Park District Calls for No Boat Wakes on Crystal Lake

Reporting, “We get twice the water coming into Crystal Lake as is leaving,” Park District Director Kirk Reimer asked to Crystal Lake and Lakewood to impose a “no wake” rule until the lake level fell.

A pretty free-wielding discussion ensued in which Lakewood Village Trustee Carl Davis suggested promotion of a voluntary “no wake” compliance and the Crystal Lake City Council decided to meet in emergency session Thursday night at 7 to consider the issue.

“We have a glass of water that’s very full now,” Davis said. “When yo have a full glass of water, you walk very carefully.”

Only court imposed requirements that an item must be on a city agenda to be considered valid kept the council from acting Tuesday night.

The city clearly hopes to convince Lakewood Village Trustees to act later this week in an emergency meeting—much sooner than its regularly scheduled August 28th meeting.

Reimer reported that the lake was twelve inches above the spillway at the outlet and he was getting calls about how boat wakes were or potentially could damage piers, boats and lake front property.

“There are piers on the lake that are basically under water. The west end of the Main Beach is one inch below the seawall.”

(You can see both a pier under water and the seawall west of the outlet yesterday in this article.)

He suggested “making the lake ‘no wake’ until it recedes down to a normal level.”

“How does it compare with this spring?” newly elected city councilman Black Hobson asked.

“It’s six inches higher than this spring,” Reimer replied. “Half of Lippold Park is under water.

“How long (would the ‘no wake’ policy last)?” Cathy Ferguson inquired.

“If the lake goes down 2 inches, three inches. I just want people to know that this is not of a capricious nature.”

Previously, Davis has suggested the “no wake” policy until the lake went down 3 inches.

“It takes a couple of days for water to get to Lippold Park (from farther north in the watershed).

“The park district really has now say,” Reimer pointed out.

The intergovernmental agreement governing boat operation on Crystal Lake was hammered out over a period of years between the City of Crystal Lake and the Village of Lakewood. Most of the lake’s surface is in Lakewood.

“Can’t the piers be raised?” asked Councilwoman Ellen Brady Mueller.

Shepley then invited Lakewood Village Trustee Carl Davis to speak.

Davis pointed out that two weeks ago when the lake was three inches lower the lake level “wasn’t causing any problem.”

Lakefront property owner Harv Pautz was on unhappy camper.

“I live on the lake and it went from 1 inch below to flowing over the seawall causing a lot of property erosion.

Around Oak Court, the erosion is happening right now!

“The wake is what’s killing us.”

Ironically, the wake caused by the police boat.was mentioned at the council meeting.

“I too live on the lake. I think this board needs to take more aggressive action,” a man whose name I wrote down as “Ken Kamal” said.

“Just put up ‘no wake’ signs.

“How difficult can it be?

“Don’t be a Bilandic-Jane Byrne.

“Then, the board should implement a long-range solution”

“I saw the police boat out there about 4 o’clock creating a wake. He wasn’t chasing anyone.”

“Has anyone been down to the lake to take a look?” another man asked.

“You need to do something period.”

After this criticism the council started talking about having an emergency meeting.

Having made the decision, Councilman Ralph Dawson unloaded on the critics:
“We may sit up here saying nothing looking like dummies.

“I take it personal when you say I’m not concerned.”

He then told of twice going to see what was happening on the North Shore, I think.

“I’ll second that,” said Ferguson.

“I’ll third it,” Brady added.

Park District Director Kirk Reimer was given the microphone during a moved-up “Mayor’s Report” at the beginning of the Crystal Lake City Council last night. One can only imagine that the subject was discussed behind closed doors when Shepley, Reimer, Park Board President Mike Zellman and, perhaps, others met secretly at 6:30 behind locked doors.

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All pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them. Only the one of Crystal Lake Ralph Dawson was not taken yesterday.

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