Residents get chance to ask questions about Bristol annexation referendum

Bristol attorney William White answers questions from the audience.

About 75 people attended a public information meeting Thursday about the upcoming Bristol annexation referendum to have their question about the issue answered.

The town’s attorney, William White, gave a recap of how the annexation process evolved so far resulting in the northwest corner of the town being incorporated as a village last December and then seeking a referendum to bring the rest of the town into the village. That vote will be June 29.

Here are some of the questions and summaries of White’s answers:

What will be the tax impact? — White said reuniting would have negligible impact, though he mentioned that maintaining the two governments is likely slightly more expensive.

If the referendum passes, do today’s borders stay intact? — Yes, and land cannot be annexed involuntarily out of  a village. But villages can negotiate mutually agreeable changes of boundaries.

What’s the upside to staying a town? — Tradition and the annual town meeting.

Will Uline have access to Highway U? — There’s nothing in the agreement calling for that, but Highway U is a county highway and ultimately under county jurisdiction.

Can Pleasant Prairie and Kenosha fight the incorporation if the annexation referendum passes? — Both municipalities have signed a binding agreement saying they will not.

Will extra territorial zoning still apply if all of Bristol is a village? — No a village is not impacted by neighbors extra territorial authority.

Which Bristol government will exist if the annexation referendum passes? — The Viilage Board will remain and the Town Board will cease to exist.

What will happen with zoning designations for property in the town if it is absorbed into the village? — When the current village area was incorporated the town zonings were absorbed as well, they could not be changed without the typical due process.

Can the state nullify the annexation referendum result? — No, there is no review authority for the state.

Is there a minimum turnout requirement for the referendum? — No.

Would incorporation require the entire current town to have sewer and service? — No

Will taxes be higher in the village? — There’s no anticipation that taxes will be higher, and they may be lower due to the elimination of government duplication.

Can the village try again if the referendum fails? — Yes.

Are absentee ballots available for the referendum? — Yes at the municipal building. Voting on June 29 will be at Holy Cross Church (formerly St. Scholastica Church).


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