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Judge denies motions to block Bloomfield incorporation

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Kevin Hoffman
April 7, 2011
— The town of Bloomfield's petition for incorporation will continue on to a state review board after a Walworth County judge refused to revisit motions to intervene by Lake Geneva and Genoa City.

Judge John R. Race made the decision last week after first rejecting attempts to block the petition during a hearing in February. The town is attempting for the third time in the three years to incorporate part of itself into a village.


The application will be forwarded to the Department of Administration Incorporation Review Board.


Attorneys for Lake Geneva and Genoa City argued the plan isn't viable because its proposed municipal borders conflict with the interests of those communities. Daniel Draper, attorney for Lake Geneva, said the approved village could place a greater need for resources on the city.


Lake Geneva already supplements services to Bloomfield through a multi-jurisdiction agreement to share emergency personnel.


"This provision of service surely will increase if the town is unable to sustain a large enough police and fire squad for its area after incorporation," Draper wrote.


He also expressed concern that incorporation would hinder Lake Geneva's growth. Cities can annex land from townships, but Lake Geneva could not annex from the portion of Bloomfield incorporated into a village.


Bloomfield's proposal seeks to incorporate 8,375 acres populated by about 5,234 people, according to its petition. The town last summer submitted a proposal 30 percent larger, and the state board ruled it was too big.


Bloomfield has made five attempts at incorporation since 1992. The state recommended the town resubmit its application by the end of last year after it restructured its boundaries.


Part of Draper's argument was that the latest position doesn't adhere to the recommendations handed down by the incorporation board.


"The town of Bloomfield's petition includes the wetlands and mucky soils (surrounding Pell Lake) as a portion of the territory to be incorporated," he wrote. "Because the town of Bloomfield's petition does not describe the territory recommended by the board, it should not be entertained."


Bloomfield attorney Anthony Coletti asked that the appeals be thrown out. He said they rehashed the same arguments made in February without presenting any new evidence for their accusations.


Coletti said the new boundaries were drawn in conjunction with state Department of Administration staff, who suggested the new proposal met guidelines.


Bloomfield Town Chairman Ken Monroe previously said he was hopeful the state board would approve this proposal. He said he believed the last two proposals had a good chance to win support before they were rejected.



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