Border agreements, incorporation can prevent land battles
Some towns negotiate border agreements with neighboring cities and villages, while others consider incorporating as a city or village to prevent turf battles.
Here’s where things stand in Walworth County:
Bloomfield Township: The town has had a border agreement with the village of Genoa City since 1999; it expires next year.
Town Chairman Ken Monroe said the experience has been positive; the village has not annexed any township land since the agreement was reached.
Talk of a new border agreement is just beginning.
The town discussed incorporation in 2006, but the town put the discussion on hold after a resident survey showed little interest in incorporation.
Monroe said a committee of residents formed about six months ago has been working to get signatures for an incorporation petition. The town board and the committee haven’t formally met, but if the town board was presented with a petition, it would review the possibility, he said.
Delavan Township: The town has no border agreements with neighboring cities Delavan and Elkhorn, but last spring the three governments formed a steering committee to discuss growth.
Town Chairman Wayne Polzin said the current town board has done nothing in the way of incorporation.
Geneva Township: The town is working to establish border agreements with Elkhorn, Lake Geneva and Williams Bay.
Town Chairman Dan Lauderdale said the village of Williams Bay is considering a draft agreement.
Residents petitioned the town board in spring 2006 to look at incorporation, and months later the town hired a consulting firm to do a feasibility study.
Incorporation remains an option, Lauderdale said.
Linn Township: The town in September presented the city of Lake Geneva with a draft border agreement, and it’s still waiting for an official response from the city. It plans to work on border agreements with Fontana and Williams Bay in the future.
Town Supervisor Greg Holden said the town wants to “open up the doors for some discussion” with its neighbors.
The town has discussed incorporation, but there are obstacles, Holden said, such as limited population.