Twin Lakes trustees cool to contributing to Silver Lake library purchase

Photo by Sanja Gjenero via

Photo by Sanja Gjenero via

The idea of Twin Lakes contributing to the purchase of a building to serve as a branch of the Community Library in Silver Lake received a cool  reception from Twin Lakes Village Board members at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.

Late last year, the Silver Lake Village Board unanimously voted to purchase a former daycare building on Second Street to serve as a Silver Lake library branch. The village is borrowing $250,000 — $200,000 for the building and $50,000 for renovations.

Silver Lake officials assumed — based on discussions at the Library Board level — that each of the five members of the Community Library system would contribute $50,000 toward the purchase. Salem electors approved contributing $50,000 but the other members of the library system — Paddock Lake, Twin Lakes and Randall — have not acted on the matter.

The Community Library cannot own or buy real estate. Any property purchased or owned must be done through member municipalities.

At Monday’s meeting, Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald, who also sits on the Library Board as a Twin Lakes representative, broached the topic by giving a quick report on a meeting at the new library site last Wednesday. Silver Lake now, after the request of the other municipalities, is preparing an intergovernmental agreement that would govern how the cost sharing would work, Fitzgerald said.

Other municipalities want a referendum, an idea that Fitzgerald said he would not oppose. “(A referendum) doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me,” Fitzgerald said.

Trustee Sharon Bower, a former member of the Library Board, addressed what she called poor attendance at the current Silver Lake branch, an about 1,000-square-foot space the library system rents on Cogswell Drive. That building has poor parking, is located on a busy street and has little space for programming.

But other trustees acknowledged that a better library in Silver Lake likely would increase use, just as the expansion of the branch in Twin Lakes has increased use since it  expanded.

“It will probably increase traffic through the door,” Trustee Aaron Karow said.

But that reality acknowledged, trustee still weren’t ready to pay up.

“I don’t think it makes sense for the village to own a piece of property in Silver Lake,” Karow said.

Resident Linda Smith, speaking from the audience, said she remembered that the other municipalities were not willing to share in the cost of Twin Lakes building a new branch when that was considered a few years ago.

The board will likely have a chance to formerly weigh-in on the issue in the future, perhaps when the intergovernmental agreement comes up for approval.





  1. Bernard Punsley says:

    Aw…come on now Twin Lakes, be a good sport and cough up $50 grand to help us out wiht our “White Elephant” here in Silver Lake. Our own Mike Faber says your folks are “draggin’ your feet” on this issues. What’s the matter with you folks over there in Twin Lakes. Can’t you see the “vision” that we had here in Silver Lake, borrowing $250 grand to purchase a building, fully expecting all of the surrounding communities to help us pay for it, oh yeah, not getting an agreement with them up front. So come on Twin Lakes…loosen up those purse strings a little bit. Surely you’ve got $50 grand stashed somewhere you can give to us. Sort of an “entitlement”.

  2. Bernard Punsley says:

    And…uhh…our illustrious library board member here in Silver Lake also is quoted in the Kenosha News as saying “I thought everything was ‘hunky-dory'”.
    So let’s quit the “foot dragging” and start pushing those wheelbarrows full of cash to Silver Lake so we can get this library program started!!!

  3. Bernard Punsley says:

    We have a situation of “Titanic” proportions here in Silver Lake….the “S.S. Silver Lake Library Ship” is starting to SINK!!!!!! We need tons of IMMEDIATE CASH from the surrounding communities lest the boat flip belly up. Right now, only “Captain Sue” and her “First Mate” Mike have life jackets….the rest of the library board members will have to tread water as long as they can until the life rafts are inflated. Oops….ship sailed WITHOUT any life rafts……sorry about that. Not only are some of the trustees “cool”, the library board members are in the initial throes of hypothermia!!!! Man Overboard!!!!!!

  4. Start Over says:

    Sounds to me like the Silver Lake Board counted their eggs (money) before they were hatched. Has the Silver Lake Board already closed on the purchase of the building? If not, I think they should go back to square one and see where they stand after they know how much money they will have committed from the other municipalities. I don’t think this is a situation of Twin Lakes, “not willing to pay up” at all. Has each municipality agreed to support the Community Library with $xx,xxx per year before? I do agree that a bigger library in Silver Lake would definitely see increased use, but if this purchase went through before the commitments were secured from other municipalities, shame on the Silver Lake Board and the Community Library Board.

