Judge certifies Bloomfield's incorporation plan

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Kevin Hoffman
Friday, February 11, 2011
— The state review board will hear Bloomfield Township's third request for incorporation in three years despite continuing objections from neighboring communities.

Walworth County Judge John R. Race certified the township's proposal during a hearing Thursday morning. It will be forwarded to the Department of Administration's Incorporation Review Board, which will ultimately determine whether the plan is economically viable.

Attorneys for Genoa City and Lake Geneva attended the hearing after filing petitions to intervene. Linda Gray, representing Genoa City, argued the southern border of the proposed area of incorporation affects the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

State law allows municipalities of Genoa City's size to make certain land and development determinations 12 miles outside their borders.

Lake Geneva's objection was based on development and services concerns, but Race denied petitions to intervene from both communities.

Race did raise questions about what would become of the town's remnants not included in the proposal. The state board will determine, among other things, how the remaining township will be affected.

"The fact is that a six-month process went on between the time that the Department of Administration made the last decision and today," Bloomfield attorney Anthony Coletti said. "(The town) made several trips up to Madison, and worked out those issues in great detail. I believe that the Department of Administration is satisfied with the boundaries of incorporation and the provisions that's going to be made for the remnant of the town."

Bloomfield's latest proposal seeks to incorporate 8,375 acres populated by about 5,243 people, according to its petition. That's about 30 percent smaller than a proposal last summer, which the state board ruled was too large.

Incorporation petitions failed in 2008 and 2009. Bloomfield has made five attempts since 1992.

This isn't the first time Genoa City and Lake Geneva attempted to intervene. Last summer, both told the state board they disagreed with the size of the proposal but not Bloomfield's attempt to incorporate into a village.

The state recommended Bloomfield redraw its boundaries and return with a new proposal. It also waived the $20,000 application fee.

Race's review Thursday certified the documents as meeting all requirements to submit the paperwork. It will be up to the Incorporation Review Board to determine whether the proposal will maintain economic stability in Bloomfield while minimizing the affect on neighboring areas.

According to state law, incorporation would prevent other communities from annexing that land.

Coletti said Race rejecting petitions to intervene from Genoa City and Lake Geneva prevents them from filing objections with the state. Those communities only can attend the hearing and comment as citizens, he said.

Last updated: 4:20 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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