"Lake" means a lake, reservoir or flowage within the boundaries of the state.
"Lake district" means a public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district that does not include a restructured district.
A town board by resolution may convert a town sanitary district which encompasses all the frontage of a lake within its boundaries into a restructured district. The town sanitary district commissioners shall serve as the initial board of commissioners until the first annual meeting of the restructured district, at which time the commissioners shall be selected under s. 33.28
. Conversion shall not affect any preexisting rights or liabilities of the town sanitary district. All such rights or liabilities shall be assumed automatically by the restructured district.
The commissioners of a town sanitary district that does not encompass all the frontage of a lake within its boundaries may, with approval of the town board, petition under s. 33.25
for the formation of a restructured district to include the territory of the existing sanitary district and any additional frontage on the lake that is deemed appropriate by the commissioners. The commissioners may sign the petition for the landowners in the sanitary district. If necessary to meet the requirements of s. 33.25
, signatures of owners of land lying outside the sanitary district shall be obtained. Formation of a restructured district that includes such additional territory shall not affect any preexisting rights or liabilities of the town sanitary district, and all these rights and liabilities shall be assumed automatically by the restructured district. The method by which these rights and liabilities are apportioned within the restructured district shall be determined by the county board, and set out in the order issued under s. 33.26 (3)
forming the restructured district.
A town sanitary district having boundaries coterminous or contiguous to a lake district may merge into the lake district. Merger is effected by approval of an identical merger resolution by a two-thirds vote of the commissioners of the town sanitary district and the lake district, followed by ratification by a majority of those voting at an annual or special meeting of the lake district and a majority of those voting in a referendum of the town sanitary district under s. 60.785 (2)
. Merger may not become effective unless the town board which created the sanitary district approves the merger. The commissioners of the town sanitary district and the district shall act jointly until the next annual or special meeting, whichever occurs first, of the restructured district at which time the board of the restructured district shall be created subject to the requirements under s. 33.28
. Merger does not affect the preexisting rights or liabilities of the town sanitary district or the lake district. All these rights and liabilities are assumed automatically by the restructured district, but the method of discharging these rights or obligations shall be set out in the merger resolution.
Any restructured district shall have all powers granted to districts under this chapter and to town sanitary districts under ch. 60
, except the taxation power under s. 60.77 (6) (b)
. Such powers shall be exercised using the procedures and methods set out in this chapter.
County board may establish district. 33.24(1)
Notwithstanding s. 33.01 (3)
, in this section, "district" does not include a restructured district.
The county board of any county may establish districts within the county if the conditions stated in s. 33.26
are found to exist. Before a district that includes any portion of a city or village may be formed under authority of this section, the city council or village board must have previously approved the inclusion of its territory within the boundaries of a proposed district.
History: 1973 c. 301
; 1995 a. 349
Before a county board may establish a district under s. 33.235
, a petition requesting establishment shall be filed with the county clerk, addressed to the board and signed by persons constituting 51% of the landowners or the owners of 51% of the lands within the proposed district. Governmental subdivisions, other than the state or federal governments, owning lands within the proposed district are eligible to sign such petition. A city council or village or town board may by resolution represent persons owning lands within the proposed district who are within its jurisdiction, and sign for all such landowners.
For a landowner that is a trust, foundation, corporation, association or organization, a petition under par. (a)
shall be signed by an official representative, officer or employee who is authorized to do so by that landowner.
The petition shall set forth:
The necessity for the proposed district;
That the public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or public welfare will be promoted by the establishment of the district and that the lands to be included therein will be benefited by such establishment; and
The boundaries of the territory to be included in the proposed district.
(3) Verification, plat.
The petition shall be verified by one of the petitioners, and shall be accompanied by a plat or sketch indicating the approximate area and boundaries of the district.
Every petition is presumed to have been signed by the persons whose signatures appear thereon, until proved otherwise.
(5) Withdrawing from petition.
