Paris, Somers, Kenosha come to agreement on I-94 development, border and extension of water/sewer service

(From left) Paris Supervisor Ron Kammerzelt, Somers President George Stoner, Paris Chairman Virgil Gentz, County Executive Jim Kreuser, Paris Supervisor Ken Monson.

(From left) Paris Supervisor Ron Kammerzelt, Somers President George Stoner, Paris Chairman Virgil Gentz, County Executive Jim Kreuser, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian and Paris Supervisor Ken Monson.

Officials from Paris, Somers and Kenosha announced an agreement Tuesday afternoon regarding I-94 development, extending sewer and water service to that area and a permanent border for Paris at a special meeting of the Paris Town Board.

“Today, we have a tentative agreement and we’re in concurrence with one another on the major tenets going forward,” said County Executive Jim Kreuser.

The three municipalities have agreed on a concept that will designate areas of Paris for eventual annexation into Somers and Kenosha, but not allow any further annexations from those municipalities, giving Paris a stable border, Kreuser said.

“Our boundaries in the town of Paris are now permanent,” said Paris Supervisor Ron Kammerzelt.

The agreement also will feature sharing of revenue between Paris and Somers for the land developed in village growth area. And the Kenosha Water Utility will be able to bring sewer and water to both the village and city growth areas.

Officials also said the agreement will in effect bring to a halt the legal challenges to a intergovernmental agreement between Somers and Paris approved earlier this year that also sought to drive development along I-94, but left Kenosha — and its water and sewer service — out.

A key feature of the new concept is that Paris property owners in the Somers or Kenosha growth areas will not have to annex into the village or city for 50 years, unless they request to do so sooner, said Kammerzelt.

Opponents of the Somers-Paris IGA — which included an immediate and forced transfer of property from Paris to Somers — in the audience also called the new concept better than the Paris-Somers IGA.

“I far prefer this concept to the old IGA,” said Scott Kirschner, who owns property in the designated Kenosha growth area. He pointed out that his taxes will not increase drastically — unless he annexes — and he will be able to choose when to annex, such as when a sale to a developer is viable.

Tom Mueller, another property owner inside one of the growth areas, said “Our (Paris) Town Board did a wonderful thing. This is how it should have been done from the beginning. I think this will work out for everyone.”

With growth areas for Kenosha and Somers designated, there is more property now in the combined growth areas than there was in the Paris Somers IGA.

“Yes Paris had to give up some land, but you know what, (the boundary) is going to be set in stone for a long time,” said Paris Chairman Virgil Gentz. “It’s been a long time coming, but at least there’s some security.”

Officials representing each municipality have signed a memo of understanding. The next step will be for the three municipalities to develop and pass a resolution laying out the framework of the agreement within the next 45 days, Kresuer said. After that, the municipalities will develop a formal boundary agreement laying out the details. That may take from six months to a year, Kreuser estimated.

On April 7, the Somers Village Board and the Paris Town Board held a public hearing on the IGA, with both also approving it the same night.

Opposition to the agreement exploded in Paris from landowners who objected to the forced annexation into Somers. They objected to a process they felt took place behind closed doors, that forced them to become part of Somers and pay higher taxes and made their properties unmarketable for commercial/industrial development because Somers did not have a way to provide sewer and water service without Kenosha’s cooperation.

In his initial comments, Kreuser alluded to that Paris had long sought some sort of agreement with Kenosha, but was unsuccessful during the administration of former Mayor Keith Bosman.

But longtime Kenosha mayor John Antaramian returned to that office in April also and talks did eventually start.

Gentz and Kammerzelt both said after the meeting that the Somers-Paris IGA was necessary to get Kenosha to the table.

“I think it paid to have the IGA with Somers,” Kammerzelt said after the meeting. “It gave us a few cards.”


A map showing the new concept growth areas in Paris. (Click for larger view)


By comparison, this is the map of the Paris-Somers IGA.

Here’s video of the remarks made by the municipal officials who spoke during the meeting:



  1. Northwestern Mike says:

    Hey Darren, I believe you meant ‘tenet’ not ‘tenant.’

    Yes, I am in the new Kenosha growth area. I am OK with that.

    Every landowner is now back in Paris Township and they have a choice of if and when they want to annex to Somers or Kenosha to develop their land.

