Special Referendum Election - June 20, 2023
Yes = 106, No = 9
SECOND PUBLIC HEARING with the Incorporation Review Board, Department of Administration, will be held on Tuesday, September 22, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. See details under Notices & Agenda.
PUBLIC HEARING HELD on July 14, 2020, before the Wisconsin Department of Administration. It was well attended and comments were made by many of those in attendance.
Please feel free to submit any written comments to Department of Administration at [email protected] or mail to Wisconsin Department of Administration, P O Box 1645, Madison WI 53701 by JULY 24.
2020-04-27 Greenleaf Application to the DOA - FINAL DRAFT - Combined Sections -Incorporation Application in Support of the Incorporation of the Village of Greenleaf
This petition shall be circulated no sooner than 10 days and no later than 20 days after the publication of this Notice and will be completed within six months of the date of this Notice.
Please direct any questions regarding circulation of the Petition for Incorporation to the undersigned.
John A. Brittnacher (920)371-1925
Stephanie Owen (920)309-1483
For meeting agendas and minutes, check the Agendas & Minutes page.
Public Participation in the Incorporation Process
The Town of Wrightstown Board of Supervisors established the Town of Wrightstown Incorporation Committee to review the opportunities and challenges of incorporating the Greenleaf area as a village, to provide a recommendation to the Town Board and Town residents regarding whether the Town should move forward with an incorporation effort, and the recommended boundary area to be included as reviewed per State Statutes.
The Town Board of Supervisors created the committee in July 2018. The Town Chairman, Bill Verbeten, has appointed – Bob Brick, Matt Brick, John Brittnacher, Ron Diny, Bill Ehnerd, Rick Gerbers, Jesse Juedes, Donna Martzahl, Stephanie Owen, Jeanette Roskom, Zach Rutter, Bob Stephany, Bill Verbeten, and Mike Zirbel.
Public Meetings Regarding the Incorporation Process To-Date:
- March 14, 2018 (Town Board meeting)
- April 2, 2018 (Plan Commission meeting)
- April 17, 2018 (Annual Town meeting)
- May 1, 2018 (Town Board meeting)
- May 16, 2018 (Town board meeting)
- July 11, 2018 (Town Board meeting)
GREENLEAF VILLAGE INCORPORATION FAQs
The Greenleaf Area in the Town of Wrightstown is considering incorporating as a Village. This list of questions and responses has been prepared to help citizens understand and evaluate the impact of creating a new form of government for the Greenleaf area. In this process, the Town’s hamlet would become an incorporated Village.
Stay Tuned & Get Involved!
Upcoming public meetings regarding the process will be shared on the Town’s website (see below) as well as posted at the Town Hall, Greenleaf Wayside Bank, Dick’s Family Foods (Wrightstown), and Greenleaf BP.
To receive all meeting notices via email, send a request via email to Donna Martzahl, Town Clerk (see below).
Please contact us for more information & questions:
What does it mean to “incorporate” & become a village?
Under Wisconsin State law, towns are intended to serve as rural communities with sparse populations and minimal service needs. Towns are unincorporated areas, and adjacent incorporated cities and villages can grow through annexation of town land. Through this annexation, the area of the town can shrink over time. Village and City boundaries can change through growth, such as through annexation.
Citizens in other Towns have voted to incorporate as a village or city in order to:
- Gain direct control of the planning and use of land.
- Protect boundaries and areas of the Town from annexation by surrounding Villages and Cities.
- Protect current and future revenue sources, that is, taxes from developed land that help offset the rising costs of providing government services.
The Town does not have a boundary agreement with the Village of Wrightstown that can protect land from future annexation. Incorporation of part of the Town of Wrightstown would allow for a future Village of Greenleaf to annex town land and plan for the surrounding town lands to be developed at the appropriate pace, as determined by the new Village leadership and residents. Defending unincorporated township boundaries can be very costly. The Town of Wrightstown has made multiple attempts toward a boundary agreement with the Village of Wrightstown, but no agreement has been reached.
What area would become a village?
The area has not yet been finalized; however, the proposed area is the urbanized Greenleaf hamlet area (see below). Additional adjacent areas can be included if they meet State requirements. The State requires that the area be a half square mile in size as a minimum, with at least 150 residents. The areas to be incorporated must be more urban and compact in character. Any rural or vacant lands can only be considered as part of the incorporated area if future development within the next three years can be demonstrated.
