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October 15, 2013 | 02:18 PMBLOOMFIELD — The countdown has begun.
On Oct. 2, the state’s Department of Administration (DOA) began its 20-day review of the petition signed by 28 town residents for the village of Bloomfield to annex almost 53 acres, mostly along the northeast side of Daisy Drive.
Last week, Village President Ken Monroe and Cindy Howard — town clerk and village clerk-treasurer — said they expect the DOA to complete its review Oct. 22.
A special village board meeting is already scheduled for Monday, Oct. 28, for other business.
Monroe said he expects, if the DOA approves the petition for direct annexation, that the annexation request could be added to that meeting’s agenda.
He said, if so, it’s likely his board will act on it during that meeting.
In previous interviews, Monroe has said he would support any annexation request, including this one, which was filed by Eugene and Mary Rush, N894 Daisy Drive.
On the phone last week, Bloomfield Town Chairman Dan Schoonover said he won’t stand in the way.
“We support the residents’ decisions to do what they feel is best,” Schoonover said.
But it creates an unusual conundrum.
It’s conceivable that every town property owner could, at some point, request to be annexed by the village of Bloomfield, thereby achieving what the recent failed attempt at mass annexation might have done if it had gone to referendum.
However, on Jan. 23, a Walworth County judge dismissed the village’s mass annexation request.
The desire to make all of Bloomfield a village hasn’t gone away, though. Schoonover said he expects that the Rush annexation request won’t be the only one.
“More and more, people are looking at it, so I think it’s going to continue,” he said.
Schoonover pondered other questions about annexation, such as how it will affect his town’s budget, and asked something he said no one has been able to answer.
“As far as I know, no one’s been through this before,” he said. “Right now, all we can do is watch and see what happens. But, I mean, at some point, a decision would have to be made. At what point, if enough people leave, can you not be a township anymore?”
The Rush annexation request is the first since the failed mass annexation attempt.
If approved, Schoonover said, the village has to pay the town five years worth of property tax revenue for the annexed land.
In an Oct. 11 email, Howard said the tax revenue for the properties in the Rush annexation request was $11,542.55 in 2012, before state aid.
“The village intends to pay the required five years in annual installments to the town,” she stated. According to Howard, the first payment would be made in February 2014.
The payments would be based on the before state aid amount “since the village would now be receiving that state aid upon annexation,” she said.
According to the petition documents, 31 people live in the area — on 13 properties, a total of 52.91 acres.
Other property owners who signed it include Kenneth and Gaela Bergloff, N884 Daisy Drive; Brad and Ellen Bauman, N872 Daisy Drive; Jeffrey and Robin Hill, N856 Daisy Drive; Stephen Jacobsmeyer, N844 Daisy Drive; Edward and Marguerite Sylvester, N824 Daisy Drive; Edward and Jodie Yi, N814 Daisy Drive; Rose Lewallen, W916 Twin Lakes Road; Timothy and Lana Madole, N744 Highway H; Donna Jones, W943 Twin Lakes Road; Donald and M.G. Holden, W934 Twin Lakes Road; Marjorie Holden and Philip Robinson, N959 Daisy Drive; and Timothy and Lynn Zelinski, W942 Twin Lakes Road.
The petition had been filed Sept. 9.
However, Howard said the petitioners provided individual maps and legal descriptions of their properties.
The DOA wanted one map and one legal description, so it placed a hold on the request, Howard said.
The petition states that the land in question is contiguous to the village, that the annexation would create “no town islands,” and the proposed annexation is necessary “to sustain continued services through the village, and to retain minimal municipal real estate taxes.”