    I could ask to be annexed to Kenosha, get sewer and water for development and depending on the zoning sell half acre lots. It’s a great retirement account.

    I want to thank those that filed the lawsuits against the IGA. Without them and the IGA an agreement with Kenosha would never have been made.

    Ron. Thanks for negotiating this deal.

  2. Less Affected Resident says:

    Only wish the Board of Somers and Paris would have not passed the Paris-Somers IGA on April 7th would have saved a lot time and money. I think just proposing it could have gotten Kenosha to the table.

    Think of all the wasted tax money spent on legal counsel by Kenosha, Paris, and Somers – we could have built a park, fixed the roads, worked on attracting new businesses – the possibilities are endless.

  3. Another Paris Resident says:

    For all of those Paris Board haters out there – do you now get it, that they needed as Ron Kammerzelt stated “a few cards” in order to deal with Kenosha? And yes this was necessary because “In his initial comments, Kreuser alluded to that Paris had long sought some sort of agreement with Kenosha” and that never happened because Kenosha held all of the cards…….

  4. Less Affected Resident says:

    Seems like they should have just waited for Mayor John Antaramiam to take office. He is a very reasonable man.

    Rushing an agreement through that your own residents hated and had to file a lawsuit against is a bad card to play. You cost your own residents time and money to fight your so called card. That is a bad deal.

  5. Less Affected Resident says:

    Is the Paris Board going to apologize to us for passing an agreement to kick us out of town as you say as a card to play? Because I did not hear an apology yesterday and to pass an agreement like that after we voiced our opposition is not acceptable. Their intital intention was never to work with Kenosha. It blew up when they didn’t secure water/sewer before making the deal.

  6. Call me a doubter says:

    Assuming Bosman was difficult to work with, why was it assumed Antaramian would act similarly?

  7. Call me a doubter says:

    If people can choose to annex over the next 50 years, the time frame for “profit sharing” with Somers is even less certain. Why give Somers money?

    Cut out any $ payment to Somers and you have my support. Giving Somers land should be enough to secure the revenue sharing.

  8. Or skip the profit sharing says:

    We all know the “Profit Sharing” will not result in any payments to Paris.

    Let’s give up on the profit sharing and keep our $10 million in the bank.

  9. Secure Border says:

    Somers can only annex Paris land if someone voluntarily chooses to go into Somers and IF Somers can offer services that Paris can’t. If Kenosha doesn’t give Somers water west of the Interstate, then annexation into Somers is a mute point as Somers couldn’t offer any services.

  10. Proration says:

    When we were giving Somers 2,572.6 acres, we allocated $10 million to Somers.

    Now that we are giving ~500 acres to Kenosha and not transferring the land along 60th street, will we at least prorate the payment to Somers?

  11. Just Some Thoughts says:


    NW Mike,

    Impressive how quick your attitude has changed. Now you praise those who opposed the IGA. It is so funny that YOU are the one that sees potential dollar signs in your eyes now. Talk about a hypocrite.

    Thought we had a team of people working for us. Apparently the other supervisor and town chairman must not have done enough in your eyes? Just praise Ron. That a boy NW Mike.

  12. Northwestern Mike says:

    Dear Call me a doubter,

    You have some valid points. Food for thought.

    Dear Or skip the profit sharing,

    I disagree. I do not see how any development‘s revenue is going to be totally consumed by expenses or commission salaries. One does not develop to loose money.

  13. Northwestern Mike says:

    Darn had it right the first time.

  14. Northwestern Mike says:

    Dear Secure Border,

    It was announced at this meeting that water and sewer would be available at two locations west of the interstate for Somers’ future development.

  15. Northwestern Mike says:

    Dear Proration,

    Per this meeting the Somers-Paris IGA financials will be reworked.

  16. George Stoner milks Paris for $10MM says:

    George Stoner of Somers, WI milks Paris for $10MM and seeks pay raise from Somers as compensation for the time he put in on negotiating the deal.

    Unfortunately, that pay increase is not in the 2017 budget which already calls for a 5.92% increase in real estate taxes.

    If Somers is smart, they will allocate that pay raise to the Paris/Somers IGA so that they don’t have to give that money to Paris.

