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Kenosha city leaders review safety proposals to prevent drownings

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Aldermen in Kenosha are rushing to address safety problems on Lake Michigan following the death of a local high school student.

Donovan Anderson, 17, is the fourth person to drown off Kenosha's lakefront this summer. Elected officials are now reviewing three proposals trying to reverse that trend.

The city of Kenosha is trying to figure out what to do on the North Point Pier - a piece of property they do not own. It's actually the property of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who a group aldermen are now working with.

"When you look at your students in the eye, you know, you realize a basic responsibility of local government is public safety," 14th district Alderman Daniel Prozanski said.

"The first one is an ordinance change that would allow us to fine up to $1,000 for anyone that swims within 150 feet of the pier," Prozanski said.

Another penalty - proposed by 17th district Alderman David Bogdala - would fine anyone who vandalizes the new life ring kiosks which are already funded and awaiting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval.

"Both an additional one on the North Pier once we get this agreement done, as well as this: we're moving forward - we ordered them today - they'll be here in 2-3 weeks. We're going to put them along the South end of the harbor which is an area that we currently control and maintain without anyone else's permission," Bogdala said.

A third proposal would task police, firefighters, and the coast guard in creating safety presentations for local high schools and middle school students.

However, Mayor John Antaramian also says they should also start thinking long-term.

"The real problem through the whole lakefront and all of Wisconsin right now is - the corps of engineers which needs to start looking at infrastructure and how to modify the infrastructure in potential ways of stopping these currents, undertows from happening," Antaramian said.

There are also plans to install a life preserver kiosk at the mouth of the Pike River where two other drownings happened this year. There will also be fines for swimmers in that area if the proposal ultimately gets approved.

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