Village, town officials to give new library a look Wednesday

This Google Streetview photo shows the new Community Library branch on Second Street in Silver Lake.

This Google Streetview photo shows the new Community Library branch on Second Street in Silver Lake.

Officials from the towns and villages that are part of the Community Library system will be meeting Wednesday at the site of the recently purchased building in Silver Lake that is to serve as that community’s library branch.

The meeting will take place at 209 N Second St., Silver Lake starting at 6:30 p.m.

Silver Lake President Sue Gerber, who also is a member of the Community Library Board, said last week the meeting is to give the other municipalities a look at the building and gauge their intent on contributing to the building’s purchase.

The Community Library is made up of Salem, Paddock Lake, Silver Lake, Twin Lakes and Randall. The library system cannot own real estate, though it can use its budget to pay rent or other operational expenses.

The Community Library currently has a branch in Salem, which was built in 1995. Salem, Silver Lake and Paddock Lake contributed to paying for that building, and Salem formally owns the property.

The Community Library rents facilities for branches in Twin Lakes and Silver Lake.

The current Silver Lake branch has proved to be unworkable for library space because it is too small for programming, lacks much parking and is located on busy Cogswell Drive, Gerber said. The building also is in foreclosure and the library is on a month-to-month lease.

The new building offers several advantages such as ample parking, more interior room for materials and programming, accessibility for people with disabilities and a neighborhood location near Riverview School, Gerber said.

The Silver Lake Village Board in a unanimous vote agreed to purchase the Second Street property at a meeting in November. The total loan is for $250,000 with $200,000 for the property and building and $50,000 for renovation. The village has secured a 20-year note with a 3 percent interest rate for five years. Peoples Bank, which has a branch in Silver Lake, is the lender. The building most recently was a daycare center.

Speaking at a Silver Lake Village Board meeting last week, Mike Faber, a Community Library Board member from Silver Lake (and a former village president) said Library Board members agreed to seek $50,000 from each municipality to fund the purchase of the building. Salem electors approved contributing $50,000 at a meeting in November.

That means so far only Salem and Silver Lake have committed to paying for the building. If Paddock Lake, Twin Lakes and Randall do not agree to contribute, Salem would still contribute $50,000 and Silver Lake would have to pay the rest.

Wednesday’s meeting is about helping  convince the others to make a contribution, Gerber said at the village board meeting last week.

“This is going to be some renovation, but it’s going to be a good building for us,” Faber said. “I don’t know what the hold up is from some of the other municipalities. We were all hunky dory as can be. Now there is some foot dragging. Hopefully we get everyone on board as we were before.”




  1. Money not well spent. says:

    How could you borrow this money, when we have to borrow 595 G for sewer repairs? And not to forget, can’t find money for two doors. I also remember Sue saying there is no money to fund the board meetings for January. Seemed to be rushed and pushed by two. Something not just right with this, you’ve seen it before. And yes, I live in Silver Lake.

  2. Bernard Punsley says:

    Did the village win the lottery? I thought we were broke? We have no money for the fire department for breathing apparatus, new equipment, fire station renovation, salaries/staffing, etc. Besides our community “borrowing” $7 million to “upgrade” the facilities at our grade school, we now “borrowed” $250,000 to buy and renovate a LIBRARY????? Where our our priorities? Was there any “committee meetings” to discuss this expenditure? Any cries for ” a referendum”? Was any of this BUDGETED for 2014? Exactly HOW is the loan going to be repaid? Through operating budget expenses? Which line-item will the library come out of? On Oct. 2nd, there was a CLOSED SESSION to talk about the purchase of this building. Since Mike Faber is on the library board, he was allowed to attend the meeting. If you are reading this, were YOU?
    Sue’s motion “to be contingent on financing and other legal terms” did not include price! This was a “back door deal” that we will be paying for for YEARS to come. Sue doesn’t want to enter into an “intergovernmental agreement” with Salem to provide Fire and Rescue services, but she has no problem embracing the concept that all of the surrounding communities should help support this “white elephant”. And as readily apparent, the communities are going….”ah..thanks, but no thanks”. Just curious, will this library be staffed by “volunteers”, or will paid staff be required to run and maintain the building?
    This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks!!!!

  3. Bernard Punsley says:

    Well, now that we own this valuable piece of property, I propose we sell it to Walgreens to open up a store. It will provide needed jobs in our community, additional tax revenues, convenient shopping for our citizens, and a handy spot for Silver Lake Rescue Squad to use for their 2 “paramedic intercept” calls a year that Salem Rescue comes in. I think it’s a BRILLIANT PLAN! My keen awareness of the pulse of this village even scares ME sometimes!

  4. Andy J says:

    It’s a complete waste of money.. Village is so poor it can’t even pay attention, and you go and buy a building?

