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Elburn leaders concerned about winter pond safety

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ELBURN – The village’s ponds have been busy this winter, and some Elburn leaders and residents are concerned about the safety of those who have used the ponds for ice fishing and skating. Recent temperatures have hovered above freezing, and this week’s forecast calls for highs well above 40.

Officials stopped short, however, of turning such concerns into action, opting – at this time – not to post signs of warning.

Village President Dave Anderson introduced the topic at Monday’s Village Board meeting, saying the ponds were “a little bit touchy” and pointing out that some ponds “we own, and by we, I mean taxpayers.” Those who have observed the ponds said the ice is not thick because there has not been a long stretch of below-freezing temperatures.

Board member Ken Anderson asked whether there had been any incident that sparked Dave Anderson’s concern, but the village president said he wanted to express his concern about the danger and protect the village and its residents from legal action that might result from an incident.

“Nobody here wants anything to happen,” Dave Anderson said.

Elburn resident Fred Houdek said he observed nine holes in one pond, which he said had to be dangerous.

“When I saw those nine holes, you are just asking for something to crack,” he said.

Elburn Public Works Director John Nevenhoven said he can’t remember seeing signs of warning in the past.

“There are no signs up there right now,” he said. “There have not been any signs on there … forever, as far as I know.”

Village leaders discussed options of signs that prohibited activities on the ponds, signs that tell people that they are using the ponds at their own risk and continuing without signs. They decided to look into how other municipalities are handling the situation.

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