Paris approves master agreement with Somers and Kenosha governing development and boundaries along I-94

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

The Paris Town Board on Tuesday approved a master agreement with Somers and Kenosha that governs development and sets boundaries at the intersection of the three municipalities along I-94.

The approval came on a split vote with Chairman Virgil Gentz and Supervisor Ron Kammerzelt voting to approve and Supervisor Ken Monson voting against.

The agreement, in development since Oct. 2016, will create growth areas for Somers and Kenosha within current Paris territory. Paris residents in those growth areas will have 50 years to annex into Somers or Kenosha. For the areas annexed into Somers, Paris will receive 50 percent of the tax revenue generated by development.

Kammerzelt, who represented the town in negotiations with Somers and Kenosha, had praise for the agreement and those that participated in the process. He also praised County Executive Jim Kreuser for getting all parties to the negotiating table and state Rep. Samantha Kerkman for helping as well.

“This resolution is the culmination of many years of work behind the scenes trying to get a boundary agreement with the city of Kenosha,” Kammerzelt said. “Now that it’s ready we’re ready for development and the area’s ready for development.”

Monson acknowledged the historic nature of the agreement, but said he could not vote for it.

“I don’t think the town has seen anything this big since the landfill agreement was put together,” Monson said. “That’s why  I can’t support the agreement in its present form.”

Monson went on to say he was unable to get language he wanted — including regarding residential development — into the agreement and that he was unhappy that the agreement had not been discussed by the board as a whole since April.

“My voice hasn’t been heard,” Monson said. “I think the board has handled the negotiations poorly.”

In reply, Kammerzelt called Monson’s attack on the agreement an insult to him. He added that he felt Monson’s position reflected a reoccurring situation with Monson.

“When everything is over, you’re against it,” Kammerzelt said to Monson.

Gentz said he was not happy with all aspects of the agreement, but felt it should be passed.

“We cannot afford to turn down this resolution now,” Gentz said. Not passing the agreement would be “a serious mistake for the town of Paris … I would hate to see this thrown open again … I am not happy about everything, but I have been around long enough to know we’re not going to get everything we want.”

Somers also has approved the agreement. If Kenosha’s Common Council also approves it, the agreement can then be transmitted to the state Department of Administration.

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3 Comments

  1. Paris Resident says:

    Darren, So what was Monson actually against in the agreement? The agreement is for commercial development not residential.

    1. @Paris resident: Monson said there is language in the agreement that he sought to change that would allow some residential development.

  2. Affected Resident says:

    Funniest part of the article: Monson states “My voice hasn’t been heard.”

    Yet, he voted ‘yes’ for the first agreement that basically screwed over 100 Paris residents. Minutes after those residents voiced hatred of the first deal at the Public Hearing.

    Now he knows how it feels. I hope this deal brings lots of traffic on Hwy N along with our big fat checks.

    Kenosha, Bring on the TIF money.

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