What is the incorporation process?
- Before the formal state-required process begins, the following steps should be completed:
- Host community conversations to consider incorporation
- Identify community leadership of the proposed village to lead the effort
- Conduct a feasibility study, and during this process establish a proposed boundary
- If proceeding, draft petition document: notice, petition, map, and boundary description
What is the feasibility study?
The feasibility study is a process for reviewing various boundary scenarios and which best fulfills the State requirements for incorporation.
State Requirements for Incorporation as a Village
To incorporate as a village, a town must demonstrate the following essential qualities in its petition:
- Characteristics of Territory:
Is the proposed village homogeneous and compact, and is there a defined community center?
- Territory Beyond the Core:
Does the area beyond the most densely populated ½ square mile meet a defined density per State Statutes?
- Tax Revenue:
Is there enough revenue to provide municipal services?
- Level of Services:
Can these municipal services be provided more easily by a neighbor?
- Impact on the Remainder of the Town:
Is the remnant Town capable of sustaining itself?
These five qualities are reviewed by the Incorporation Review Board to determine if the petition meets the statutory standards for incorporation.
Submission of materials to the Brown County Circuit Court and the Wisconsin Department of Administration:
- File petition with Brown County Circuit Court
- Publication of Notice of filing and Circuit Court Hearing
- Hearing is held
- Application is forwarded to the State and the Incorporation Review Board for review
- If approved, a referendum vote takes place in the proposed area
Resources related to the rules for incorporation:
See Wis. Stats. 66.0201 - 66.02162 for further detailed information:
Information and links to a flow chart can be found on the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration website:
The incorporation process is significant: 1-2 years in total. This timeline includes time to work through the necessary steps for us as a community, and reviews by the County and State. Some parts of the process have defined timelines, while some components are flexible for us to prepare our submission to the State.
What will happen to the Town of Wrightstown?
View the chart comparing current systems and services: Services Grid
If part of the town pursues incorporation, the potential proposed village boundaries will not encompass the entire existing Town of Wrightstown. The Town of Wrightstown will remain as a defined municipal entity with the same powers that it presently has, but less land. If a new village is created, it may eventually annex additional territory from the town into its boundaries, such that the Town of Wrightstown may shrink over time.
Will my taxes increase?
In terms of taxes and municipal finances, there is a financial analysis that is part of the process. It focuses on the Town and proposed Village being financially stable, and includes proposed budgets for both governments. This is a requirement for the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Administration’s Incorporation Review Board to determine that the standards have been met, and to allow the final community incorporation referendum be held.
Can we save money by voting on this first and then applying for incorporation once it is known if the residents want it?
Wisconsin State Statutes require a referendum be held following the State’s review of the requirements and our application to incorporate. In order to initiate the application process with Brown County and the State, 50 or more people must sign a petition to incorporate. We will be carrying out this process in 2018.
How much does incorporation cost and do I have to pay for it if I live in the designated Village area?
The State of Wisconsin charges a fee of $25,000. Additional costs will be incurred because of the services performed by the professional consultants. The Town Board approved a resolution authorizing use of funds related to these expenses at the May 9, 2018 Town Board meeting.
If my property is not in the designated “future village” area, do I get to vote on whether to become a Village?
No – Wisconsin Statutes provides that persons residing in the proposed incorporated area can vote in the referendum.
Do community members have a voice in the proposed incorporation & what is the process?
- Upcoming Town Board and Committee Meetings
- Collection of signatures of eligible residents (property owners that are registered voters) to Petition the Circuit Court of Brown County (Committee members will lead the community discussions and signature collecting)
- Referendum - public vote to become a village
Get Involved in the Process!
- Attend upcoming Board and Committee meetings (publicly noticed)
- Track the process online
- Talk to your neighbors
- Help gather petition signatures
- Consider signing the petition
- Volunteer to help
- Vote in the referendum, if the State approves the incorporation
Did we miss anything? Additional questions? Please let us know.
Thank you for participating!
Please Contact Us for Additional Information & Questions
Donna Martzahl, Town Clerk