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Lisbon-Sussex consolidation needs "strong" support

 Town of Lisbon - Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said tonight there is going to have to be " a strong indication of support" at an advisory referendum next month in order for the Town Board to continue exploring consolidation with the Village of Sussex.

Town Supervisor Dan Heier predicted voters will reject consolidation at the non binding referendum.

Supervisor Ryan Lippert added that he is not likely to support consolidation if  it is approved next month by a narrow margin of voters in a low turn out election.

"There is going to have to be a strong indication of support for the board to proceed,
Ryan and I might have a slight difference in how you define strong," said Gehrke.

Town voters will be asked on August 14 "if the terms of the consolidation were reasonable, would you be for or against consolidating Lisbon and Sussex to form a new municipality."

The third in a series of public forums on the issue will be conducted on July 31 at the Hamilton High School Fine Arts Center.

The board debated for more than an hour tonight over the wording in informational materials that will be distributed at the forum and later mailed to all town residents.

Heier and Supervisor Dan Fischer  voted against distributing the materials, arguing the information was "too one sided" in favor of consolidation.

"I don't think voters in the town will approve it," predicted Supervisor Heier.

In order to be approved, a consolidation ordinance must have four of the five town board member votes, seven of the five village trustee votes and it must be approved by both communities in a binding referendum.

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