    Who was the previous owner, who Silver Lake purchased from?

    What ties (personal, business, other) does the previous owner have to members of the board?

    What is the actual assessment of the property?

    Will the lending secured to purchase this building have a negative effect on the village’s efforts to fund the sewer band aids?

  5. Terry Burns says:

    I feel it necessary to comment on some statements made by the Community Library Board that are incorrect and share some simple math with everyone:

    1) “Faber said. “I don’t know what the hold up is from some of the other municipalities. We were all hunky dory as can be. Now there is some foot dragging. Hopefully we get everyone on board as we were before.””

    For the record, the Village of Paddock Lake has never been “on board”. Numerous times the VPL has requested an inter-governmental agreement be drafted before we would entertain the Village of Silver Lake to once again playing musical libraries. All we ever got were dog & pony shows and no agreement. Mr. Faber statement is incorrect.

    2) I happen to have a copy of the Village of Silver Lake’s promissory note with the resolution. The term is for 5 years (not 20) with a balloon payment due in 2018 for $217,651.55.

    Regarding every municipality providing $50K toward their purchase, lets do the math because the Library Board clearly didn’t:

    Salem has +/- 12K residents. At $50k that equals a per capita expense of $4.17 per resident.
    Paddock Lake has +/- 3000 residents. At 50K that equals a per capita expense of $16.67 – or 4 times more than Salem.
    Silver Lake has less residents at +/- 2400. So thats $20.83 from each resident.
    Since it is somewhat doubtful that the remaining two municipalities will comtribute the cost per capita in Silver Lake jumps to $83.33 per resident (200K/2400).

    Anyone see a problem here? The VPL does, and we respect or residents pocket books to much to enter into something this lop-sided. Needless to say the VPL won’t be sending a house warming gift for the new 4/5th’s funded SL library.

    Terry Burns
    Village President
    Village of Paddock Lake, WI

  6. Money not well spent. says:

    Bernie, The school loan will be paid back in energy savings. Guarantied by the consulting company..Back door deal on the library is correct, just like the sewer lift station roof. That was the meeting when bully man in the back, acted threatening towards Mr. Dunn, and Sue wouldn’t remove him because they had a meeting after..Not at all a smart move to buy the building, when so much is in disrepair. Bernie, we got to get the people out to vote!

  7. Bernard Punsley says:

    Now now folks, everyone calm down an take a DEEP breath. Mike Faber has assured us “everything is ‘hunky dory’ as can be”(his words,not mine). Well, now that is a RELIEF. AS for the “foot dragging” as he calls it…..Silver Lake taxpayers shelled out $250,000 to buy this “white elephant”,with “assurances” that surrounding villages or towns would kick in $50,000 each. Other than Salem, the “foot draggers” have pretty much told us “enjoy your new library”. Remember one other important factor….this passed the village board UNANIMOUSLY. OK. They must know something we don;t, and they must feel it is in the best interests of our community. Sooooooooooooooooo…….when it comes time to vote for providing Paramedic level service to our community via Salem Fire/Rescue……how could a board member possibly vote against that life saving initiative, when they just agreed to borrow $250,000? Maybe we could run a travelling bookmobile out of the new library, pack it full of medical equipment, respond to EMS calls, call it “Band-Aids & Books’.

  8. Bernard Punsley says:

    Kudos to Mr. Burns for “setting the record straight”. Sue Gerber’s comment in the Kenosha News..”it appears we put the cart before the horse” and “we are not asking (the surrounding communities)or stating that you have to give $50,000 all at once” are causes for concern. Right now, it appears that the taxpayers of Silver Lake are “on the hook” for at least $200,000, IF Salem coughs up the $50 grand they promised. Mike Faber boasts “this is a sharing of services that actually works in western Kenosha county”? Really Mike? When the village tried to “share services” with Salem, you were one of the LOUDEST whiners and snivellers in the back of the room. You helped master mind this fiasco and put it on the “fast track”. WHY? The whole acquisition process for this “white elephant” stinks! I think our village board got “hood winked”.

  9. Neither Sider says:

    I have tried to stay neutral on this subject, but really, did anyone involved think or question this purchase. Everyone agrees Silver Lake needs a library – we have a library – it’s been a children’s library since the beginning. When Silver Lake joined with Paddock Lake and Salem to build the library in Salem, the decision to appease Silver Lake with a small children’s library was made. When it was located on Lake Street there was a decent through the door count because the day care around the corner would bring the older kids over for story hour.

    When the library moved to Cogswell, the numbers dropped. Location? Maybe at first, but now the day care is closed and if the library was still on Lake Street the number would have dropped when that happened. Truth is we’re a village of 2400 people and only a very few frequent the children’s library. And some of the head count are adults using the computers or picking up books they ordered from the library system. What are the through the door numbers? Are they substantial enough to warrant a larger location? A quarter of a million dollar building? Will it be open additional hours?

