When the Fremont Village Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, its agenda will include discussion and possible action on a slow, no-wake ordinance.
The board, at its meeting on Sept. 14, tabled action on a proposal to extend the no-wake hours on the Wolf River. The issue was also discussed Sept. 13 during a meeting of the village’s Ordinance Committee.
Some members of the board are in favor of extending the slow, no-wake hours on weekends, while others are not.
Kathy Gaynor is among those on the board who are in favor of extending the hours, citing the results of the Nov. 4, 2008, advisory referendum in which 62 percent of the voters were in favor of the ordinance being amended.
Currently, the slow, no wake is in effect on the portion of the Wolf River that runs through the village from midnight Fridays to midnight Sundays. The proposed amendment would add another 12 hours by starting the slow, no-wake hours at noon Fridays.
Gaynor said she ran for village board in part because she was disappointed with the board’s tie vote in 2009, following the 2008 advisory referendum.
“I think we should do what the people asked us to do,” she said.
However, village trustee Per Dobbe asked who would enforce the additional hours, and village trustee John Kohl III said that the reason why it was initially discussed was because of sea walls, not for safety reasons. “I guess I will represent the other 33 percent,” he said, in reference to the voters who opposed amending the ordinance.
Village President Dan Sambs said the town of Wolf River already has a slow, no-wake start of noon Fridays. The town of Fremont has not approved an earlier slow, no-wake start.
“I really do believe that it is necessary, based on the number of boats, the size of the boats and the behavior of the boats,” Sambs said.
Dobbe questioned if there will be a move in the future for slow, no wake at all hours and said that it is typically holiday weekends when safety is an issue on the river. There should be more water patrol on those weekends, he said.
Kohl asked if the proposed ordinance amendment would be based on what the towns of Wolf River and Fremont do.
Sambs said the towns can do what they want.
Village trustee Denis Scharine said he did not think it was necessary to extend the slow, no-wake hours but voted for it – when it was before the board in April 2009 – because of the number of people who voted in favor of it in the advisory referendum.
“I voted for it, and I would do it again,” he said.