Any landowner who is considered to have signed the petition under sub. (1)
may withdraw from the petition if the landowner files a written notice of the withdrawal with the county clerk at least 10 days before the date of the hearing under s. 33.26
The requirements for a verification under sub. (3) are that it is made under oath and carries the jurat of a notary public. Every person giving the oath is considered to have been lawfully sworn. Use of the word "certify" rather than "verify" is irrelevant. Nielsen v. Waukesha County Board of Supervisors, 178 Wis. 2d 498
, 504 N.W.2d 621
(Ct. App. 1993).
Hearings, time, notice, boundaries, approval, limitations. 33.26(1)(1)
Upon receipt of the petition the county board shall arrange a hearing to be held not later than 30 days from the date of presentation of the petition, and shall appoint a committee to conduct the hearing. At the hearing all interested persons may offer objections, criticisms or suggestions as to the necessity of the proposed district as outlined and to the question of whether their property will be benefited by the establishment of such district. Any person wishing to object to the organization of such district may, before the date set for the hearing, file objections to the formation of such district with the county clerk.
Notice announcing the hearing and stating the boundaries of the proposed district shall be published in a paper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed district is located as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
, and shall be mailed by the county board to the last-known address of each landowner within the proposed district.
The committee shall report to the county board within 3 months after the date of the hearing. Within 6 months after the date of the hearing, the board shall issue its order under this subsection. If the board finds, after consideration of the committee's report and any other evidence submitted to the board, that the petition is signed by the requisite owners as provided in s. 33.25
, that the proposed district is necessary, that the public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or public welfare will be promoted by the establishment of the district, and that the property to be included in the district will be benefited by the establishment of the proposed district, the board, by order, shall declare its findings, shall establish the boundaries and shall declare the district organized and give it a corporate name by which it shall be known. Thereupon the district shall be a body corporate with the powers of a municipal corporation for the purposes of carrying out this chapter. If the board does not so find, the board, by order, shall declare its findings and deny the petition.
The department shall be notified in writing of the hearing for the creation of the district at the time the hearing date is set.
In establishing the district, the county board may change the boundaries from those originally proposed. However, lands not originally proposed for inclusion may not be included until a public hearing is held under this section.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the board may petition the circuit court for judicial review. A verified petition shall be presented to the court not more than 30 days after the decision of the board, and shall specify the grounds upon which the appeal is based.
Although not specified, the right to review under sub. (7) is by statutory certiorari. Donaldson v. Board of Commissioners of Rock-Koshkonong Lake District, 2004 WI 67, 272 Wis. 2d 146
, 680 N.W.2d 762
Notice, filing and recording requirements.
If a district is created or its boundaries altered, the board of commissioners shall record the authorizing document, including a legal description of the boundary, with the register of deeds in each county where the district is situated, and file the document and legal description with the department of natural resources and the department of revenue.
History: 1981 c. 20
; 1993 a. 301
Initial district board of commissioners. 33.27(1)
The county board shall, at the time of making the order establishing a district, appoint 3 owners of property within the district, at least one of whom is a resident of the district, to serve as commissioners until the first annual meeting of the district, and shall also make the appointment required under s. 33.28 (2)
If no resident is willing to serve as required under sub. (1)
, the residency requirement shall be waived for the initial district board of commissioners.
Within 30 days following the county board's order establishing the district, the governing body of the town, city or village having the largest portion by valuation within the district shall appoint one of its members to the district board under s. 33.28 (2)
At any time following the making of the order establishing a district, but no later than 60 days following the expiration of time for appeal to the circuit court, or, if appealed, no later than 60 days following the final judgment in any appeal, the district board shall hold an organizational meeting, shall select officers to serve until the first annual meeting, and may commence conducting the affairs of the district.
The board may make an initial assessment of all taxable property within the district to raise funds to pay organizational costs and operate the district until the receipt of the tax voted by the first annual meeting. The manner of making the assessment shall be within the discretion of the board.
District board of commissioners. 33.28(1)
Management of the affairs of the district shall be delegated to a board of commissioners.
