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Mirbeau case takes hit with dismissals

November 04, 2010
Lake Geneva Mayor Jim Connors is among those who no longer are defendants in the case between Mirbeau of Geneva Lake and the city of Lake Geneva. On July 1, Mirbeau filed its second amended complaint and added Connors, Lower Density Development, Thomas Muenster and Richard Malmin as parties to the action in the $29 million lawsuit against the city. Mirbeau is suing the city following the failure of their combined development with Geneva Ridge Joint Venture on the 718 acres on the city's south side. The plan included an inn, winery and homes. However, last week, U.S. District Court Judge J.P. Stadtmueller ordered the dismissal of the plaintiff's claims against Connors, Malmin, Muenster and LDD. In his 38-page order, Stadtmueller cited several reasons for the dismissal, including deficiencies in the complaint from Mirbeau and exceeding the statute of limitations on one of the claims.

City balances budget without parking meter rate increase

November 04, 2010
For the second year in a row, city property owners will see the same tax rate when their bills arrive in the mail late next month. City Council members unanimously approved publishing its 2011 balanced budget and notice for the Nov. 22 public hearing with a $5.51 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value. The city's portion of the tax bill makes up 27 percent of the total. The city is one of six taxing bodies listed on the tax bill property owners will receive in late December. The city's tax rate was finalized Monday night, one week after council members cut several items and balanced the budget for a few hours. The budget no longer was balanced later that evening Oct. 25 when there weren't enough votes to remove the city assessor and replace her with an assessment firm. That change was expected to save $18,000 in 2011 and $50,000 each year after that. Without that cut, city officials were sent back to the drawing board to figure out how to reduce and balance the budget again.

Recent Lake Geneva News
Flatiron Park will stay as is
October 28, 2010
Residents who contacted their aldermen wanting few or no changes to Flatiron Park received their wish Monday night. After working on a plan to renovate Flatiron Park for more than three years, it appears as if the Lake Geneva Beautification Committee is no longer involved in the process.Aldermen voted on a number of recommendations included in the committee’s plan. Aldermen unanimously voted in favor of only two items on the list — a sidewalk along the east side of the park and additional plantings of shrubs and flowers. It also appears as if the dilapidated gazebo will be rebuilt in the same location.
City balances budget, temporarily
October 28, 2010
It appears as if some members of the City Council heard loud and clear the pleas from those residents struggling in this economy.For a couple hours Monday night, the city had balanced its budget and planned to not increase its tax rate for 2011. But, that all may have changed at the end of nearly five hours in the council chambers.The final item of the night was a failed vote to remove the city’s staff assessor, Grace Lininger, and replace her with a firm, Accurate Appraisals, in order to cut future expenses. Six votes were needed to change the assessor, and the vote was 5-3 in favor of removing Lininger. Alderwomen Mary Jo Fesenmaier and Arleen Krohn and Alderman Bill Mott voted against removing her. Some of those who voted to remove her were adamant that it had nothing to do with her performance. They said it was all about saving the city money.
BREAKING - Blaze near fire station results in minor injuries
October 21, 2010
An early morning fire Wednesday, Oct. 20, across the street from the Lake Geneva Fire Station, resulted in minor injuries as 14 residents no longer have a home.The Fire Department was dispatched at 1:41 a.m. to 741 Marshall Street, the same road the fire station is located on. The volunteer department members responded with a fire engine to the location five minutes later. The city of Lake Geneva has a paid-on-premises program during the daytime on weekdays only, so the firefighters who responded had to travel from their homes to the station and then to the blaze.Upon arrival, firefighters encountered heavy fire on the second floor enclosed porch that had spread into the living area of the second floor. Fire personnel were able to bring the fire under control within 10 minutes. However, the damage had already been done from heat, smoke and water.
Assessment change could save city money in future years
October 21, 2010
The city of Lake Geneva has found one way to save money in upcoming years.It appears as if officials are close to replacing internal full-time assessor Grace Lininger with an assessment consultant company, Accurate Appraisal. On Oct. 11, the council discussed the Accurate Appraisal bid proposal for all assessment services from 2011 through 2014. The total cost would be $173,000, which include a market revaluation in 2011 and continued assessment maintenance the next three years.
Aldermen suing city for attorney’s fees
Lawsuit stems from 2009 suspensions
October 21, 2010
Four aldermen — two former, two current — have filed a lawsuit in Walworth County Circuit Court against the city of Lake Geneva.Alderwomen Mary Jo Fesenmaier and Arleen Krohn and former aldermen Tom Spellman and Penny Roehrer want the city to pay for more than $90,000 in legal fees incurred during their 2009 suspensions from the council, imposed by former mayor Bill Chesen. The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 11 and the city now has 20 days to respond.
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