Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Incorporation meetings set
Issues unique to Nippersink/Powers Lake

by Steve Targo

September 29, 2011

BLOOMFIELD — With three lakes and several businesses, including a resort with a golf course, the Nippersink/Powers Lake region exists across borders.

Amid all the rustic charm and lakeshore amenities, the community spans two counties and three towns, one of which may soon become a village.

Those who live in the 12-square-mile region of Bloomfield Township northeast of Highway H will face an important decision Tuesday, Nov. 8.

In the referendum election, voters will be asked to turn this area into a village. Properties on the Walworth County side along Tombeau, Benedict and Powers lakes are included within the proposed village of Bloomfield.

Because of this unique situation, there is a special meeting Tuesday, Oct. 4, to discuss how making an incorporated village of Bloomfield would affect the Nippersink/Powers Lake region.

This meeting will occur at the Nippersink Resort, N1055 Tombeau Road.

There also are two more information meetings Wednesdays, Oct. 5 and 12, so other town residents can learn more about the incorporation effort.

These meetings are set at the Bloomfield Town Hall, N1100 Town Hall Road.

All three meetings begin at 6 p.m.

"These two dates (Oct. 5 and 12) are basically for the Pell Lake population and its environs," said Doug Mushel, Incorporation Committee chairman, during a Sept. 21 telephone interview. "But we're trying to meet in the Nippersink area because their issues are a little different."

Although he said the three meetings will cover the same material, there are issues to the Nippersink/Powers Lake area associated with the village proposal.

These issues have existed before proponents first filed an incorporation petition in 2008.

Mushel said the state Department of Administration was concerned about how this area would figure into the proposed village.

He said officials from the town of Randall fear this new village of Bloomfield would annex their land.

State law allows villages and cities to annex town land at a property owner's request.

This, in fact, is one reason people support the village of Bloomfield idea.

For years, town residents, including officials, have expressed concerns about losing town land to the nearby incorporated communities of the city of Lake Geneva and the village of Genoa City — communities which also opposed this current village of Bloomfield proposal.

But will a community victimized by annexation fears become an incorporating juggernaut once voters mark the "yes" space on the ballot Nov. 8?

Not according to Mushel.

"The intent is not to annex land from Randall Township, but rather for the village to stay within the Walworth County area for services and (to maintain) its identity," he said.

A part of Walworth County

According to Mushel, DOA officials also have been concerned about this community's identity and services.

This came up in the Aug. 12 letter from Dawn Vick, chairwoman of the DOA's Incorporation Review Board. Vick wrote the letter to Walworth County Judge John Race to announce the board decided the revised 2010 petition for a village of Bloomfield met state requirements.

She stated the continued division of the Nippersink/Powers Lake area is "unfortunate," but the area already is divided by Kenosha and Walworth counties and three towns.

"Therefore, incorporation will not worsen the situation, but in fact may help by providing community services such as lake patrol, dam repair and lake management," Vick stated.

Mushel said this area's residents on the Bloomfield side in Walworth County already identify with the region proposed to become a village.

"The people who live in Nippersink and these surrounding areas, their children go to school in Walworth County (and) they tend to do more of their shopping in Walworth County," he said.

Whether you live in the Nippersink/Powers Lake region or elsewhere within the proposed village of Bloomfield, all three meetings are intended to provide facts about the issue.

"My main objective is to get the information out to everyone at an information meeting in an atmosphere where people can ask questions," Mushel said. "It's a decision that is crucial and people need to know all the facts so they could make an informed decision that will affect their community."

In a Sept. 14 interview, Mushel said some of the topics for discussion at these meetings may include a history of the incorporation effort in Bloomfield, state standards for becoming a village and how the proposed village and remaining town would exist as separate entities. Projected tax rates for the town and village and municipal services are also expected to figure into these discussions.