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State approves boundary plan for Kekoskee and Williamstown

October 6, 2018

The state has approved a plan to create a new village of Williamstown.

Now approved, the current village of Kekoskee will dissolve, merging with the unincorporated town of Williamstown to create the new incorporated village. It will surround the city of Mayville and have a population of about 800.

Officials in Kekoskee and Williamstown have been working for months to get the plan approved, submitting two revisions to the state’s Department of Administration before it was approved. Officials in Mayville have opposed the plan over concerns that the surrounding village would stunt the city’s growth. The city’s position was that Kekoskee should simply dissolve into Williamstown and become unincorporated. The school district has raised concerns about its student population growth and transportation

The state accepted a proposal meant to address the city’s concern: a “city growth area” of land around Mayville, where property owners may detach their land into the city for urban development and the higher level of services that would provide. To detach, there would need to be approval from a majority of owners in three-fourths of the territory. The growth area will last for 100 years.

In a previous proposal, the growth area would have required unanimous consent from landowners, which the state found to be too restrictive. Throughout the process, the Department of Administration made several suggestions to help Kekoskee and Williamstown get over the hump for approval.

The original reason given for the merger idea was that Kekoskee, population 150, has trouble finding people to serve in the village’s government. Later, town residents spoke out about Mayville’s ability to have some control over land near its borders and wondered about emergency services and landfill revenue.

A party that considers themselves to be negatively impacted by the state’s decision has the right to appeal within 30 days.

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