    Another truth is that Library Board members are appointed by their respective communities, they meet to approve paying bills and do other mundane duties of a governing board, but they do not have the authority to make decisions for their communities and if they give the appearance ‘of being on board’, it’s them personally and not the community they represent.

    I can’t imagine anyone from any of the other communities driving past the Salem or Twin Lakes locations to bring their kids to Silver Lake. Both other locations have excellent children’s programs, so this ‘white elephant’ will be Silver Lake’s white elephant and financial burden.

  10. Bernard Punsley says:

    A fairy tale………As the Queen and her Court scramble, the Jesters are befuddled, whilst “The Duke” and his band of Merry Men seek to refill the SLRS dwindling coffers with mounds of “Fools Gold” before the imminent collapse. Should any of the peons in the village voice complaint…”OFF with their heads”! Let the village burn in ruins whilst the Queen tosses out crumbs of stale cake and sour grapes to her minions. In front of her newly purchased castle, he masses have begun to erect a large marble sculpture of a white elephant, complete with a likeness of the Queen mounted atop, broken gavel in one hand, sceptre in the other. Unbeknowst to them, the elephant shall rear up and trample the surfs and all of their rights. Oh the futility of it all!

  11. A little late to the Party says:

    Why is everybody up in arms about this NOW! This was decided on by your ‘VILLAGE’ board back on November 6th 2013, (motion #2). Salem then voted to give you 50K a few days later at our Annual ‘TOWN’ Meeting on November 14th 2013. I remember because I was at the Annual ‘TOWN’ meeting and I voted on giving you guys the money. Don’t you guys over there get to ‘Vote’ on spending money like we do over here? Or is that one of the ‘Advantages’ to being a ‘Village’? You cede control to a few people to spend as they see fit?
    I am going to remember that last part when somebody at Salem decides to revisit the ‘Becoming a Village thing’ that comes around about once a year.
    BTW I checked back at the archives on WestoftheI for this story and to the best of my searching it wasn’t reported on for either Salem’s or Silver Lakes meetings. I guess you had to be there. Sorry for the dig Darren.

  12. A little late to the Party II says:

    In every month in 2013 but May, July and August, the Community library board went into closed session to talk about buying a building. There was no mention in open session what was decided, if anything in six of those nine meetings. The other three are as follows.

    March 25th 2013
    • Motion made by Trustee Mangold to instruct attorney Gagliardi to provide offer for the purchase of the vacant building in Silver Lake – 903 S. 2nd Street, Silver Lake, seconded by Trustee Peckler-Dziki. Passed unanimously.

    November 25th 2013
    Trustee Faber made a motion to relocate the Community Library in Silver Lake out of its temporary building at 729 S. Cogswell Drive to a newly vacant building at 209 N. 2nd Street, contingent upon the purchase of the building by the Village of Silver Lake and/or other Community Library supported municipalities. Motion seconded by President Morey. Passed unanimously.

    December 17th
    6. Relocation of the Library in Silver Lake
    Sue Gerber reported that the Village of Silver Lake was proceeding with the purchase of the building at 209 N. 2nd Street in Silver Lake to be used for the Community Library. The building is scheduled to be inspected in the next week.

    The above ‘copied’ from the Library board minutes.

  13. Bernard Punsley says:

    All The Queen’s Horses, and All the Queen’s Men, Couldn’t Put Her Broken White Elephant Together Again.

  14. Bernard Punsley says:

    A continuing “Faber Tale”…..”Me thinks the Queen’s ‘white elephant’ doth drink a lot of ‘whine’. It helps to cover up the cold, hard facts”. The End.

  15. Seriously says:

    Bernard Punsley, do you have nothing better to do? Instead of commenting on here, go do something! If you must complain, you are not actually doing any changes. Those that complain the loudest are those that do nothing to create positive change. Stop whining and name calling and actually do something. Sadly, most lack the capability to do anything remotely civil, and instead choose to smear others. Have you ever heard ‘you catch more flies with honey?’ You sir or ma’am are not using honey.

  16. Bankrupt we are headed for says:

    575 thousand proposed for sewer repair. 250 thousand spent on a building. New vehicles needed for the village sewer and maintaince deptartment. Also was said, yet another new police car soon. Two doors needed for the village hall, and they couldn’t find the money for them. Starting to get the picture?

  17. I'm just saying says:

    At one time we had the money in the bank for the sewer repair bills. But someone on the board, who didn’t know what it meant to be in the red or black, used the money in the sewer fund to pay off a LOW INTEREST LOAN we had taken out for the road repairs that was UNDER 2%! So now after depleting the money we had in the back to repair the sewers, we have no money left, which means no capital for a bank to use in giving us another low interest loan for anything else. Golly G, I don’t know, but paying off the loan only saved me $2 dollars on my taxes! I’m just saying, now we are really in a bind. Why would you do something like that unless you have no idea on how to handle money! If I handled my money like that, I’m sure they would repo my four wheelers and I wouldn’t have any money left to get my dogs licensed. I’m just saying!

