Referendum largely in response to Foxconn-related development pressures

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

The Town of Yorkville could become an incorporated community known as the Village of Yorkville this spring, depending on voter input.

Yorkville’s three town supervisors on Jan. 2 voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that sets the stage for a referendum question on the ballot during the spring general election, which is slated for April 3.

The recent incorporation talks in Yorkville are spurred by Foxconn’s impending arrival in nearby Mount Pleasant. Town chairman Peter Hansen, however, was quick to point out the effort is broader in scope.

“We need to become a village and protect ourselves,” Hansen said at this week’s meeting. “That is our main focus.”

The timing of the vote, which had been anticipated in recent months, was intricately tied to the establishment of an information technology manufacturing zone in Mount Pleasant, which became official the day prior, on Jan. 1.

Creation of the zone, under state statute, gives Yorkville special authorities it would not otherwise have under guidelines set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Administration, the agency handling municipalities’ incorporation efforts.

Typically, the DOA has protocol for towns seeking incorporation as villages or cities, including population density formulas and land mass requirements. Some of the protocol for Yorkville, still a heavily agricultural community, can be lifted with the Foxconn-related zone in place in Mount Pleasant.

Yorkville’s incorporation effort comes at a time when the usually under-the-radar community has grabbed headlines for various reasons.

While nothing is on the table, Yorkville officials have expressed concern of losing land as an unincorporated township as Foxconn grows its operations. The company is expected to begin operations on the first of multiple phases within Mount Pleasant in a year.

Last month, City of Milwaukee officials also began preliminary discussions of establishing a so-called satellite city within a portion of Yorkville’s existing boundaries in an effort to provide housing accommodations for some of its residents working at Foxconn.

By incorporating into a village, Hansen and other municipal officials have asserted the community will have more authority in charting its future course.

To read the full story, see the Jan. 5 edition of the Westine Report. The newspaper is on sale at retail outlets throughout the area.

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