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Township takes step to becoming a village

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Ted Sullivan
August 20, 2008
— Voters in Bloomfield Township could decide in the spring whether to become a village if the state approves an incorporation request that is shaping up to be a border war.

Bloomfield's petition to become a village was approved Tuesday in Walworth County Court and will be forwarded to the state Department of Administration for review, Judge Robert Kennedy decided.


The city of Lake Geneva and village of Genoa City, which might seek to grow and develop in Bloomfield, are opposing the town's request.


Attorneys for Lake Geneva and Genoa City appeared in court and will be allowed to intervene in the case.


Bloomfield, Lake Geneva and Genoa City are sparring over land northeast of County H from Lake Geneva to Genoa City, including the developed Pell Lake area.


Bloomfield residents want to incorporate to preserve their community's identity and keep the money generated from taxes, they said. The town would lose that revenue if the land became part of Lake Geneva or Genoa City.


"We want to protect our borders and we want to continue to be able to have the revenue we enjoy," resident Eugene Rush said after the court hearing.


About 250 Bloomfield residents signed the petition to incorporate part of the town into a village. The town's application fee to incorporate is $20,000.


Residents already consider the town independent with its own services such as police, fire, water and sewer.


In court Tuesday, about a dozen Bloomfield residents attended the hearing.


After a brief dispute over the legality of the petition's signatures, attorneys on all three sides agreed that the application was valid.


The state Incorporation Review Board will hold a hearing on whether Bloomfield can become a village, said Tim Lovett, an attorney representing the town.


Attorneys for Genoa City and Lake Geneva can make arguments at the hearing.


If approved, the petition will be moved back to Walworth County Court, Lovett said. A judge then would set a date for a referendum, possibly in the spring.


"We want to see it move forward," Bloomfield resident Don Holden said after the court hearing.



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