commission held what at least one member hoped was the last public hearing on tattooing. "You guys pick something and I'll go along," said Alderman Doug Skates, who sits on the commission. "I'm totally done with this issue." Skates got his wish, when the commissioners decided to recommend that tattooing services be permitted in three downtown zoning districts with a conditional use permit. Conditional use permits require review by the plan commission and the Lake Geneva City Council. It will also remove tattooing from the classification as a sexually-oriented land use. That amendment will go to the city council for final approval. The alternative was one of three presented to the commissioners. A decision on a recommended zoning amendment was delayed last month when City Attorney Dan Draper and Mayor Alan Kupsik, who chairs the plan commission, noted that the agenda item listing the public hearing for that month, while legal, did not specifically indicate that the hearing was to discuss changing zoning for tattoo parlors and salons that do cosmetic tattooing. Issue raised in January Lake Geneva's tattoo ordinance was brought before the city council in January by Alderwoman Elizabeth Chappell who noted that there was at least one salon in the downtown that offers permanent makeup. Called cosmetic tattooing, it can be for strictly cosmetic purposes, or it can be used to cover over scars and skin deformities. Chappell asked the council to consider changing the city's existing tattoo ordinance. In the 1970s, the city approved an ordinance that allowed tattoo parlors only in areas zoned heavy industry. There are no areas in the city zoned for heavy industry. City Administrator Blaine Oborn has said that in the 1970s, the city council considered tattooing a sexually-oriented practice and limited it. Oborn pointed out that tattoo parlors were not prohibited in the city, but to open one, an owner would have to go through a plan map amendment and rezoning process that would be arduous without a guarantee of success. Grandfathered The two tattoo parlors in the city were grandfathered in when the current ordinance was approved in the 1970s, he said. Since then, the plan commission has wrestled with the issue, looking over several alternative proposals, including one that would allow tattooing in downtown business zones, but only if done above the clavicle. Commissioner Tom Hartz eventually proposed the current amendment that is now going to the city council. Hartz said he was "deeply apologetic" about complicating matters with a fifth alternative amendment. But he said he did it in consideration of Zoning Administrator Ken Robers' duty to enforce the ordinance. "I could see Mr. Robers walking into an establishment and saying, 'wait a minute, I gotta see below the clavicle because I think something is going on here,'" Hartz said, just partly tongue-in-cheek. Chappell, who attended the plan commission and spoke during the public hearing, pointed out that under state administrative code, anyone wanting to do tattooing in the city would be required to have a proper certification and license from the state. City Planner Michael Slavney of Vandewalle & Associates, Madison, said the recommended amendment will remove the stigma attached to tattooing and it gives the city a chance to review each application for a tattoo parlor or cosmetic tattoo salon. Skates, Kupsik, Robers and commissioners Hartz, Ann Esarco and Tyler Frederick voted to recommend the amendment. Commissioner Sarah Hill abstained. Commissioner John Gibbs was absent....subscribers>>

