Town accepts city offer to resume talks

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TOWN OF BELOIT - Negotiations between the Town of Beloit and City of Beloit are set to resume, with the Town Board accepting the city's offer on Monday to begin meeting again.

Town of Beloit Chair Diane Greenlee said the town will be sending a letter to the city today. She declined to share more details until the letter is sent to the city.

The City of Beloit sent a letter to Greenlee last week, asking for negotiations to begin again while responding to threats of litigation from the town.

The city is interested in discussing a comprehensive agreement covering both the 208 Sewer and Water Project and incorporation.

Greenlee said the town is interested in discussing both issues while maintaining that they are separate issues. This comes after Greenlee sent a letter to the city council on Oct. 23, arguing the city is not living up to its end of the 2008 sewer agreement.

Greenlee claims that Town of Beloit officials have reached out to city officials to no avail and that town officials believe the only recourse is litigation to enforce the 208 agreement. She contends the town has completed its end of the agreement by extending sewer and water services into what is known as the 208 Westbank area by the deadline. However, Greenlee argues the city isn't allowing city or town residents to hook up to this new system.

The city argues the agreement isn't valid and doesn't speak to technical issues such as payment for services, reimbursement of infrastructure costs via a special assessment, hook-up fee or another mechanism. They believe a separate agreement is required to address these issues.

The city asserts it has "shown good faith" by agreeing to treat a property with a failed septic system.

City officials previously postponed negotiations after the town submitted its incorporation application to the state in order to study the application. Both the city and Rock County have come out against the town's bid to incorporate into the Village of Riverside.

The town's process toward incorporation is still ongoing, with the Incorporation Review Board tentatively set to have one more hearing on Dec. 13 in Madison before making a decision in late December.

Also during Monday night's board meeting:

• The Town Board approved the 2019 general fund budget of $6,026,784 million. This is an 8.5 percent increase over 2018. The new tax rate for the town's portion of the tax bill will is $7.66, up from the 2018 rate of $6.84. This is a $82 increase per $100,000 home value in the Town of Beloit. The total on a $100,000 property in the Turner School District for the 2018 tax year is $2,544 and in the Beloit School District is $2,707.

• The Town Board approved a resolution to rededicate the land in McKearn Park as park land.

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