The board of commissioners shall consist of:
One person appointed by the county board who is a member of the county land conservation committee or is nominated by the county land conservation committee and appointed by the county board;
One member of the governing body of the town, village or city within which the largest portion by valuation of the district lies, appointed by the governing body and owning property within the district if possible; and
Three electors or owners of property within the district elected by secret ballot by the qualified electors and property owners within the district, for staggered 3-year terms. At least one of the elected commissioners shall be a resident of the district.
An annual meeting may permanently increase the number of members of the board of commissioners to be elected under sub. (2) (c)
from 3 to 5.
If no resident is willing to be elected as required under sub. (2) (c)
for a given term, the residency requirement shall be waived until the end of that term.
Three commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
The board shall select a chairperson, secretary and treasurer from among its members.
Commissioners shall be paid actual and necessary expenses incurred while conducting business of the district, plus such compensation as may be established by the annual meeting.
The board shall meet at least quarterly, and at other times on the call of the chairperson or the petition of 3 of the members.
If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the board under sub. (2) (a)
, the appointing authority shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy. If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the board under sub. (2) (c)
, the chairperson of the board shall appoint a person to fill the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to approval by a majority vote of the board.
Property owning requirements.
Any requirement under s. 33.27 (1)
that a person own property within the district to be eligible for membership on the board of commissioners is satisfied if a person is an official representative, officer or employee of any trust, foundation, corporation, association or organization which is an owner of property within the district.
History: 1975 c. 197
; 1979 c. 299
Board of commissioners; officers; powers and duties. 33.29(1)(1)
The board shall be responsible for:
Initiating and coordinating research and surveys for the purpose of gathering data on the lake, related shorelands and the drainage basin;
Planning lake protection and rehabilitation projects;
Contacting and attempting to secure the cooperation of officials of units of general purpose government in the area for the purpose of enacting ordinances deemed necessary by the board as furthering the objectives of the district;
Adopting and carrying out lake protection and rehabilitation plans and obtaining any necessary permits therefor; and
Maintaining liaison with those officials of state government involved in lake protection and rehabilitation, and providing the department with the names and addresses of the current commissioners.
Scheduling the annual meeting of the district.
Preparing the proposed annual budget for presentation at the annual meeting of the district. The proposed annual budget shall include all of the following:
A list of all existing indebtedness and all anticipated revenue from all sources during the ensuing year.
A list of all proposed appropriations for each department, activity, and reserve account during the ensuing year.
The actual revenues and expenditures for the preceding year.
The actual revenues and expenditures for not less than the first 6 months of the current year.
The estimated revenues and expenditures for the balance of the current year.
For informational purposes by fund, all anticipated unexpended or unappropriated balances and surpluses.
The board shall have control over the fiscal matters of the district, subject to the powers and directives of the annual or a special meeting. The board shall annually at the close of the fiscal year cause an audit to be made of the financial transactions of the district, which shall be submitted to the annual meeting.
The board, immediately after each annual meeting, shall elect a chairperson, secretary and treasurer, whose duties shall be as follows:
The chairperson shall preside at the annual meeting, at all special meetings and meetings of the board and at all public hearings held by the board.
The secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the board and hearings held by it. The secretary shall prepare and send the notices required for the annual meeting, any special meeting, and any meeting of the board.
The treasurer shall receive and take charge of all moneys of the district, and pay out the same only on order of the board.
Annual meeting of district. 33.30(1)
Every district shall have an annual meeting. Each annual meeting shall be scheduled during the time period between May 22 and September 8 unless scheduled outside those dates by majority vote of the previous annual meeting.
The annual meeting shall be preceded by written notice mailed at least 14 days in advance of the meeting to all electors within the district whose address is known or can be ascertained with reasonable diligence, to all owners of property within the district at the owner's address as listed in the tax roll, and to the department. The district board of commissioners may substitute a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
, in lieu of sending written notice to electors residing within the district.
No absentee ballots or proxies are permitted at the annual meeting.
The notice of the annual meeting under sub. (2)
shall include all of the following:
A list of each item proposed for consideration at the annual meeting in addition to the proposed annual budget.