Bloomfield incorporation request turned down
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP A part of Bloomfield Township still could become a village if officials and residents there request incorporation of a smaller area, according to a state decision filed Monday.
A petition filed with the state Department of Administration sought to incorporate 18.5 square miles of the township northeast of County H and including the Pell Lake area.
In court documents filed Monday, state officials wrote that the area requested fails to meet required standards for incorporation. A smaller area surrounding Pell Lake could qualify for incorporation, if residents there request to become a village, according to the documents.
Bloomfield Township Chairman Ken Monroe said the next step is to go back and discuss whether the town should pursue incorporation under the new area outlined by state officials.
“If the committee wants to go forward with it, we could redraw the lines and possibly meet with the Department of Administration,” Monroe said. “But we’re back to where we were before.”
If filed within 120 days, review board officials would consider waving the fee for a new petition.
Monroe said the petition for incorporation was signed by about 400 township residents, but in the end it came down to Lake Geneva and Genoa City officials, who petitioned against the incorporation request.
“The state more or less ruled in favor of the 12 people instead of the 400 people that signed the petition,” Monroe said, referencing the Lake Geneva City Council and the Genoa City Board of Trustees.
In a March public hearing, Bloomfield Township residents spoke overwhelmingly in favor of the incorporation request. They said they don’t associate themselves with Lake Geneva or Genoa City.
Rather, they want to be recognized as a unique community and prevent their identity from being swallowed up by neighboring municipalities.
Representatives from Lake Geneva and Genoa City argued against the borders of the proposed village, saying the requested area was too close to their borders.
Dan Draper, Lake Geneva city attorney, said the state’s decision is in line with the position Lake Geneva has adopted from day one. City officials would not be opposed to incorporating Pell Lake or a smaller territory, he said.
This is not the first time a group of residents has tried to incorporate part of Bloomfield Township. Years ago, a group sought incorporation of the Pell Lake area. They got approval from the Department of Administration officials, but residents in 2001 voted down the incorporation referendum.