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Lisbon, Sussex consolidation proposed

 Town of Lisbon - Town residents are going to be asked whether they are interested in consolidating their local government with the Village of Sussex and becoming a new municipality called the City of Sussex-Lisbon.

The consolidation is one of four future governance options the Town Board will present to residents at an April 4 meeting at the Richard Jung Fire Station. The board approved a notice of the meeting to be posted on the town website and a news release during a special meeting Wednesday night

The announcement followed a series of seperate closed town door meetings of the Village Board and the Town Board in an effort to resolve some of the differences that have divided the two governmental bodies.

Town Board Chairman Matt Gehrke said the negotiations, along with current economic conditions and the town's desire to keep taxes down, promoted the Town Board to meet with its constitutents and discuss governance options.

He said he wanted town resident to ask questions and express their opinions about all four options.

Supervisors Ryan Lippert and Dan Heier said the consolidation option resolves issues between the communities involving border agreements, library funding, and incorporation of the town into a village.

"If we go the merger route, our discussions would be guided by the following goals; a merged community would have a new name, Lisbon's paramedic service would be maintained, and any increase in taxes to Lisbon residents would be phased in over a 10 year period," Gehrke said in the news release

However, Sussex Village President Greg Goetz said in a telephone interview that the details of those and other issues will not be resolved  until the Town of Lisbon holds a referendum and town voters indicate they are willing to support a consolidation.

After a successful referendum, the two governing boards will appoint a steering committee that will negotiate the details of those issues, according to Goetz.

Goetz said he expects the referendum will be held later this year.

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