Board hires attorney amid talk of town’s possible incorporation effort

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

Village of Waterford officials this week went on record against their neighboring township’s incorporation effort – and the end result is legal representation expected to cost at least $40,000 in the second half of this year.

The Village Board on Monday affirmed Village Administrator Zeke Jackson’s recommendation of retaining Municipal Law and Litigation Group to serve as the village’s representation in the Town of Waterford’s possible incorporation effort.

Earlier this summer, the town’s efforts to incorporate, potentially into the Village of Tichigan, became known when a public notice was posted to circulate a petition for the effort.

Jackson in a memo to the Village Board said he saw one clear option in how to proceed with the overtures taking place in the namesake township.

“On first examination, I do not feel that the town meets the requirements as listed under state statutes to successfully complete an incorporation,” Jackson wrote in the memo.

In his correspondence to the board, Jackson further commented on his preliminary thoughts on the effort afoot within the town.

“Moreover, the village has rights that I feel prudent to exercise that would protect our boundaries and allow for a natural progression of growth and development around our urban core,” Jackson wrote.

During deliberations at this week’s meeting, Village President Don Houston shared his thoughts on the matter. Houston said he believed the two Waterfords should take a page out of what occurred more than a decade ago in Rochester.

“To me, the only thing that makes sense is to merge the town and village – that’s my opinion,” Houston said.

One town resident did step to the microphone at this week’s Village Board meeting and questioned officials on their hiring of an attorney on the town’s incorporation efforts.

Dan Egan, a 33-year town resident on Sunburst Court, read through the village’s comprehensive plan adopted a year ago. One component of the document was a call for greater strides toward intergovernmental relationships, particularly with the Town of Waterford and Racine County.

Speaking to the village’s hiring of an attorney against the backdrop of the comprehensive plan, Egan said, “That doesn’t sound to me like there’s a whole lot of intent for coordinated cooperation.”

To read the full story see the July 26 edition of the Waterford Post.

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