Silver Lake Village Board discusses water patrol situation

Discussion of water patrol on Silver Lake dominated the Silver Lake Village Board committee of the whole meeting Wednesday.

The village dissolved its police department in June, but intended to keep a force to patrol Silver Lake, as it has done since 1983. Shoreline around the lake lies both in the village and in Salem. But with only two officers available, the village has found it just does not have the personnel to do the job.

Two weekends ago, Trustee Patrick Dunn asked Salem, which has its own water patrol force, to also patrol Silver Lake. The lake was patrolled some by Salem that weekend, but no patrol occurred this past weekend, Dunn said.

At Wednesday’s meeting, board members discussed a proposed intergovernmental agreement for water patrol submitted by Salem. That agreement would have Salem and Silver Lake split the cost of patrolling Silver Lake. The cost to be split would be what was left over after fines and reimbursement from the state, explained village President Bruce Nopenz.

But the village making any contribution to the cost of patrolling the lake if it was taken over by Salem raised objection from several trustees.

Trustee Roger Johnson summed up the objection by pointing out the village has patrolled Silver Lake, incurring all costs, since 1983 and never charged Salem for the service.

“They never did anything for us when we patrolled it for them,” Johnson said. “I don’t understand why we would even offer to give them any money … I think it should just be a wash … we patrolled it since 1983 and they didn’t pay …”

Nopenz pointed out that the town intended to use a village patrol boat. Any such equipment use should be figured into an agreement to offset any cost attributed to Silver Lake.

Eventually, discussion turned to trying to give Silver Lake patrolling the lake another chance. Johnson said he would like to see the village try to recruit members and do whatever else is needed to create a water patrol.

“We will have to do the best we can, but next year well have to have a long term deal with us or someone else,” Johnson said. “No matter what we do, we have to make sure the lake is covered next summer.”

Several board members said they have heard complaints about the lack of regular patrol on the lake this year. One common complaint is operation of personal water craft after legal operating hours.

Johnson said village police officers used to watch for such violations from the shore and then issue tickets when the operators went ashore.

Trustee Carolyn Dodge suggested the sheriff’s deputies now patrolling the village perform similar surveillance of the lake and issue tickets to violators, an idea that met general agreement among board members.



  1. Sl Goverment says:

    Silver Lakes does not own the lake. If you have a complaint. Talk to the owner, Salem. All Fire and Rescue calls on the lake are covered by Salem Fire and Rescue. Silver Lake Fire just helps them.

  2. Karen Erb says:

    After fishing on the lake yesterday, we headed in right after 7:00. There was a small run-about violating the no wake law, and a HUGE racing boat absolutely flying around the lake about 3 times after the 7:00 deadline. He quit when he saw me taking pictures of his boat.

    The agreement with Salem did have us paying the bill after Salem got to keep all fines and the DNR reimbursement. It failed to mention that the fine money would offset the expenses, therefore that would not happen and Silver Lake would be paying for gas, oil, new props, and whatever else could break on a boat. (Remember the line about boats being holes you throw your money into?)

    It isn’t fair to pay and pay and pay for the water patrol when the fines alone should offset all the rest of the expenses.

    The trustees were trying to enter into this agreement without even know the expenses involved in hiring their own officers or advertising for same. According to Trustee Dunn the expense would involve a background check and he THOUGHT it would cost $1000.00 per officer. That seems quite a lot of money, but we suggest someone actually do the research and find out.

    I remember when these same men who just got elected to office were on the side-lines complaining about the job of fire chief not being posted. They should advertise if they are looking for employees.

  3. Sl Goverment says:

    To Karen Erb. The research was done. The Silver Lake patrols should have never taken place. It was domed from the beginning. No one wants to work here. Salem is bailing us out at the last min. I thank them for that. Some moron signed a contract to supply police on the lake in 1983 forever to cover Salem. We are in violation of that contract and we do not own the lake. The present board is on the hook for everyone else dumb decision’s. Karen you not trying to help. You are trying to make problems.

  4. Wish she would melt... says:

    It was pretty stupid to pay for policing a lake we have no juridiction in. Salem has it. Call the sheriff if you see violations. Easy as that.

  5. State WI-DNR says:

    Untimately the WI-DNR is responsible for the lakes.
    Not Salem
    Not Silver Lake
    Not Sheriff
    All of these entities work at the hand of the WI-DNR.

    The WI-DNR has a hotline. It works 24/7.
    It is great.
    The people are great.
    And, they act.

    Keep the number where your phone is.

    1-800-TIP-WDNR (800-847-9367)

    This will give you all you need t know.

  6. THE TILT on the TOPIC! says:

    Interesting how the issue can be TILTED in ones favor if they are caught in their own inaction…. …. “Trustee Roger Johnson summed up the objection by pointing out the village has patrolled Silver Lake, incurring all costs, since 1983 and never charged Salem for the service. “They never did anything for us when we patrolled it for them,” Johnson said. “I don’t understand why we would even offer to give them any money … I think it should just be a wash … we patrolled it since 1983 and they didn’t pay …”

    Apparently the ‘deal’ that Silver lake would patrol the lake was a handshake kind of deal. When Linda Valentine was reviewing the Town Lakes Ordinances, there was nothing to be found pertaining to the ordinance on the Town books relating to Silver Lake. She called Ann Augustin, a trustee at the time in Silver Lake,. Ann had initiated many nice public activities in the Village by the way and the Village should be thankful for her vision of community.

    Linda asked Ann to meet with her board/attorney and draft an agreement that would formalize the arrangement that they had found acceptable. A month or so later, the agreement was written by the Village Attorney Gray, produced for the town, approved at the town board meeting -with the full Village Board in attendance at that town meeting and was officially on the books.

    There was at that very time an excellent opportunity for the then Village President (Roger himself) to step up and discuss any financial aspect that he now seems to have a concern about. There was SILENCE. Let me repeat. THERE WAS SILENCE. There was in-effective action on his part for his village.

    There was only the absolute need to protect the governance of Silver Lake by the Village as evidenced by the VofSL’s board at a Town Board meeting! Why that need? Well, it might have something to do with filling their Municipal Court, a means to validate an enormous budget for the VofSL police department and/or a means to make policing a money maker for the village. There are many who believe in SERVE AND PROTECT. I do. I do not believe in SERVE, PROTECT AND MAKE MONEY.

  7. Sl Goverment says:

    Well thank you tilt of the topic. You exposed another one of Roger Johnsons screw ups. He has been back peddling most of his life. How did he ever get back into office.

  8. I was not the VILLAGE PRESIDENT at that time

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