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A smaller village of Bloomfield


Taking another stab at incorporation



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July 21, 2010 | 08:54 AM
Bloomfield — A couple of years ago, the town residents who wanted to turn part of their community into a village started big.

Their pie-in-the-sky dream was to turn 21 square miles northeast of Highway H into a village.

Then, officials from the state Department of Administration suggested they whittle down that plan. So, incorporation proponents took out about 3 square miles.

On June 14, DOA officials said that was still too big.

Now, the town is working on another proposal that likely will call for a village of Bloomfield that's — you guessed it — even smaller.

"We're saying it's between 14 to 16 square miles," Bloomfield Town Chairman Ken Monroe said Friday. "Right now, we're not sure."

He said officials continue to crunch the numbers on this latest plan, and an official square mileage total — along with other crucial factors — isn't ready yet.

Earlier this month, the town's Ad Hoc Incorporation recommended another go at incorporation, and the Town Board agreed to try again. According to Monroe, the town has 120 days from June 14 to submit a revised incorporation request.

But in the new preliminary map, there are two noticeable changes. Lake Ivanhoe is out of the proposed village area, and more land would be left in the town of Bloomfield along the southeast border of the city of Lake Geneva.

That may be attributed to concerns expressed by Lake Geneva officials. In 2008, the city and the village of Genoa City filed motions to intervene with the original Bloomfield incorporation request. In the past, officials from both communities expressed concerns about the proposed village of Bloomfield borders.

State law allows cities and villages to annex from a nearby town at a property owner's request. Lake Geneva and Genoa City officials are concerned the proposed village of Bloomfield limits would reduce the growth opportunities for their communities. Also, Bloomfield residents don't want to lose town land to Lake Geneva and Genoa City.

"Keeping what we have, that's what it boils down to," Monroe said.

But he said this plan — which is one of "two or three different drafts" town officials showed DOA representatives June 14 — took in some of these neighbors' concerns.

Monroe said himself, Doug Mushel, new Incorporation Committee Chairwoman Becky Gallagher and Lowell Sweet, the town's incorporation attorney, presented the most recent map Thursday, July 15, to Lake Geneva Mayor Jim Connors, City Administrator Dennis Jordan and City Attorney Dan Draper.

Monroe said he expects to present it soon to Genoa City officials.

Last year, Bloomfield and Genoa City officials negotiated a "buffer zone," or an area in which Bloomfield land would remain in the existing town north of Genoa City. However, those officials never agreed on a caveat that those property owners couldn't annex into the proposed village of Bloomfield after a certain number of years.

So far, there's been no word from neighboring officials yet. However, town officials are struggling to complete what Monroe called "a great deal of work" for the latest village proposal.

"(Town planner) John Stockham has to rerun the figures for the tax base for the newly revised village area, to make sure the incorporated area has enough of a tax base to support itself and so the town has enough of a tax base, too," Monroe said. "He's going to figure out all the services, what it would cost to run the village, then figure out how much it would get in tax revenue. (Then) it has to be presented to the DOA."

Monroe said this time, the price is right.

"The reason we're asking again is we don't have to repay anything," he said. "If we had to come up with another payment, then that would be a different story. But as long as they're not charging us for it, then it's worth taking another chance."

For the initial filing, the cost was $20,000.

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