Silver Lake to negotiate contract with Sheriff’s Department for police protection; OKs lease for library with school


The Silver Lake Board voted Wednesday to negotiate a contract with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department for police protection for the village.

The vote was 5-0 in favor, said village President Bruce Nopenz.

Trustee Patrick Dunn was absent due to a work conflict and Trustee Chris Willkomm has resigned from the board, Nopenz said.

If a contract agreement can be reached, the village could then eliminate its police department. The Silver Lake Police Department has had two chiefs resign in the last six months.

At a public hearing on April 14, Sheriff David Beth presented an annual cost of $275,079 for 16.5 hours of dedicated coverage of the village. Beth also recommended contracting for an additional 43 shifts to be used as needed and billed only after being used. That would cost up to $19,000 or a total of $294,079.

The 2015 budget for the SLPD is $339,000.

One of the major concerns about a contract with the Sheriff’s Department is the water patrol. Sentiment of the board leaned toward trying to keep the water patrol local. But there is the question of how to do that, if they are not the police department. They also don’t have a boat to put the buoys out for the season. If they are put out by the police department, the DNR will reimburse. There are 50-60 buoys that weigh about 80 pounds a piece and the weights are 80-90 pounds a piece.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the board approved leasing the village’s library building to Riverview School for temporary use for offices during the school’s remodeling this summer. The lease is for $1,500 a month for three months, Nopenz said.



Wednesday’s  meeting was a special meeting called by Nopenz to deal with these two time sensitive matters, he said.

Note: Darren Hillock contributed to this report. — DH



  1. Bernard Punsley says:

    Congratulations to our new board for all banding together and passing this historic piece of legislation UNANIMOUSLY. I think ALL of our board members will find they can work TOGETHER for the BETTERMENT of our village. That truly is REFRESHING!!!

  2. DID YOU KNOW..... says:

    …that Silver Lake “Does Not” have to have a police department or contract with one?

    A “Village” in the state of Wisconsin “only” has to provide police protection when they have a population of over 5,000. (Silver Lake has less than 5,000.) Otherwise the county sheriff is obligated to do it. (The sheriff can always go anywhere in the county he wants, police department or not.)

    Every county resident pays taxes for the sheriff as part of their county tax bill. Silver Lake residents don’t get a rebate from the county for not needing sheriff’s coverage! Their county tax bill is the same as anybody else’s.

    So ask the sheriff if Silver Lake closed down their police department, what his (Patrol) obligation would be to the tax payers of Silver Lake and what if anything it would cost them extra.

    Sure, the “Village” of Paddock Lake “pays” for “extra” service to the sheriff’s department. Bristol too. But neither of them has to. If Salem ever became a “Village” they “would” have to because they have over 5,000 residents.

    ( This is a comment brought forward from a Westofthei story on April 2nd,
    “Silver Lake Village Board sets rules for police contract hearing” )

    See more at:

  3. Renewed Silver Lake says:

    I must concur with Bernard…I think our new board will work as a team, I think many of us are encouraged by the change in leadership and vision that the voters have approved(the majority, anyway). So let’s all buckle down and get to work, plenty of challenges out there for all of us to meet. No matter what side of the “issues” we might be on, we are all “villagers” at heart. This is our home, the naysayers and nitpickers continue to nibble around the edges, with virtually NO SOLUTIONS to any of our problems. “Status Quo” was not cutting it.

  4. Solace In Silver Lake says:

    It certainly appears that our new board members will be willing to work together. I think Dunn, Johnson and Dodge, with their experience on the board, will be able to bring the “newcomers” up to speed in relatively quick fashion. There will always be a few quirks to iron out, each board member has their own unique style. They all need to remember the overall welfare of our village, and I believe that they will. Good luck to all of them.

  5. REFRESHING. says:

    Absolutely REFRESHING.
    It has been years since such a refreshing approach to business and communication.

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