  5. Silver Lake Resident says:

    So we go it it alone. Smart planning, Folks. Silver Lake, You have a substantial tax increase coming, if you don’t start speaking out about this. Get involved! They are taking your money right out of your pocket. 80 some bucks apiece per year for us to fund this by ourselves…

  6. Bernard Punsley says:

    For your reading entertainment…..A POEM…by Bernard Punsely: There once was a Queen named Sue…………..Who bought a library that was shiney and new……while her fire department had heroes, she made sure their bank account showed zeroes….your old equipment will just have to do”. THE END.

  7. Bernard Punsley says:

    The Kenosha News is reporting that an “error” in the “Community Library Levy” cost the average Twin Lakes taxpayer @$60. Incredible. When will the madness stop?!!

  8. Karen Erb says:

    Libraries of the future will not be what we know today. In order for a vibrant library/community learning and meeting center to survive or even exist, there must be room to provide the services and sharing that a community needs. If circulation and visitors have fallen off at the Silver Lake branch, the parking and room and noise factors must be considered.

    Modern libraries have resources communities need and cannot provide any other way. Computer banks, computer lessons, 3D printers, sewing machines, video editing software, and who-knows-what-will-be-invented-tomorrow are just some of the possibilities of modern libraries.

    Opposing the expansion of the Silver Lake library seems to me like building a wall around your city and planning for a siege. Open your hearts and minds…let your children and elder citizens grow! (Yes, all our citizens would grow and benefit.)

    I would like to see the new library also become a community center for the retired community in Silver Lake. We have no Senior Center, but a local resource that teaches crafts, bridge, and offers entertainment might be quite an asset.

    As long as we have the room, there should be no limit to our opportunities! I hope the other communities will support the Silver Lake branch, but if not, Silver Lake still needs this valuable building.

  9. Bruce Francart says:

    Karen, Now there is one good suggestion! We got it now, may as well keep it, and make it work. Senior Center plus library, excellent suggestion! Library board and village board, take note please!

  10. Another Silver Lake Resident says:

    I seem to remember that Twin Lakes and Randall did not wish to fund the building of the Salem Library. They were satisfied with “their” building in Twin Lakes.
    Consequently, the three municipalities that did fund the building project were rather clear that they would not fund any building project for Twin Lakes/Randall. It was considered a “fair” agreement (more like tit-for-tat).
    When the Twin Lakes building was expanded I believe that the owner of the building did the remodeling at his own expense and once again Twin Lakes and Randall did not fund any of the remodeling.
    It seems that Twin Lakes and Randall residents remember very selectively and perhaps they should check back on the history of the Library before they whine and complain.

  11. Karen Erb says:

    I am a member of the Senior Center in Antioch. They do such great things there. Line Dancing, sing alongs weekly, bridge lessons, reasonably priced lunches, picnics on the holidays and all sorts of other things. The local grocery store drops off unsold bakery items to be distributed free. The Woman’s Club hold it’s book club meetings there. Anybody have any other thoughts? Surely a knitting and crocheting club and a quilting club could be centered there.

  12. Embarrassed SL resident says:

    @karen. When did you become a visionary? Do you not oppose the combining of services of fire and rescue with Salem? I think you should open your heart and mind as well when it comes to emergency services and see how it is continuously evolving.

  13. SL Resident says:

    Hey Karen. I am glad you are line dancing in Antioch. If you get hurt or have a major health problem. They have paramedics to save you. If you get hurt or have a major health problem in Silver Lake you do not have that advance service.

  14. Bernard Punsley says:

    Here is the quote of the day: “Opposing the expansion of the Silver Lake library seems to me like building a wall around your city, and planning for a siege” Sort of like what just happened in our village as we shut out the expansion of our fire and rescue services before the “siege from Salem” took place. Our fire department is on the verge of collapse, and we are now shifting our focus to funding a library, which we have NO PROBLEM taking $50 grand from Salem..just don’t try sending those darn PARAMEDICS into our village!!! We don’t need ’em!!! PRICELESS!

  15. Joke of the county. says:

    Silver Lake’s village president, in her unwillingness to work with others, with different opinions, should resign immediately. She and her name calling, snide remark making bunch in the back, should be ashamed of themselves for dragging our community through the dirt. The library was stuffed down the boards throat by two. Want to bet it was about helping their buddy dispose of their property?

  16. Bernard Punsley says:

    Well folks…now that the Village of Twin Lakes has “over assessed” their residents for over $230,000 for their library, on top of the $50,000 that the Silver Lake village president and Library board member think you are “dragging your feet” on paying for their library………….this incredible saga of “Library Liabilities” continues to grow! When will the madness end? When will we be able to return to the days when everything is “hunky dorey”!?

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