YORKVILLE — Voters in Yorkville will decide this spring whether or not the town will become a village.
The Yorkville Town Board on Monday unanimously approved a resolution on to start the process of incorporating the town as a village through a referendum vote on April 3.
“If the citizens approve this resolution, making us a village, our boundaries are protected,” said Town Supervisor Terrence McMahon.
If the referendum passes, adjacent incorporated villages — Mount Pleasant, Union Grove and Somers — would not be able to annex parts of Yorkville into their boundaries. Monday’s vote also stops any annexation attempts until after the referendum. However, if the referendum fails, annexation attempts could begin the next day.
The members of the Town Board decided to hold the referendum on the same day as the scheduled spring election in order to ensure more voters make it to the polls.
“I think it’s important to get as many people at the poll as possible to be fair to everybody,” said Town Chairman Peter Hansen.
This referendum is possible due to Foxconn-related legislation saying that towns adjacent to the site of the future manufacturing plant — Yorkville and Paris — have the option of incorporating into a village or city, regardless of whether they meet the state’s standard qualifications for incorporation, which include population density targets.
Under state law, cities and villages have more statutory power than towns, including the authority to annex land from towns.
The Town Board had to wait to vote on a formal resolution to incorporate until after the information technology manufacturing zone in Mount Pleasant was officially formed on Jan. 1. That was a stipulation in the legislation allowing Yorkville to pursue incorporation.
If voters decide to make Yorkville a village, it will surround the Village of Union Grove. That doesn’t mean Union Grove can never expand its borders. For instance, if a property owner in a future Village of Yorkville wanted to become a part of Union Grove, and both villages agreed to the request, then a boundary change could be made.
“We could work out a negotiation between our village and the village next to us,” Hansen said.
The members of the Yorkville Town Board agreed that area municipalities should all work together to their mutual benefit.
“We’re better if they’re better,” Hansen said.
A new village board would be made up of five members, while the current Town Board has only three members. They are Hansen, McMahon and Supervisor Sherry Gruhn.
“If we do incorporate and become a village, we will have to have an election this summer for a new board,” Hansen said.