A letter issued by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Tuesday, Oct. 16, advised against the proposed city of Stevens Point annexation of 762 acres on the southeast side of the city from the towns of Plover, Stockton and Hull. The city plans to use the land for future industrial development as the East Park Commerce Center.
The letter said the proposed annexation is against the public interest due to the 40-acres of the town of Plover that will be cut off from the rest of the town as a result of the annexation. The area includes five houses and one vacant lot off of Woodland Road.
“This parcel is essentially surrounded by the city of Stevens Point creating a functional town island,” said the letter, which was signed by Erich Schmidtke from the DOA’s department of Municipal Boundary Review. “It results in boundaries that are difficult for both the city and town to administer, for state, federal, and regional jurisdictions to follow, and for local residents and businesses to understand.”
The DOA’s determination is advisory. The city’s Common Council must consider the letter and its recommendation before taking final action on annexation, which had been scheduled to go before the Council Monday, Oct. 15, but was delayed until Monday, Oct. 22, to wait for the DOA letter.
The city has until Oct. 31 to annex the land if it is to be eligible for the first round of certification under a new Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. site certification program that would help market the industrial park.
Mayor Andrew Halverson said he understands the DOA’s position, but that there are few options other than to create the town island. “There’s no way that the property owners that petitioned us for annexation can be annexed without going around this 40 (acres),” he said.