A larger than normal group attended the annual Wawasee Property Owners public board meeting Saturday morning for reasons appearing to be because of a publicized topic addressing the numerous thefts from lake homes. There was also a noise concern brought up by residents there complaining of noise from Oakwood Hotel’s nightly bands.
The public meeting was held at Oakwood Hotel with guest speakers Kosciusko County Sheriff Rocky Goshert, KCSD Capt. C. Aaron Rovenstine, Syracuse Police Chief Tony Ciriello and Cottage Watchman owner Frank Rhodes.
A third topic, a recent ruling regarding activities within 200 feet from shore was addressed by Steve Snyder.
Rovenstine, who handles the enforcement division, announced during the presentation that a “person of interest” has been detained in regards to the approximate 15 break-ins of homes on Lake Wawasee. Because the matter is under investigation he could not respond to some questions asked, but he did note the individual is an adult. It is still unknown if there were additional individuals involved.
Goshert noted residents “are the eyes and ears of the department,” which is operating on manpower from 2003. “Without lake patrol, without having you folks, we would have trouble covering this whole thing without Tony’s help (Syracuse Police Department) …”
He noted there have always been break-ins of winter homes, but this year was worse than previous. “We are in the process of trying to figure out how we can combat this stuff … if you guys see anything that’s not right, give us a call.”
Rovenstine assured residents the sheriff made it a top priority to get the break-ins solved. He noted there was a saturation patrol, off duty officers wearing plain clothes were “running around with flashlights, unmarked vehicles,” for several weeks and they went door to door canvassing for any additional information.
He noted the method used in the break-ins were unique, indicating it could be the same individual(s) as entry was made through small windows and electronic items were the only things taken. However, police found it a little disconcerting that no calls of suspicious activities was received while officers were out with flashlights and looking in vehicles.
Ciriello reiterated the need for neighbors watching out for neighbors, and urged people to call police if there’s anything suspicious.
Rhodes explained some of the security systems available and noted the best investment is to purchase several timers to put in various rooms to activate at different times. Motion censored lights were also noted to be a good deterrent of crime.
Video segments of the meeting can be seen on InkFreeNews.com at http://www.inkfreenews.com/2014/06/15/thefts-noise-buoys-topic-wpoa-meeting/
Complaints Of Noise
Residents in Sunset Addition voiced complaints/concerns over the live band music coming from Oakwood nightly, causing windows to rattle and otherwise peaceful evenings to be disrupted.
Ron Kull asked if there was an ordinance against noise saying that when the sun goes down the music gets louder. He also questioned if the hotel management was concerned saying, “It seems as though they have no control what happens on their property.”
One resident noted it was “horrible music.” Dan Hartstine said he has measured the noise in decibels from his residence 1,620 feet away, as well as at the Channel Marker. He noted the decibel peaked at 103 with him just 17 feet away. At his home it peaked at 107 from Oakwood’s music. He said OSHA requires ear protection at a decibel of 90.
However, Hartstine added, “everyone wants them to succeed. They revive the area, but where’s their common sense, respect for neighbors?” Concern that hotel officials were not present at the meeting was also voiced.
Kay Young, WPOA board president, noted the new town ordinance and that hotel management does understand the problem and are making adjustments in the speaker system. It was also noted that sound magnifies as it travels across the lake.
Ciriello noted the ordinance just went into effect and is now enforceable. Also, Oakwood has hired off duty officers and these officers will make sure the ordinance is adhered to. He stated the ordinance will attempt to reduce the noise, but is not going to stop it. “It happens. You can’t eliminate it, all we can do is make it as comfortable as possible.”
“It is a concern to all of us, hopefully it can be worked out and get better as the summer progresses.”