Police chief lists city's 5 biggest incidents

October 20, 2016

A beating at a Lake Geneva restaurant, a boy found with drugs at Badger High School and a man who thought he was running from a scene of domestic abuse and ran into a load of trouble instead were part of Police Chief Michael Rasmussen’s top five for the month of September.
Rasmussen presented the list to the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission on Thursday, Oct. 6.
On Sept. 10 at 12:55 a.m., officers went to the 100 block of Broad Street on a trespassing complaint.
Officers tried to take a 45-year-old man into custody but he resisted and kicked an officer. The Lake Geneva man was taken into custody. Charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing, resisting an officer and battery to a police officer were referred to the Walworth County District Attorney’s office.
Police went to the 500 block of Spring Street at 8:41 p.m. Sept. 13 for a court order violation.
A 34-year-old Lake Geneva man was arrested and charges of bail jumping, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon were referred to the Walworth County District Attorney’s office.
The school resource officer at Badger High School referred charges to Walworth County Juvenile intake at 2:28 p.m. Sept. 16 on a 14-year-old boy accused of possession of marijuana, possession of LSD, possession of controlled substances near a school and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At 1:18 a.m. Sept. 17, police were called to the 800 block of Wrigley Drive, Popeye’s restaurant, for a report of an employee being choked by the manager and co-owner of the restaurant.
The owner was not on the scene when police arrived and the victim was treated for injuries.
The owner turned himself in the following Monday and he as charged with battery, disorderly conduct and strangulation.
Police were called to the 400 block of Water Street at 12:30 a.m. Sept. 20 on the report of domestic abuse.
When officers arrived, the suspect was driving away.
He didn’t get far.
A traffic stop was made at Water and Sage streets where the driver, a 46-year-old Lake Geneva man, was cited for driving without a valid license and driving under the influence, fifth offence.
He was confined in Walworth County Jail on those charges as well as subsequent charges of disorderly conduct.

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Clue room features haunted railroad

October 20, 2016

The Lake Geneva Clue Room’s railroad room swapped its bandit theme for something a bit more festive for October.
Normally frameworked as an employee gone rougue during a train trip to St. Louis, the railroad room transformed into a vampire-themed train ride, where a vampire is suspected to have come on board to move his casket into the United States. Participants are tasked with correctly identifying the train and passenger name needed to find the vampire before an hour’s time.
This is done through a clue room, or escape room. Kathleen Speaker from the Lake Geneva Clue Room said that as you enter a room, things are locked with numbers, letters or key locks. You are asked to check the room to help unlock these clues, which in turn leads to more clues.
“The ultimate goal is to find the last clue and escape out of the room,” Speaker said.
She said changing the theme and decor for the railroad room for Halloween was a fun way to bring a bit of the Halloween spirit into their business.
“We redecorated it with Halloween decor and changed the theme from finding an employee on a train who is trying to sabotage the train to finding the vampire that is traveling and trying to come into our country,” she said.
Though they did change out décor, Speaker said the changes were more than just aesthetic.
“We did change a couple of combinations, so for instance the combos on the suitcase are different,” she said.
Though the theme is “haunted” it is far from what one would experience at a haunted house, Speaker said.
“You are still solving clues so there will be scary music and creepy things,” she said. “But it is not so terrifying that people who don’t like haunted houses wouldn’t be fine in it.”
All of the clue rooms are for a wide age-range and ability. Speaker said clue rooms can be for anyone.
“The best part of the escape rooms, especially the ones we have, is that they can be for any age,” she said. “An 8-year-old would need people to help them, but we have had grandparents, grandkids and high school students all complete them.”

Mary Currier, who participated in one of the clue rooms with some friends, said that her experience was not what she expected.
“In my mind, I thought we would be locked in someplace and I didn’t think we would like that at all,” she said. “But it wasn’t like that at all. It was totally engaging.”
She said ideas bounced off of different members of her friend group, making the clues solvable for everyone, regardless of ability.
“I don’t think anyone can be better than another person, either,” she said. “Someone would say something that sparked someone else’s thoughts. Some clues were obvious so someone who was over thinking it wouldn’t get it.”
She said because her group was so focused on figuring out the clues, time-checking on the clock wasn’t important.
“You are so involved and engrossed that you don’t think about that (how many clues) and so the clock didn’t matter,” she said.
Her group made it out of the clue room with three minutes to spare. Currier said she would recommend going to a clue room because of the teamwork it instills.
“You had to work with the group,” she said. “Because if one person did it, they probably wouldn’t get all of the clues.”

