Incorporation

INCORPORATION

towerOn March 23, 2018 a pair of Town residents filed a notice of intent to circulate a petition to incorporate the Town of Greenville.  A petition began circulating on April 3, 2018 and was filed with the Town Clerk on April 12, 2018.  The petition will be filed with the Circuit Court in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes.   The Town of Greenville has developed the following page dedicated toward informing the public of the Town's incorporation efforts.  Updates to the incorporation process will be posted here as they become available.

What is incorporation?
Municipal incorporation is the process of creating new villages and cities from town territory. It is regulated under Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 66 General Municipality Law (s. 66.0201).

What is the process for an incorporation?
The incorporation process involves the following six elements:

  • Petition signed by area residents and freeholders (Filed with Circuit Court)
  • Circuit court review
  • Incorporation Review Board review
  • Potential involvement of neighboring municipalities who may support or oppose the proposed incorporation; 
  • Referendum vote by residents
  • Incorporation certificate from the Department of Administration, if the above steps in the process are met

The Wisconsin Department of Administration provides the following Incorporation Flow Chart as a reference for the timing and elements of the incorporation process.

More specifically, the incorporation process begins with a pair of citizens' intention to circulate a petition for incorporation.  The intent to circulate a petition must be published as a class 1 notice.   A petition is then drawn up and circulated for signatures. The petition must designate a representative of the petitioners and an alternate. After enough signatures are gathered, the petition must be filed with the circuit court along with proof of publication. The circuit court then conducts a hearing on the petition. The court determines whether certain statutory standards are met, and whether any parties are entitled to intervene in the incorporation proceedings. If the court determines the map, legal description, population, and area standards are met, the petition is referred to the Department of Administration for analysis of the proposed incorporation. The Department may hold a public hearing on the petition if one is requested by any party of interest. The Department of Administration analysis is a critical part of the incorporation process. The Department is required to determine whether the proposed incorporation meets certain standards.  These standards include:

  • Characteristics of the Territory
  • Territory Beyond the Core
  • Tax Revenue.
  • Level of Services
  • Impact on the Remainder of the Town
  • Impact on the Metropolitan Community

If the Department of Administration approves the Incorporation petition, there would be a referendum to determine whether the Incorporation is approved by the voters within the area of the proposed incorporation.

Where can I find more information about incorporation?
Here are some helpful links which will provide additional information on incorporation:

Why incorporate the Town of Greenville?

  1. Preserve the Town of Greenville’s Identity and Character;
  2. Make Local Planning & Zoning Decisions and Improve Our Ability to Attract and Retain Businesses;
  3. Preserve Greenville’s Borders and Protect the Future of Our Community;
  4. Attract and Retain Businesses to the Region and Promote Infrastructure Improvement;
  5. Have the Ability to Be More Fiscally Sound and Finance Projects More Efficiently and Effectively;
  6. Ability to Receive a Better Bond Rating;
  7. Villages and Cities Have More Access to State and Federal Aids, Grants and Shared Revenues than Towns.
To read more about why to incorporate, click here.

What are the pros & cons of incorporation?
Pros: 
  • Protection of Borders
  • Preservation of Tax Base
  • Zoning Authority including Shoreland Zoning
  • Extra Territorial Authority
  • Land Division Autonomy
  • Complete Village Powers
  • Bonding Authority
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF) without special restrictions
  • Potential for Improved Bond Ratings
  • Opportunity for More Grant Funds
Cons (possible depending on view point):
  • Elimination of the Town Meeting.  (e.g. approval of tax levy, land purchases/sales, Town facility construction, etc.; see Wis Stats. 60.10 )
  • Authority to fund private enterprise without Town Elector Approval
Will my taxes increase because of incorporation?
No, taxes will not increase because of incorporation. Tax rates are established based upon the service level requested by the Town residents, and the assessed valuation of the Town. The Town presently maintains a service level necessary for incorporation; hence, no additional services will be required because of incorporation.  

Furthermore, State law only allows a municipality to increase its levy over the amount it levied in the prior year by the percentage increase in equalized value from net new construction. If no new construction occurs, then the allowable levy increase is zero.  This law applies to counties, cities, villages and towns.

If incorporation occurs, will the newly created village seek the annexation of territory from surrounding Towns like Ellington, Hortonia, Grand Chute, etc.?
No, the current Town Board desires to enter into municipal boundary agreements with our adjacent Towns to protect their respective borders.   Based on the Town of Greenville’s current land area and proposed incorporation area, no additional territory is needed or desired for the foreseeable future.

Is it true that the new village would be required to provide for its own Police Department or a full- time Fire Department?  Would the Town be required to build a library or swimming pool?  
No, the Town of Greenville already maintains a service level necessary for incorporation— the Town would not be required to operate its own Police Department or a full-time Fire Department. Nor would the Town be required to build a library or community swimming pool.

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who to contact?

Questions, comments or concerns can be directed to Town Administrator Joel Gregozeski.  Joel can be reached at (920) 757-5151 or by email at: joelg@townofgreenville.com