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February 11, 2014 | 01:29 PM
BLOOMFIELD — A recently proposed intergovernmental agreement gave town board members some food for thought Feb. 3.

That night, both town and village boards tabled the draft agreement at their respective meetings.

“I don’t know what issues the town had with the agreement, (but) I think both boards will have to meet on it,” said Village President Ken Monroe over the phone last week.

On Tuesday, Monroe said that meeting will be Friday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.

At the Feb. 3 town board meeting, an issue came up with one section of the agreement, which establishes how both communities will share police, highway, court and other services.

This section references the cost-sharing split used by the town and village. In most cases, the town pays 23 percent of costs, the village 77 percent.

In emails last week, Cindy Howard — clerk for both the town and village of Bloomfield — said at the Feb. 3 town board meeting, supervisor Sue Leedle expressed concern that the split is referenced. The split “represents the proportionate share of expense based on the municipality’s equalized value,” said Howard, but “as properties are annexed into the village and/or out of the town, these figures will fluctuate.”

On the phone last week, Town Chairman Dan Schoonover said with what the board discussed Feb. 3, “I don’t see a major problem at all. We’re just looking at other options that were brought up.”

There is a proposed amendment to the draft agreement, which would remove the split percentage amounts and replace them with the language on how to set the values.

Howard said she asked the board if it should be based on road miles instead, “since this is the method the state uses in determining transportation aids.”

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She also said another issue that came up in the town board discussion was that the village sets the amount for town services in the budget. “The town can negotiate on the flat fee for services. So, in essence, the language on the split may not be necessary.”

In a Feb. 4 email, Leedle said she did not suggest that the board consider other cost-sharing options at the Feb. 3 town board meeting.

When asked if she felt the current 77/23 split is fair, she replied, “The percentage needs to be visited annually.”

On Feb. 5, she was asked to explain her concerns about the draft agreement.

“The existing wording in the draft contract did not reflect existing conditions,” said Leedle. “I just wanted to clean it up.”

The Regional News asked her what these existing conditions are, but she did not reply by press time.

In a separate Feb. 5 email, supervisor Tom Sullivan said he feels the split is fair at this time, “but it would need to be reviewed every six months to a year. If the town would lose land to the village of Bloomfield, Genoa City or Lake Geneva, the 23 percent would have to be adjusted.”

Schoonover also said he felt the split was fair, but questions were raised that should be explored.

“Unless we talk about it, we don’t know. We just want to make sure we’re covering all the bases.”

Sullivan said there aren’t “too many options that I can see” for cost sharing with the village.

The agreement

The intergovernmental agreement is to provide municipal services to the town and village of Bloomfield. Initially, the town and village entered into an intergovernmental shared services agreement Dec. 20, 2011, and amended it twice — in April and November 2012.

If approved as it stands now, the draft agreement would last three years.

It addresses court, police and highway services, joint committees, assets, funds and other items.

Below are other items from the draft agreement.

  • Proportional sharing “shall be determined by creating a ratio between the village and the town based upon its equalized valuation as determined by its respective assessors,” states the draft. If the town receives a grant, that money goes to the town, and vice versa, “except for the recycling grant, which shall be shared proportionally.”

  • If the town no longer exists — something which Schoonover has expressed concerns about in previous interviews — “the town shall pay all of their remaining town fund balances to the village.”

  • Assets acquired after the village was incorporated “shall be owned solely by the village.” The town and the village share joint ownership of municipal buildings and land. 

  • “Payments for services will be based upon the anticipated costs of the departments as derived from their approved budget year.”

  • All forfeitures generated by the Bloomfield Police Department and collected by the Bloomfield Joint Municipal Court shall be shared as revenue by both municipalities “according to their proportional shares.”

  • The town and village electors vote on a judge, but in the event of a vacancy in that office, town and village boards shall appoint someone to complete the remainder of that term. 

  • There are two joint committees — public works and park — and they “shall exist so long as agreed between the town and village.” Either the town or the village can dissolve any joint committee by providing a year’s written notice to the other municipality and adopting an ordinance. 

  • “The town and village agree to discuss a common border agreement upon adoption of this agreement.”

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