Recent Lake Geneva News
Oktoberfest serving doughnuts and smiles in Lake Geneva
October 13, 2016
Apple cider doughnuts were a highlight of this year’s Oktoberfest, with crowds of people ready to get a bite of this favorite treat.The annual Lake Geneva’s Oktoberfest was this Saturday and Sunday, drawing out hundreds of hungry people willing to travel to get a taste of a favorite German celebration.One such tradition was the Geneva-famous apple cider doughnuts. Cooked in a deep fryer and layered with cinnamon and sugar, these tasty treats brought people to the event in flocks.Chicago residents Laura and Jim Stamison were one of the first in line Saturday morning for fresh apple cider doughnuts.“They are tasty,” Laura said. “We come every year, for about five years, and the apple cider doughnuts are one of the highlights!”Jim said they were one of his favorite traditions of Oktoberfest.“We come for the doughnuts, we come for the whole experience,” he said. “The lines can get huge, so we like to come early.”Fresh, hot and deliciousJennifer Vavroch and Tom Nocholson both were at the forefront of the Oktoberfest craze, helping make the doughnuts bright and early in the morning. Vavroch said she knows the tradition is quite popular, and the group of Cub Scout Pack 239 had been selling these sugary treats for at least five years.“I don’t know if they are a German tradition or not, really, but I know the residents and tourists love them, so we keep making them,” Vavroch said.Nocholson was manning the operation, using a circular batter dispenser attached to the deep fryer.“They are made of apples, applesauce,” he said. “We take this device (the circular batter dispenser) and we pour it into the fryer.”He said they have gotten smarter over the years, perfecting their technique.“We always are adding to make the process smoother,” he said. “We didn’t always have this arm, which connects the dispenser to the fryer. Now we learned and it has helped.”And Vavroch and Nocholson had two helping hands for support.Jack and Patrick Hiffman, brothers, were learning the tricks of the trade from Vavroch and Nocholson. While the children didn’t operate the deep fryer for safety, they both used tongs to transport the doughnuts from cooling off into the cinnamon mixture before selling them.“We like doing this!” Jack said with a smile. “They are really yummy. Like really, really good.”Brother Patrick agreed, and said that he enjoys working too, in part because they get to have a complimentary doughnut every hour they work.“I like that part a lot,” Patrick said. And the young children certainly did their part, as lines of people gathered around to experience an apple cider doughnut for the first time or satisfy their yearly craving.
Brandt: A keeper of Geneva Lake history
October 13, 2016
It wasn’t a job she wanted, but she got on a bus from her home in Wabeno for a four-hour journey and traveled the 240 miles south to Lake Geneva for an interview.And then Helen Brandt saw where she might work.“I saw this incredibly beautiful library on the lake,” she said.There weren’t many librarian positions available in the late 1960s, Brandt said.Charmed by the library on the lake and pursued by the chief librarian at the time, Ethyl Brann, Brandt, holder of a library science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, relented and took the library position. She held it for 16 years.And when she left the library, she decided to stay in Lake Geneva.During her time here, Brandt got to know Lake Geneva history.Janet Ewing, museum director, called Brandt “the go-to person” for any questions about Lake Geneva history.“She has a wealth of knowledge of the Lake Geneva area,” said Ewing. “And, she’s a very kind and generous person, as well.”Not only does Brandt know local history, she has hands-on experience with it, too. For the past 33 years, Brandt has been a volunteer with the Geneva Lake Museum during its transformation from a crowded series of exhibits in a small residential house to an organized historical museum in the former city public works buildings at 225 Mill St.As curator at the museum, Brandt catalogues and organizes all of the items donated to the museum for exhibit or storage.Most recently, Brandt gave a Tuesday @ 2 presentation of a walk around Geneva Lake that spans not only the 22 miles around the lake, but also the years of 1870 to 1933, which one might call the heyday of mansion construction around the lake.The presentation was actually put together years ago when Brandt worked at the Lake Geneva library. She said she originally gave the presentation at the library using an old-fashioned projector.Times have changed. Brandt said she was prepared to use the old projector for her museum presentation, but Janet Ewing the museum director, convinced her to use a more modern PowerPoint presentation.Brandt said she’s watched as audiences have grown for the weekly Tuesday programs, starting with 10 to 15 at the first presentations to up to 150 now.Brandt said she’s also impressed with the volunteers at the museum, who are hard working and knowledgeable. She said Betty Less, 92, also a long-time museum volunteer, had a particular knowledge of fabrics and clothing that is hard to find anywhere.Less retired and left the museum in July. Brandt said she didn’t know where the museum could find anyone to replace Less and her knowledge of fabrics and clothing.The visiting public has also been helpful. Some of the visitors know more about the past than the museum staff and are eager to share their knowledge, she said.And Brandt said she also learned that while growing up in Wabeno, she had connections to Lake Geneva she never suspected.Wabeno is a town in Forest County the unincorporated community within the town of Wabeno is near the Potawatomie reservation. Brandt said she grew up living next door to a Potawatomi family.She also has a lifelong love of Schwinn bikes which began when her parents gave her and her brother a Christmas surprise of Schwinn bikes.Her first Schwinn was a Bluebird, she said.It wasn’t until after she accepted the job as a Lake Geneva librarian, that she learned that the Potawatomi were the last native Americans to occupy the Lake Geneva area before the settlers arrived.And she also learned that the Schwinn family was a prominent one in the area, as well.She still rides a Schwinn to work. It’s a more recent model, a 1995. Brandt said she’s never owned a car, although, until recently, she did have a drivers license.She just didn’t like driving, she said.
Workers won’t pay health care premiums
October 13, 2016

