Your Views: Lake Geneva parking plan makes little financial sense

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Friday, August 29, 2014

As a Lake Geneva taxpayer, I’m concerned about the proposed city parking structure. The structure wouldn’t add the approximately 300 new spaces suggested because it will eliminate the current 87 spaces. Net new spaces will be 213.

With a cost estimate of $7 million, each new space would cost over $32,000. Besides the tremendous cost, we and tourists would endure digging and site preparation, and those 87 spaces will be unavailable during construction. Dirt, gravel and cement being hauled through downtown will be unpleasant to residents, tourists and shoppers. I’d think disruption of normal business traffic would concern merchants and restaurant owners.

Maintenance costs of such a structure is another concern. Lighting, elevator maintenance, security, insurance, snow removal, etc., will all be above current costs. Who will want to park on the top level in snow? How will that snow be removed?

To put the city and taxpayers in debt for $7 million to provide 213 new spaces for summer makes no sense. A better solution would be to provide shuttle service from the Badger High and Lake Geneva Middle School parking lots. The schools would be closed for summer, and Dousman Bus service is idle. That company or any other could provide the shuttle during the heavy tourist season. Even if the service was free or at a nominal charge, I’m guessing it would be less than the interest on $7 million in bonds. Vote “no” to November’s parking structure referendum.


Lake Geneva

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