  17. Northwestern Mike says:

    Dear Just Some Thoughts,

    Please refrain from the personal attacks or risk being reported.

    Please talk about the topic not me.

    I thanked those that I did not know at the announcement.

    I thanked Ron here because I understood he did the negotiating for the Paris board.

  18. Less Affected Resident says:

    I disagree that is the best the Board could do. The Board should have known that trying to pass an agreement hastily and secretively that involved kicking residents out of town and not having a water/sewer agreement wasn’t the best strategy.

    When I talked to Kenosha, there was no $10 million dollar starting point.
    I’m not sure where you are getting the $10 million dollar amount and how old that quote is. It’s probably as old as the quote that Kenosha wants all the way to Hwy 45 and won’t settle for less.

    It definitely blew up in the Boards face. They are facing a recall election, massive changes to the original IGA, wasted a fortune of the town’s money fighting residents and the DNR. Now they are spending a fortune on reworking a blown up IGA agreement.

  19. Serious Question says:

    What does Somers bring to the table?

    They have no money, sewer, or water. In the original IGA, they are a village and could stop big bad Kenosha from using sewer and water to get all the land along interstate. Kenosha has sewer and water, Paris has the land, Somers offers nothing.

    They should not receive any funds or loans as they will not be proving any services until the land is going to be devolped.

    Why are they at the bargaing table? Is it because Paris entered into the original IGA?

    The law suit demanding a referendum is still out there. Could a new IGA still fall under a referendum fight? I hope the Paris board realizes there are unaffected residents that have an eye on the Money. The original sales pitch was 50% is better then 0%. So we have to give Somers Paris dollars and land to secure 50%.

    So… What does Somers bring to the table?

  20. Paris Pundit says:

    @Northwestern Mike……..I suggest you adopt a new moniker: “Flip Flop Mike”. It would fit nicely!

  21. Give Credit Where It's Due says:

    The Paris Town Board moved up the IGA implementation date by 15 days to April 15th so that citizens would have less time to get organized against the IGA.

    We have a better deal because of the court ordered injunction which stopped the Town Board efforts from becoming irreversible.

    The credit does not belong to this Town Board, it belongs to the men and women that acted decisively AGAINST this Town Board.

  22. LEST WE FORGET says:

    LEST WE FORGET means the same as “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Edmund Burke

    Forgetting the reasons why those wars were fought and what those fighters fought for will doom us to having to fight for it again.

  23. Kammerzelt Quote says:

    “I think it paid to have the IGA with Somers,” Kammerzelt said after the meeting. “It gave us a few cards.”

    The rest of us think you’re taking credit for someone else’s work.

  24. Paris Pundit says:

    Throughout this game of high stakes “poker”(using Paris taxpayers money to “play” with..sorry Ron….you used the card game analogy)….Kenosha was consistently made out to be the guys in the “black hats”…..looking to bilk Paris for whatever they could squeeze out of us. Funny….Kenosha agreed to a 50 YEAR WINDOW for residents to annex into the city. Maybe Ron could explain that to us. Or Kenny Rogers. You know..
    “you’ve got to know when to hold, when to fold ’em”…..sing it with the board….

  25. Tom Mueller says:

    The entire IGA process was not a wonderful experience for any of us. It was nothing short of shock and awe. If it was not for two families and attorney to get an injunction to stop IGA this anouncmement meeting would never have happened.

  26. Just Some Thoughts says:

    Mr. Mueller you are spot on.

    If not for the people who started the suit against the IGA this deal that the Town officials and Somers officials are taking credit for wouldn’t even have happened. The IGA would have been set in stone over and one with.

    How can any of them take credit for others work?? I think not only should the current board be removed from office, they should have to publicly apologize for their actions. On top of that if they want to take credit for this deal now, THEY should pick up the lawyer bill for those families that fought to stop the IGA. You want to talk the talk, then walk the walk.

  27. Robyn R says:

    I was considering purchasing a house in Paris and it turns out the house in the “growth area” (Burlington Road & 136th Street).

    Can someone explain what exactly this means for the homeowners? Also, what does it mean for the land in that area? Are they planning on letting businesses take over or will that area stay residential?

    I don’t want to buy a house and then a few years later have an industrial building or gas station right next door….


  • Follow us on

  • Archives