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Rib Mountain board hosts informational meeting on becoming village or city

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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RIB MOUNTAIN, Wis. (WSAW) - The Town of Rib Mountain may be on its way to becoming a village or a city, but there’s a lot of steps that need to happen first.

The first step to becoming an incorporated village or city is the people of Rib Mountain need to create a petition with at least 50 signatures.

Monday night, an educational meeting was held at the Rib Mountain Municipal Center to discuss the future of the Town of Rib Mountain’s status.

“We need to investigate this kind of stuff, I personally think it would be an ok thing,” Rib Mountain resident John Happli said.

Town board members told the people at the meeting the pros and cons of becoming incorporated.

“It would give us an opportunity to protect our identity as rib mountain, of course we’d be called the village or city of Rib Mountain, but we’d continue to maintain our identity,” Town of Rib Mountain Supervisor Gerry Klein said.

“Well we’ve grown enough over the years where people have asked, some people have asked for more law enforcement with the businesses which require more law enforcement,” said Town of Rib Mountain Chairman Allen Opall.

Becoming a village or city would mean protection from annexation. It would also mean the possibility to expand borders and control over the town’s future.

“We can get more road aid I believe, there’s stuff that villages get that towns don’t get,” Happli said.

On the flip side, becoming a village or city would mean costs for the referendum, a consultant, and attorney fees.

In order to become incorporated, residents need to make notice that a petition is being made and acquire at least 50 signatures.

“At the end of the day, it really will be the residents that will decide whether or not we become a city or a village,” Town of Rib Mountain Administrator Gaylene Rhoden said.

After a petition is made, it would be filed to the circuit court, then to the incorporation review board. If approved, a referendum would be held in the town of Rib Mountain.

“This is nothing new, this has been done in the past and there’s several communities in recent years that have incorporated and they probably went through the same questions they did,” Rhoden said.

If the town’s status is eventually changed, Chairman Opall said taxes would not go up and being informed is key to making the movement a success.

“Everyone’s going to have their own opinion, but I think they should go out, get the information and see how it works in their personal life,” Happli said.

The town board said Rib Mountain would likely become a village as the next logical step. After the meeting, members of the public began planning for a petition.

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