LAKE GENEVA — City employees will not have to contribute toward their premiums, a proposal that has put aldermen and workers at odds.
All city council members, with the exception of Second District Alderman Ted Horne, approved this in a motion on Monday made by Third District Alderman Bob Kordus.
The new city employee health care plan, called HealthCheck360, will score employees on their health. Any employee who scores too low will either go through a 12-week monitoring program or pay a monthly fee of $130.
When talk of a new health insurance program was first brought up, the idea sparked anger from city employees because under the city’s self-funded insurance program, they did not have to directly pay a premium.
In an effort to work with the employees, the council gave workers a chance to try to lower the costs in the current plan if they wanted to keep it.
According to Mayor Alan Kupsik, this would require the employees to come up with a 20 percent reduction in costs.
However, the employees were only able to make an 18 percent reduction.
City employees then asked the council for another year to try to get their costs down.

Kordus made a motion to leave the employee health care contribution sharing at zero and to use a six month rolling total claims average with a target of $110,000 per month. Anything above that expenditure next year will be multiplied out and used as the baseline for employee contributions for the following year.
But this motion was accompanied by a word of warning from Kordus.
He said that he was in favor of an incremental payment method for employees, especially since people not employed by the city do not get to chose their premiums.
He also warned employees of what this could be setting them up for.
“My fear is, we will do this and the costs could go up next year,” Kordus said. “If costs go up, instead of paying three percent next year they could be paying 12 percent off the bat. We’re doing what you ask, but the warning is be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.”
This isn’t the only problem the council saw with holding off on employee contributions, though.
Horne expressed concern over the permanence of the motion.
“My fear is, we’re talking about something that you can’t bind future councils to,” he said.
Horne said that he worried that since this is not binding, city employees could return to the council next year and again ask for more time if they don’t reduce their costs enough.
And, Horne said, the tax payers would have to pay the brunt of the costs if this falls through.
Ultimately, the motion carried, with all but Horne voting in favor of it.
Horne said he would rather see small, incremental premiums be put in place rather than “kicking the can down the road” and giving the employees more time to get their costs down.
The six month rolling average of monthly claims was added to the amendment after Peg Pollitt, the city’s Comptroller, said that this was what the city’s insurance broker recommended.
The sixth month rolling average of monthly claims would replace a plan to pay costs on a per claim basis.
This is because a per claim basis will create more monthly spikes in the costs, said Pollitt. This, in turn, could discourage employees from going to the doctor if they need to because they might be worried about these monthly spikes.
A sixth month rolling average of monthly claims would even out these potential spikes and would ultimately be more fair, Pollitt continued.
The motion by Kordus was soon followed by a proposed amendment.
First District Alderman Chris Gelting proposed an increase for non-wellness charges to $200 monthly for non-wellness program one and to $400 monthly for non-wellness program 2.
This was seconded by Third District Alderman Richard Hedlund.
“To get insurance costs down, we need employees to be healthy,” Hedlund said. “I think if they decide not to do it (become healthy) they should have to pay.”

