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After drowning, some life rings coming to Kenosha’s North Pier as further solutions weighed

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KENOSHA -- City leaders on Monday, Sept. 17 proposed changes to Kenosha's North Pier in an effort to save lives, after a 17-year-old Indian Trail High School student drowned in Lake Michigan after jumping into the water from the pier.

"It shouldn't have taken this long to get where we are now," said Alderman David Bogdala.

Bogdala and Alderman Daniel Prozanski proposed two ordinances and one resolution to change safety measures on the pier.

"It's a basic responsibility of government to provide for public safety," said Alderman Daniel Prozanski.

The two council members proposed: fines for swimming within 150 feet of the pier, consequences for tampering with life rings and education in schools.

"I think that's an important aspect, of educating the public, and starting with kids is the way to go," said Prozanski.

Prozanski's pitch includes a partnership with the Coast Guard, police and fire agencies to educate children at a young age.

Donovan Anderson's body was recovered from Lake Michigan near Carthage College on Sept. 12. He was part of a group of students taking pictures and playing in the water on Sept. 6. Officials said he jumped into the lake off the pier and didn't resurface.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian

Rescue crews brought out boats, helicopters and dive teams to search for Anderson. However, the lake conditions were a challenge for crews early on.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian wants to add life ring kiosks at the pier, but a plan, including maintenance and a leasing agreement would have to be presented in writing to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"The rings will help, but we still need to find a solution to this. This is not going to be a simple solution, and so you have to deal with it accordingly," said Mayor Antaramian.

Mayor Antaramian said city leaders spoke with the Army Corps of Engineers about changing the infrastructure of the pier, which they weren't interested in doing.

"Up until now, the corps has not had a great deal of interest in dealing with the infrastructure on the Great Lakes period," said Antaramian.

A representative from the US Army Corps said the agency will move "as quickly as possible" but could not offer a timeline once the proposal is submitted.

He told FOX 6 the conversations are on their radar and they're "ready to review it and get the process going."

In the meantime, the city owns the Harbor Park side of the pier, and plans to make changes including three life rings that will be posted as soon as the supplies are in, according to the mayor.

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