Fontana board votes down surveillance camera plan
Police Chief Steve Olson suggested to the protection committee Jan. 19 that the camera system be installed on Lake Street to deter crime and provide police with video evidence.
Lake Street often is a site for disturbances and theft, the chief said.
The surveillance cameras would have been the first in Walworth County.
But the village board voted 4-2 against Olson’s request to use a $12,000 federal Homeland Security grant to purchase a surveillance system.
"That seemed to make a lot of people nervous," Village President Ron Pollitt said. "They were just concerned that Fontana is a small village with little chance of terrorism, and they didn't feel that Fontana needed it."
Such grants are meant to aid in the prevention of terrorism, he said.
Pollitt, chairman of the village's protection committee, voted in favor of the request.
The village board approved a referendum question on the Third Avenue project, which includes utility, water and sewer improvements and reconstruction of the street.
The project is being put to referendum as the result of direct legislation in 2006 that requires village capital projects that cost more than $1.5 million be put before the voters for approval.
The question reads:
"Shall the Village of Fontana on Geneva Lake be authorized to spend tax increment district funds in an amount not to exceed $2.5 million to complete the Third Avenue project, which includes the following: bury utilities—underground conversion of the primary utilities east of State Highway 67; Little Foot Playground—install upgrades to Little Foot Playground; street and utility reconstruction—repair and reconstruct sections of Third Avenue, Reid Street and High Street, including improvements to sewer and water infrastructure; and boat trailer parking lot—reconstruction and reconfiguration of the existing boat trailer parking lot?"
Pollitt said the plan to bury utilities originated with the creation of the village's tax incremental financing district.
"In order to bury the utilities, they have to tear up part of Third Avenue, and it made sense to do all this at once," he said.
Not only does the project aid in the village's beautification efforts, Pollitt said, but it also will provide needed improvements to infrastructure.
Voters will decide the question April 1.