Flat Iron Park may house two wind sculptures
October 13, 2016
Two wind-powered sculptures could find their way on either side of the Brunk Performance Pavilion in Flat Iron Park.Anne Peterson wants to donate the two sculptures to honor her parents, Ulla and the late Bertil Brunk.The Lake Geneva Board of Park Commissioners has endorsed the project and the Lake Geneva City Council will have to approve it. The commissioners reviewed the project Oct. 5.Peterson did not appear at the meeting, but she did send an emailed memorandum about the sculptures and computer generated images showing how they would look in relation to the pavilion.The sculptures will come from the Leopold Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri.The sculptures are by Lyman Whitaker of Utah. Since the 1980s, Whitaker has focused on creating whirligig-type sculptures that catch the wind and spin.Park Board member Barbara Phillips said she’s seen the sculptures. She said they spin silently and they are also high enough that adults and children would have a hard time reaching up and touching them.Alderman Doug Skates, who sits on the commission, asked whether the sculptures might be a distraction during a concert.Neal Waswo, street superintendent, didn’t think so. The sculptures are set off to the side and shouldn’t create any problems, he said.According to Peterson’s memo, installation involves digging a hole 2 feet deep and 10 inches across, filling it with concrete and setting up the sculptures.Maintenance involves applying grease to each sculpture shaft annually. The sculptures spin on sealed bearings.The bearings, which are at the top of the sculptures, need to be replaced once every 15 years.Each sculpture comes with a three-year warranty.The sculptures measure roughly 14 feet tall and 4 feet wide.The park board had approved the concept of sculptures in Flat Iron earlier on the condition that Peterson provide the board with an idea of what the sculptures look like and what they would look like at the pavilion site. In June 2015, the Bertil & Ulla Brunk Performance Pavilion was dedicated in Flat Iron Park.No city tax money went to the $450,000 open-air pavilion, but many taxpayers donated anywhere from $100 to $100,000 to help defray the cost of putting up the three-level structure.Bertil and Ulla Brunk, founders of Brunk Industries, Lake Geneva, led the local fundraising by donating $150,000. ...subscribers>>
City budget: Groups lobbying council for funds
October 13, 2016
It’s budget time, and that means city officials will sweep the corners of last year’s budget looking for left over coins and bills.On Oct. 6, the Lake Geneva City Council’s Finance and License Committee reviewed some of the lesser-known areas of the budget. It was one in a series of meetings and hearing the committee has to review budget requests. The committee is chaired by Alderman Bob Kordus.The Geneva Lake Level Corp.The lake level corporation, which owns the Geneva Lake dam, is requesting $4,200 this year, down from $5,000 last year.Larry Larkin, a member of the board of directors, said the funds are needed as the corporation pays off the legal and engineering bills it accrued during a recent dispute. In 2011, with lake levels at a record low, the DNR demanded that the lake level corporation release more water into the spillway to relive stress on fish living in the White River, Larkin said. The dam corporation fought the DNR and hired attorneys and engineering consultants to support its contention that lowering lake levels further would cause property damage to those living along the lake.The situation wasn’t completely settled until state Reps. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, and Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, introduced legislation into the state budget that sets Geneva Lake into a separate cetagory that is exempt from lake level regulations.Larkin predicted that the request next year will be half of this year’s request.
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