YORKVILLE — Town officials on Monday took the first step toward Yorkville incorporating as a village.
The Town Board and Plan Commission on Monday night passed a resolution to hold a spring referendum to ask residents whether incorporation should be pursued. No date has been set for the referendum.
One section of the Foxconn legislation states that towns adjacent to the site of the future manufacturing plant have the option of incorporating into a village or city, regardless of whether they meet the state’s standard qualifications for incorporation, which include meeting population density targets.
“This simplified the procedure,” said Yorkville Chairman Peter Hansen. “This one said all you have to do is have a referendum.”
Hansen said the state’s office of economic development notified him that the future Foxconn site in Mount Pleasant will not officially be designated an electronic district until Jan. 1, so any official movement toward incorporation has to wait until that time.
Hansen recommended the board vote Monday on authorizing a referendum and then finalize the date with another motion after the new year.
Veteran Town Supervisor Terrence McMahon asked that the proposed referendum date, April 3, be removed from the motion in case the board decides to reschedule. April 3 is the date of the regularly scheduled municipal and school elections. But McMahon said the town might have to hold a primary in February before the general election in April and suggested the board might want to hold the referendum then.
After Monday’s vote of intention to hold the referendum, McMahon suggested the town hold an information session for the public a few weeks after the referendum date is finalized. Hansen agreed and announced that town officials would try to schedule at least one information session around the third week of January.
Reasons for incorporation
Hansen said the biggest motivation to incorporate is so that the town will be able to maintain its borders. Under state law, cities and villages have more statutory power than towns, including the authority to annex land from towns.
“We’re not becoming a village for the sake of becoming a village,” Hansen said. “We’re doing it so that no one can annex our property.”
McMahon threw out the suggestion that the board consider upgrading the town all the way to a city classification instead of a village. Former towns like Muskego, New Berlin and Mequon incorporated as cities.
“In the law it says we can be a village or a city, why not be a city?” said McMahon. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We’re thinking big, so think big.”
The other supervisors and plan commissioners said they would like to have some time to research the difference between the two before deciding.
“Village sounds more small town,” said Plan Commissioner Douglas Nelson. “And I like that.”
Effect on Union Grove
If Yorkville did incorporate, it would surround the Village of Union Grove, much the way Mount Pleasant surrounds Sturtevant. But Union Grove Village President Mike Aimone said Monday that if Yorkville becomes a village, Union Grove would still have avenues for expansion, though he didn’t go into specifics.
“We’ll address that as it arises,” he said.
Overall, Aimone said he doesn’t foresee the municipalities’ relationship changing. The two entities already share a municipal building and a fire department.
“We’ll continue to work with the Town of Yorkville, taking into consideration what’s best for the citizens of Union Grove and Yorkville,” he said. “We look forward to being good neighbors.”