Municipal Boundary Review - Home (contact info)
Municipal consolidation is the process of joining two or more cities, villages, or towns to create a single municipal entity. Communities may desire to consolidate to improve services and efficiency, improve community identity, stabilize municipal boundaries, expand political power, better address regional issues, and increase resources such as tax base, housing, water, land, and natural and cultural amenities.
Consolidation is the ultimate in intergovernmental cooperation because where before there were multiple municipalities, there is now only one. Many Wisconsin communities already cooperate on a wide range of services, equipment, personnel, and other municipal functions. For these communities, going the next step and consolidating with their neighbor may make sense.
Wisconsin statutes authorize two different mechanisms for consolidation, one using s. 66.0229 and the other using 66.230. A number of Wisconsin communities have also consolidated by using cooperative boundary agreements under s. 66.0307. Each of these methods has a slightly different process and requirements, described briefly below:
- S. 66.0229 Consolidation
Authorizes a town, village, or city to consolidate with a contiguous town, village or city. Requirements include an ordinance passed by a two-thirds vote of the governing bodies, and ratified by a referendum vote of each community's electors, and if the consolidation involves a town, then submittal to the circuit court and review and approval by the Department of Administration. See List of Incorporation and Consolidation Petitions since 1959 for details about the s. 66.0229 efforts that were reviewed by the Department.
- S. 66.0230 Consolidation
Authorizes all or part of a town to consolidate with a contiguous city or village. Requirements include: 1) resolutions describing a basic level of services to be provided; 2) boundary agreements developed between the consolidating municipalities and adjacent municipalities, 3) a comprehensive plan for the consolidated municipalities, 4) an ordinance passed by a two-thirds vote of the governing bodies, and 5) a referendum vote of each community's electors. The Department of Administration is not directly involved with this type of consolidation, nor is a circuit court.
- S. 66.0307 Cooperative Boundary Agreements
Authorizes neighboring cities, villages, and towns to enter into long-term boundary agreements that resolve issues related to municipal boundaries, land use, services, governance, and other intergovernmental issues such as consolidation. Requires a public hearing and review by the Department of Administration.
Consolidation attempts and successes using the ss. 66.0229 and 66.0230 methods have been rare. They have either failed to meet the statutory requirements or gain sufficient local support, often because of the projected local property tax increase for one of the parties. The Town and Village of Rochester did consolidate in 2009, however, they consolidated outside of the statutory process by utilizing special legislation as part of the 2007-09 state budget act.
Consolidation using s. 66.0307, the cooperative boundary agreement statute, has been more successful. Eventual merger of governments is one of the components of the following communities' boundary agreements:
Last Modified: 3/8/2012 10:35:38 AM