Wis. ambulance service used as bargaining chip in city dispute

Mayville officials said they would terminate EMS services if the village of Kekoskee and the town of Williamstown become an incorporated village

By Chris Higgins

MAYVILLE, Wis. — The city of Mayville is using ambulance service as a bargaining chip in its disputes with Kekoskee and Williamstown.

Last week in court, the city filed for a motion for a judge to stay the state’s decision to allow the village of Kekoskee and the town of Williamstown to become one incorporated village. The motion was sent to judicial review. Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Brian Pfitzinger is overseeing the case.

Now, the city is proposing that Kekoskee and Williamstown agree to the temporary stay on the state’s decision in exchange for Mayville to continue providing EMS services at a recently approved higher rate. In the spring, the Mayville Common Council voted to terminate EMS services if the boundary changes went through, which they did in October.

“I am hopeful the town and village leaders will approve this proposal,” Mayville Mayor Rob Boelk said. An attorney who has represented the town and village through the state’s boundary change process did not respond to a message on Tuesday.

Officials in Mayville oppose the state’s decision and filed an appeal against it in October, citing concerns over how a new village completely surrounding Mayville would impact the city’s future growth.

Although the state’s decision is still caught up in the court system, it’s already having an effect: In the midterm elections last week, Dodge County counted Kekoskee and Williamstown’s votes together. Mayville is asking that the decision be found to not pass legal muster and be reversed.

To address the concern over Mayville’s growth, the state accepted Kekoskee and Williamstown’s idea of a “city growth area” surrounding Mayviile, where the village of Williamstown would not stand in the way of property owners detaching into the city, as long as a majority of owners in three-fourths of the territory agree.

The state of Wisconsin denies Mayville’s claims, saying that the law was properly applied and that Mayville does not have standing to bring the appeal anyway. Mayville is also suing Dawn Vick, an administrator in the department that approved the merger, saying she improperly stood in the way of Mayville annexing land.

Boelk also said he expects a future public hearing over the proposed landfill expansion, which also is tangled in a court case. The city is suing the Waste Facility Siting Board, the towns of Hubbard and Williamstown, Dodge County and Advanced Disposal over a plan to expand the area landfill. The dispute is over how many members Mayville should have on the siting board, which represents the different involved parties.

A date for the hearing is not yet set.

Copyright 2018 WiscNews

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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