Bristol approves agreement with Pleasant Prairie paving way for annexation referendum

Town of Bristol residents will get the chance to vote on whether they want to join the village of Bristol as a single entity again, after actions by the village and town boards  and Pleasant Prairie Village Board Thursday night.

All three municipalities approved an agreement that settles a legal dispute between Pleasant Prairie and Bristol over the legality of having a refeendum among town residents to achieve a mass annexation of the town into the village of Bristol.

The Bristol boards discussed the agreement in executive session for about 90 minutes. Both boards approved the agreement unanimously.

A key portion of the agreement, which amends a 1997 agreement on boundaries between Pleasant Prairie and Bristol, allows for 35 acres of land to be added to Pleasant Prairie’s future growth area. Property in that growth area will eventually be annexed into Pleasant Prairie.

All of that land is presently owned by shipping products company Uline and will allow a planned building on the site to be within one municipality — Pleasant Prairie, said William White, Bristol’s attorney. Uline is building a headquarters and warehouses just west of I-94 mostly on land already in Pleasant Prairie.

About 20 acres of the Uline site will remain in — and paying taxes too — Bristol, White said.

The agreement also calls for Bristol to consider three other landowners’ wishes to annex into Pleasant Prairie, even though they are not in the designated growth area, said Kevin Long, Pleasant Prairie’s attorney. In the agreement, Pleasant Prairie also agrees to withdraw it opposition to the annexation referendum.

In addition, Uline will pay Bristol $100,000 per year for five years in compensation for lost tax revenue due to the land given up to Pleasant Prairie. Bristol will pay 50 percent of that money back to Pleasant Prairie to satisfy debt for sewer improvements, White said.

The Circuit Court is expected to make a June 29 date for the referendum official Friday with a court order.

Bristol village President Rich Gossling sees the looming referendum vote as the last step in the incorporation process.

“I’m extremely pleased that we’re going to go to the public, to the electyorate,” Gossling said.

The northwest portion of the town was incorporated as a village last December. Efforts to incorporate the whole town and later half of the town were rejected by the state, necessitating the small incorporation and then en masse annexation of the rest of the town via referendum scenario for uniting Bristol as a single municipality.


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