  18. Bernard Punsley says:

    @SERIOUSLY… quote you:”Those that complain the loudest are those that do nothing to create positive change”…YOUR WORDS, not mine. SERIOUSLY????? Have you ever been to a village meeting and listening to all the whining and snivelling coming from the back of the room? Threats shouted out to board members from the disgruntled complainers you so loathe? The Queen pounding her gavel screaming at board members, Colleen and her Court bemoaning any positive changes the board might be trying to make? If you are a regular reader of my rants(apparently you must be),you will see I have offered MANY different proposals and ideas as to how we can make our village better. Some are met with acceptance, some with intrigue, some with downright nastiness. Some of the questions I ask legitimately(eg…does SLRS have $400 grand in their kitty or not?) continue to be ignored. But as I continue to pick up a legion of followers, I shall continue to keep my finger on the pulse of our village, to the delight of many, the chagrin of some, you included. You “call me out” for complaining, by complaining about my commenting style. You don’t see the irony in that. I’ll give you some free advice, dripping with honey…”quit reading my posts”. Your blood pressure might return to normal immediately and all will be well. To quote the late Paul Harvey…”Good Day”.

  19. Bernard Punsley says:

    @”I’m Just Saying”…..seriously Al, ‘someone on the board” used Sewer funds to pay off a low interest loan we had taken out for Road Repair funds”? That’s your bone of contention? First of all, spending of funds has to be done by majority vote of the BOARD MEMBER……not one individual, or “someone” as you infer.
    You may have forgotten(conveniently) the the SEWER FUND is a UTILITY and has seperate funding for projects. You CANNOT use SEWER FUNDS to pay for ROAD REPAIRS, and visa versa. The 2 are like oil and water, they don’t mix. Try finding your assertion that it happened in any of the village board minutes. You won’t find it, it did not happen as you maintain. As to your contention that the bank would not loan us any money, because we supposedly paid off our existing loan, and therefore had “no capital”(an outstanding loan)….that is absolutely ABSURD! Are you telling me if I pay off my mortage loan on my house, and go to the bank to get a “home improvement loan”, they won’t give it to me because I don’t have a mortage,hence I have no “capital”. That’s what you said! By the way, following your moronic thinking HOW IN THE WORLD DID SILVER LAKE JUST MANAGE TO BORROW $250,000 last week to BUY A LIBRARY BUILDING? Didnt’ quite think that one out, did you Al? On your Silver Lake tax bill, note the STORM SEWER utilty charge of $94, which will soon raise to $100. Not only is your “2%” interest bogus, the board paid off several loans which had interest at a higher rate than what the money in the bank was earning. That is FISCAL RESPONSIBLITY, a SMART MOVE! We are NOT in a bind, if we had a low interest rate on one loan, we can replace it by a low interest loan on storm sewer repair. Anybody reading this ever “re-finance” their home mortgage? I have several times,always to my financial benefit. I’m ‘jes sayin’.

  20. Alan Bryner says:

    Dear Bernie,

    First of all,” I am not just saying “, you have again blamed me for something that I did not post. If you cannot get it right please don’t post this crap.

    I at least have the backbone to put my real name on a post and not hide from the public.

  21. Going with Bernard says:

    Bernard, you make a good point to Al, or whoever it is, who always proclaims he knows about all the village finances as he was once an APPOINTED trustee. Yup that’s right, APPOINTED. But that is something else to discuss too as he continues to beat up the APPOINTED board members (with the exception of Sabrina who is “with them”) But he mentioned several times that the Village gave the FD money to pay for the FD building when it burnt down. Another ironic issue!! to the tune of 40K. But if I am not mistaken, the 40K came from the FD to help pay for the deficiencies in the Village budget to pay for the replacement of the equipment. When called out about it, he had nothing to say, but that there was a motion. To date, the Clerk has not produced this motion. Which would be over 15 years old. Now why would AL do that?? And if there was a motion to pay that, should it have been paid back well and truely before now??? Another statement made trying to mislead the community, but in fact no paper no proof. Also, how can you borrow from yourself?? I would imagine that it all was written off at budget time and everyone just moved on and cut their losses.

  22. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Al Bryner……..Mr. Bryner….a couple of points here: 1. Are you the only “Al” in Silver Lake? Where did my posting refer to you as Al Bryner? 2: Are you using the village taxpayer funded computer at the village hall? Who gave you permisson? 3. You previously have stated you were going to STOP reading my postings. Apparently, you haven’t.

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